Monthly Archives: January 2009

Crazy Dough: Mad Streudal

If you haven’t been over to Varacita’s blog lately, take a look. She has some awesome pics (and in this instance, ‘awesome’ is not a gross American exaggeration) of her streudal making. Very cool. Looks like one recipe makes a whole lot of streudal!

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Highly Recommended

Jayadeva Das, reporting for Mangala Aroti.
Although it seems he has no interest in a blog feed to Planet Iskcon, there is nothing stopping me from giving a shout out to Jayadeva’s blog: A or The (I Don’t Remember) Convenient Truth.

Jayadeva and I were former inmates at Sri Gita Nagari Dhama way back before the end of the world happened in 2000. Whew, glad we made it through the apocalypse. When not blogging or thinking about Lord Nityananda, Jayadeva can be found in New Jersey, going to art school, working his j-o-b and being the best darndest step-dad this side of the Raritan River.

His blog is g-o-o-d. Hope you check it out.

(Ooops! And don’t forget to check out his little missus’ blog…but just don’t leave any mean comments about her dog, okay? It’s spirit soul, too!)

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Fresh From the Oven: Pumpkin Pie

While some people like to tell you what they’re going to eat via their Facebook status updates, I do one better: I photograph it!

Actually, this pie is headed for the freezer and will reemerge the second week of February when we have some friends visiting. Friends with triplets.
But first, it has to cool. It is still “letting off steam” and kind of looks like it is about to erupt (maybe a video would have been more appropriate). The pie will look much more photogenic once it makes it to room temp but I have many other domestic tasks ahead of me…so might as well get the shot over with.


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Personal Habits

Last weekend we visited with my in-laws, who were down from DC for a presentation my father-in-law was giving in Tampa. A great opportunity for a family visit and a trip to the beach, we loaded up the car and headed south. 
Not, of course, without first cooking a weekend worth of eatables for the family.
Most people consider a vacation a time to forget about all the daily chores and household duties; a time to kick back and relax. Eating out is par for the course–how else would you get your meals when away from home without a kitchen?
I wish.
Because my husband and I both share in a commitment to eating pure vegetarian food, preferably home cooked with a whole lot of love thrown into it (it makes a difference, let me assure you), we hardly ever get to eat in restaurants. As I’ve mentioned before, we won’t eat where meat is served. At the very least, we are freaked out about cross-contamination. What to speak of the fact that the smell kills our appetite (and totally upsets our kids). 
So going away–be it for a day or a weekend or even an extended period of time–requires real forethought. And work. For our trip, which was just an overnight jaunt, I prepared pizzas, slabs of pan fried tofu and salad/dressing. I also washed a whole lot of fruit, bagged up pistachios and bought along some string cheese for the kids. 
There are moments when I think, “This is crazy!” but this is the choice we’ve made. And we explain that to our kids, giving them room to make their own decisions about their eating habits when they get older.
It would be nice to think that my kids are developing such a love for cooking and homemade meals that they would never contemplate ordering in a pizza or getting the veg meal at a meat restaurant, but that would be naive of me. (I do sure as hell hope, however!)
Most vegetarians don’t think twice about ordering a meal at a restaurant that serves meat. It is a non-issue for them. My husband and I have discussed this at length and have also discussed people we know who have stopped being vegetarian (thanks, Facebook, for cluing me into this phenomena). And we’ve concluded that these kinds of self-imposed restrictions are socially limiting, and people don’t want to do that.
Unless one surrounds themselves with like-minded eaters, it becomes difficult and awkward. Depending on the social situation…if you are the only one with such restrictions…you may be seen as difficult or awkward. Trust me, I know.
I could go on and on about it but this is a blog, not a book. 
One thing I said to my husband during this discussion was that I hope people who find our eating habits (which are in some ways based on religious ritual and GOD–an often unpopular guy) irritating and limiting can at least respect that yeah, we do too! No, just kidding—kind of sort of–but anyway, I interrupt myself. Okay, what I was saying is, I hope that they can overlook the inconvenience of it and respect that we are truly dedicated to a world of non-violence. That we value life–all life–and cannot see our fellow inhabitants of this material and spiritual ecosystem as our entrees (or even our appetizers!). 
We cannot sit down to a meal where violence is naturalized and socialized. Non-violent eating is not just ritual for us; it is a deep understanding of and protest against the suffering of this world. 
But yeah, it is a total pain in the butt. But I guess that’s part of what makes it so meaningful.
Trip Pics:

Late January Evening Swim

Cover your ears from the dinning!

They know the drill:  Room Service

A Room With An Urban View

Buddha’s Delight


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Gopi Bhava

Like all little girls raised in the Vaisnava tradition, Madhumati loves acting like a gopi. She is always singing Jaya Radha Madhava, acting out the song with mudras she picked up in preschool. It is, like most things Madhumati, super cute.

Here she is chanting the famous bhajan of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. To be honest, it was like the thousandth time in a row she was doing it so I think, by the time I decided to pick up the camera, that she started to loose a little steam. Okay, a lot. Honestly, she used to know all the words pakka but I think now that she is concentrating on the complex assortment of hand gestures, she has definitely lost some points for accuracy.


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The Littlest Sabjimata

Okay. So, I don’t have much to say, other than a picture speaks multitudes. 


Isn’t she a scene stealer? I love her to bits. Here she is making pancakes, which was what the kids had for dinner tonite. She insisted on doing everything, which meant that the children had a lot of misshapen pancakes, but even my son wanted Madhumati’s and not the few that I was able to get a shot at.

And since I don’t think my husband is too much of a “breakfast for dinner” kind of guy, I made a little impromptu desert for him (he is getting other stuff, too). These sweet yeasted pastries are filled with my strawberry jam and ricotta cheese, then glazed with an icing made from confectioner’s sugar, water and homemade orange syrup. My son said after tasting one, “I can’t stand how good these are!”  
Both my kids are getting trained up well in regards to all things kitchen. Venumadhava has realized early on in his eating career that flattery will get him everywhere.


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Lula’s Sweet Apothecary

Now New York City truly does have it all!

G-lal, my man on the street, just reported this original and tasty East Village find: Lula’s Sweet Apothecary. An entire shop dedicated to vegan ice cream and frozen yums. Lula’s is located at 516 East 6th Street, between Avenues A & B.  Actually, it is not too far from The Doughnut Plant. Stopping at both would make for a very delicious afternoon (and they’re only 4 minutes apart).

Although not a vegan, I’m really not into freezing cold dairy. What to speak of the hassle of finding ice cream without eggs.  Believe me, it’s more difficult than it sounds. Lula’s would eliminate all uncertainty and in this way up the enjoyment factor of our next ice cream outing.
If only. 
If only Lula’s was a Florida thing. 
I’m sure G-lal, who is smart enough to have stayed in Jersey all these years, will soon send me some pics of his beautiful family at  Lula’s, devouring a few cones.  Okay Govardhana…we’re waiting!


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