vegansaurus!

11/08/2012

It’s fall! Let’s all dig into some delicious gourds!

Is there anything cuter than a massive feline getting down with a pumpkin? Doubt it.

(Source: bigcatrescue.org)

10/25/2012

Recipe: Pumpkin butter is so easy, why aren’t you making it already?  »

It’s the simplest thing in the world; you barely need a recipe. Let me walk you through it.


Take a sugar pie pumpkin. Halve it, gut it. Line a baking dish (NOT A COOKIE SHEET) with parchment paper and put your twin pumpkin halves in it.

Bake at 350 for an hour or so, until your pumpkin looks like this:

I poked mine with a knife a few times to check for doneness. It’s like baking any squash; you want it to be soft but not mushy, lest it melt.

Allow to cool a bit, then scrape all the pumpkiny flesh from the skin and deposit it in a food processor (not a blender, unless you have a VitaMix or similar super-machine). You can add something like lemon juice as a contrast/preservative, or do what I did, which was add some homemade apple butter, which isn’t nearly as sour as lemon juice and may contribute to the depth of flavor. Blend some more.

Now add your sugar. I used a brown sugar, about 1/2 cup to 4 lbs. of pumpkin, but it’s really to taste. This is your pumpkin butter! I also added a whole bunch of garam masala (more interesting that “pumpkin pie mix” plus cheaper because you can buy it in a bag in the “international foods” section near all the dried chiles), some vanilla, a little salt. Blend until smooth, adjusting the ingredients for taste. If it won’t blend, add water until it does. Don’t worry.

Move your pumpkin butter from the food processor to a pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the fire down low, cover it with a nice mesh splatter screen, and let it cook down. Depending on how much liquid you had to add, and how thick you want it, the mixture can take from 30 minutes to many hours to cook down. Again, don’t worry.

Once it’s achieved optimal thickness, take it off the stove and let it cool. Put in in jars, and take vanity pictures for the internet.

Congratulations, you have homemade pumpkin butter! Which you made by mostly applying heat!

Finally, a tip if, like me, you add too much lemon juice/sugar/whatever and fuck it all up: Just bake a new pumpkin, blend it up, and add it to the weird stuff in a bigger pot. Apply heat, adjust for taste. Eventually, instead of a single batch of not-right pumpkin butter, you will have a double batch of delicious pumpkin butter. Foist it on your friends and family if you’re afraid you won’t eat it all (you will). Look, you are a genius at fall foods!

11/15/2011

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! Today we acknowledge our Canadian vegan pals with a guest post!
For Canadian Thanksgiving last month I made a casserole inside a pumpkin. I made everything from scratch:
layer of stuffing
layer of mashed sweet potatoes
layer of smoked tofu marinated in pure Canadian maple syrup and oranges
I stuck it in the oven and baked it all day, and then ate everything but the pumpkin stem.

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! Today we acknowledge our Canadian vegan pals with a guest post!

For Canadian Thanksgiving last month I made a casserole inside a pumpkin. I made everything from scratch:

  • layer of stuffing
  • layer of mashed sweet potatoes
  • layer of smoked tofu marinated in pure Canadian maple syrup and oranges

I stuck it in the oven and baked it all day, and then ate everything but the pumpkin stem.

11/14/2011

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! Last year Rachel in Oakland cooked pumpkins stuffed with sage polenta and seitan bourgignon, from The Millennium Cookbook! Man I am still so, so envious of this table. How are you going to top yourself this year, Rachel? Who else is stuffing pumpkins?

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! Last year Rachel in Oakland cooked pumpkins stuffed with sage polenta and seitan bourgignon, from The Millennium Cookbook! Man I am still so, so envious of this table. How are you going to top yourself this year, Rachel? Who else is stuffing pumpkins?

11/03/2010

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

What? Oh, I didn’t see you through this haze of prescription painkillers and tertiary muscle relaxants. That’s right, today’s WTF Wednesday is brought to you by the letters V, I, C, O, D, I, and N! That means that this post will be both mercifully short and also make no sense whatsoever. Just imagine we are all at an awesome party, sitting on beanbag chairs under a blacklight. That is how I feel right now, and so should you. Except I hope you can move your back, because I can’t move mine. Or walk straight. Enough of my whining, this is a party!

First off, here are some bears doing yoga. It actually looks more like Tai chi to me, but what do I know? The last time i did any kind of exercise was a jacked-up sun salutation on a Wii balance board (why does that fucking thing groan every time you step onto it? Does it know that it is lowering my self-esteem each time I want to play Rhythm Parade?). I always feature bad things happening to bears, so I thought I would post something awesome. Just forget that the bears are in a zoo, because zoos are horrible. Just focus on the amazing stretches they can do. Who even knew Bears stretched? And who knew that they could be even more adorable? I certainly didn’t.

And while we’re on the subject of bears, here is what happens when a stupid Toronto weatherman tries to throw pumpkins at polar bears. I mentioned last week that I do not believe that all animals love pumpkins. Example, this otter, whose look clearly states, “You want to be next, stupid? Why would you think I’d want a pumpkin? Did you get me a fucking Kindle or what?” I bet that otter wasn’t going to be reading the new Jodi Picoult, either. Anyway, here’s today’s lesson: Don’t throw shit at animals from high places. It is traumatizing and not at all pleasant, and you deserved to lose your microphone and also be ridiculed by the internet. Allen watched that video like five times last night. He was dying. I mean literally choking for breath. He was laughing that hard. Between that and this video of an Ellen writer going through a haunted house (“you are so rude!!!!!”), he was really on fire.

