Vegan peach pie! It’s Fourth of July weekend, which means SUMMER IS HERE and also PIE TIME, so let’s all make some pies. I’m on strawberry-rhubarb patrol, myself. Summer fruit! Summer dessert! The best! What are you all making?
[photo by Bacon and Tofu on Flickr]

Vegan peach pie! It’s Fourth of July weekend, which means SUMMER IS HERE and also PIE TIME, so let’s all make some pies. I’m on strawberry-rhubarb patrol, myself. Summer fruit! Summer dessert! The best! What are you all making?

[photo by Bacon and Tofu on Flickr]


As a child growing up in a suburban town on California’s beautiful Central Coast, I spent many a late-summer afternoon playing in the sprinkler and drinking from the hose. We didn’t have a fancy pool, but we didn’t need it—we had water from the lawn! We even had friends with Slip ‘n Slides, which are really fun so long as you slip on the slide instead of, say, the brick walkway.

You know who else loves cold hosewater on a hot day? This baby nine-banded armadillo in Texas! Look at it drink! Do you think it would play in the sprinklers with some tiny human children? Imagine a little armadillo and some little kids frolicking together! Man I love pragmatic animals (like pigeons).

[video via Ugly Overload]


Non-weekend summertime super-fun activities!  »

It’s summer! Time to play while it’s still light at 8 p.m.! Or so the kids who live next door and have no school think, as they are up and at ‘em 12 hours a day, running in the sprinkler, riding bikes, playing “let’s wash the car” (not my car, not my game, I am honest with children about work)—they make the most of every second of their summer. And even though statistically (one of us pays attention to these things) you are a boring adult who gets no extra time off for longer days or warmer weather, and maybe are even the person responsible for those giggling children who have to be occupied all those hours they’re not in school, in which case I extend my sympathies to you. But you’re still alive! You can still eat summer produce, and wear summer clothes, and drink summer drinks, oh yes you can.

You can also go to the movies. Specifically, movies about produce, which is almost pertinent, but who cares that is not the point. First, tonight at 7 at Hayes Valley Farm catch a free!! showing of The Botany of Desire, based on Michael Pollan’s eponymous book. This was the pre-food-evangelist Michael Pollan, so there’ll be no rapturous tales of hunting boar in the Berkeley hills or wherever. Rainbow Grocery will provide hot chocolate, Jugtown Pirates will play (if you are into bluegrass you are excited right now.), and there will also be a bake sale and raffle. Right, and they have a $5 suggested donation, so if you are nice you will pay, but if you’re broke, it’s all right not to. Thanks to Haighteration for the info; did you know Haighteration is a good blog? You should read it.

Hey check it out, there’s a free movie on Thursday, too! And this one is a preview AND it’s at the LIBRARY. YOU GUYS. You know your Vegansaurus loves the library like whoa, right? We love the library so much. Particularly the SFPL, it is a really lovely library system. So lovely, in fact, that they’re showing a documentary called Fresh three months before its official San Francisco debut, and because it’s the library it will cost you zero dollars—all you have to do is show up at the Koret Auditorium inside the Main Library, at 100 Larkin St. at Hyde and Market Streets. The movie will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hang on, you’re saying, what is this Fresh about, why should I go anywhere on a damn Thursday when I’m exhausted anyway? Oh man, OK. From what I understand, it is “like Food, Inc. but inspirational, not so depressing”; plus, it costs no money; plus, you’ll just have time to get dinner at Ananda Fuara afterward. Hang on: Here is a review from reader vera! Now, no more arguments!

EXCEPT! you might say, except what about the inaugural Mission Community Market, which is also scheduled for Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m.? Well that is a good point. You might could do both, really; two hours for the market, on Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd Streets, and then, what, not even 10 minutes on BART to Civic Center and you get your free movie at the library, too! See, your Vegansaurus has your week all set for you already. We haven’t heard—nor can we find—any solid information on the food vendors at the MCM, but they say there will be a farmer’s market, which means more summer produce! Regardless, if you’re in the Mission (which like 30 percent of you are, we know), get over there and support your community. Be a good vegan citizen. Also leave the house, get some vitamin D, talk to humans with your voice, et cetera.

We are helpful because we love you! Go out, vegans; eat hay while the sun shines.

[images courtesy PBS and, respectively]


Recipe: Summertime Corn Pilaf!  »

If you are anything like me, people are always inviting you to parties. Oy! But in the summer, getting invited to a party suddenly means you’re supposed to cook something. What the hey?! Outside of Thanksgiving, you don’t have to cook jackshit for parties in the other seasons! Bring some booze and you’re golden. Then summer comes along and POW! Everyone’s a commie! Ever heard of a “summer share?” Exactly.

That’s what the modern barbecue is: watermelon-coated communism. Like the potlatches of the Pacific Northwest, your neighborhood cookout is a redistribution of wealth. I guess they’re also a redistribution of time, or time in the kitchen, that is. Now instead of one miserable person sweating it up over the stove in 90-degree weather, we all have to. Fucking super.

Well have no fear! Megan Rascal is here to show you how to bring down the system from within: Corn and rice pilaf! Cheap, yummy and easy to make, it’s the perfect summer side-dish for any party.

(serves 4ish)
1 cup rice
1 onion
2 cups corn
1 teaspoon sugar
A shit-ton of salt and pepper… to taste.

Now, loosely defined, pilaf is just rice with something else (I hear there’s also something called “chicken pilaf”—what’s next?! Submarine pilaf?! Ick! Stick with the rice, kids). So make some rice, genius. I can’t help you with this as I’m incompetent when it comes to making rice. It’s my only flaw. I’d say make brown rice but if you’re hanging out with squares (and knowing you, you probably are), maybe you should make white rice.

Next, chop up the onion. In a frying pan with oil, saute the onion for, like, ever. I don’t mind burnt edges myself but if you aren’t into that, stir often. When the onion is soft and cooked, add the corn! This can be canned corn, frozen corn, fresh off the cob, I don’t care. Add the sugar and let the corn and onions cook together for a while. Don’t forget to stir but again, I prefer a little brown on my corn.

Finally, add a bunch of salt and a TON of pepper. That’s what this dish is all about: the sweetness of the corn and onion coupled with the bite of the pepper. And while I don’t care what kind of corn you use, I am a pepper snob. It’s got to be fresh-ground black pepper. Fresh ground, I say! It’s not that much to ask.

Other bonus: this is good warm or cold.

Other things to try:
Add wilted spinach and stewed tomatoes. You can add tomatoes regardless, but the spinach doesn’t work that great without tomatoes.

Use shallots instead of onions. Ballin’!

Add beans, black or kidneys. You know what I always say: no fiber, no party!

Imagine this pilaf alongside some bbq tofu! Too delicious! I know, I’m the man. OK, go forth, make pilaf and be merry.

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