Fine, it wouldn’t be WTF Wednesday without some sad news: a porn star strangled a dog. Say it with me: WHAT THE FUCK. Why would you do that, porn star Jason Creed, a.k.a. Shane Michael Thompson? Why would you just take your three-legged puppy and beat it, strangle it to death, and then try to pass it off as a seizure? Here is some news: Seizures and BEING BEATEN AND STRANGLED TO DEATH present quite differently. I don’t even watch House and I know that. And why the fuck would you adopt a three-legged dog, who was obviously already coping with large difficulties in life, and then abuse it? What is wrong with you? Did you not realize that there is a special room in a special circle of hell that is devoted to people who are deliberately cruel to animals? Maybe you were drunk or high, which makes it even worse. Not even Vicodin can take the harsh edge off the idea of a poor unsuspecting dog being attacked by a third-tier gay porn actor. Thank god his friends and roommates turned him in, although what disturbs me EVEN FURTHER is that they also stated that they had known about the abuse. Why didn’t you speak up before the dog was murdered? At least this guy is in jail. I could make all sorts of jokes about that, but I won’t; partly because this story is too sad and partly because I have standards.

That is it for this week. As always, please send me links for next week or leave them in the comments. Have an awesome week!

[photo by South Beds News Agency via the Telegraph]

10/20/2010

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Goats, man. Why you gotta fuck with ‘em? ‘Cause you think they’re all docile and shit? You think a goat can’t get gangsta? No, a goat can get gangsta. And unfortunately a goat got medieval on a hiker who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t hear about something like that every day, do you? But that’s probably because you don’t hear about park rangers encouraging visitors to hurl rocks at aggressive goats, either.

Let me be clear with you: Never taunt, harass, or torture anyone who has been called “aggressive.” Now, maybe that’s clear to me because I have years of psychological training, but I thought that was pretty much common sense in general. You don’t stand within throwing distance of (or even approach) Naomi Campbell, you don’t welcome Bjork to Bangkok, and you certainly, CERTAINLY do not toss rocks at a wild animal who is known to get riled up. No matter who tells you to do it. QUICK STORY ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THROWING ROCKS: When I was seven I had to wear an eye patch to deal with my Paris Hilton eye (later corrected) with surgery. Patches don’t do shit except make you look like an awesome pirate! (Thanks, mom!). My brother and his friend thought it was hilarious that I couldn’t see anything and as I was wandering around the playground looking like a lonely pirate, they decided to throw a rock at me because it would surprise/stun/kill me. Luckily for me, they had bad aim. They hit a nursing mother instead. Everyone was fine, but the moral of the story is DON’T FUCKING THROW ROCKS!

Here’s the thing: The man-killing goat was known to be aggressive, but things could have been done differently. Instead of “hazing” the goat to be frightened of humans by chucking things at it, they could have airlifted it to another area—like they did in the 1980s when the high goat population endangered the environment—where people aren’t as likely to happen upon it. There could have been a protocol of something other than “throw rocks at it to make it go away” when people encountered the goat. I’m sure the rangers could have held a town hall meeting or something. Instead, a gentleman who was enjoying his lunch was gored to death and the goat was found and killed. That sucks.

God, you know what’s depressing? Besides having to write a 100-page paper in the next nine months? Being a caged animal at the zoo. You know what’s worse than that? When holidays come around and the zoo decides that the best way to celebrate Halloween is to let people feed you pumpkin snacks. Apparently this is part of the Oklahoma City Zoo enrichment program that is supposed to be beneficial to the animals’ mental and physical well-being, but I don’t see how this is going to make the rhinos and beavers feel any better about having to live in a cage their entire lives. Maybe the enrichment program could focus on not bringing any more animals to the zoo? And maybe not feeding them holiday-themed snacks? Apparently, most of the animals consider pumpkins to be a super-special treat, but as someone who is somewhat pumpkin-phobic, I’m pretty skeptical.

That’s all for today. Please join me next week when we will be preparing for Halloween with awesome/awful costumes. SPOILER: Butchers are saying that people should refrain from making meat dresses of their own. That’s a small relief at least. I was getting pretty worried that the meat dress was going to be this year’s Borat.

Send me costume pictures and ideas! Or comment below! I’m basically begging for your help here!

[mountain goat photo by Flickr used Bill Gracy; spectacled bears by Flickr user seanabrady; Magellanic penguins by Flickr user karenchu121]

10/19/2009

Recipe: Beer Bread made with Pumpkin Ale! YES YES YES  »

This is the easiest, best thing ever to make. You’ll want to never eat anything else. Slather it with Earth Balance, make sandwiches with it, swallow the loaf whole (dang! you’re talented!) or whatever. Just eat it immediately. Also, it’s super cheap to make and will sustain you for days. I mean, in addition to other things, Anorexic Annie.

All you need is:
a box of Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Mix.
a bottle of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (In the SF Bay Area, you can find it at Whole Foods right now!)
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (use organic, if you can! it’s better for the world!)
a little pumpkin pie spice or garam masala.

All you do is put the TJ’s Beer Bread Mix in a bowl. Stir in the Punkin Ale. Put the dough in a bread pan. Top with the melted Earth Balance. Sprinkle on the pumpkin pie spice or garam masala. Bake according to the package directions. Eat it all, be fat and happy. THE END YOU’RE WELCOME.

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