Day 193- July 12

Pecans may just be the most glamorous nut.

I mean, hazelnuts may sound a lot more ritzy, but those portly little guys are as ugly as peanuts (and those guys are actually beans – ew)

Pecans are beautiful – their sleek wood like shell is gorgeous and the inner nut meat couldn’t be more chic if it was designed by Frank Gehry

If pecans were a person they would be Lisa Bonet

I had a  little mini pecan pie on this National Pecan Pie Day 

It was store bought and not vegan and not fresh and not good

But that seems to be the thing about this celebrating project – a lot of things are just awful. Just trying to dance in the rain over here

Day 192- July 11

Fast and dirty National Blueberry Muffin Day !

I took this holiday as an opportunity to celebrate one of the little everyday things. Blueberry muffins are pretty much in any cafe or bakery you pass.
I rarely pick them up but I like them. Being able to grab a muffin quickly has saved me from many hanger attacks in the past

I picked up a mixed berry kamut vegan muffin and brought it home. My friends had dropped off some fresh blueberries earlier this week and they really enhanced the photo shoot

I thought the muffin photographed beautifully but Kamut is a hard grain to get behind when you’re trying to muffin- it was pretty dry and cough-inciting, not gonna lie.

 

Day 190 – July 9

I spent some time meditating on what I could say about sugar cookies, for National Sugar Cookie Day.
I pondered my complete and absolute indifference to them
I don’t care if I never see one again for the rest of my life, but I have definitely eaten these fuckers a hundred times,  just because “they’re there”.
So desperate was I to have something to say about them for this post, that I decided to Wikipedia it’s origins and see if I could find anything of interest.

This is what comes up.
That’s it.
A testament to how dull these cookies truly are.
Wikipedia aint got nothing to say about them.

I picked one up at the grocery store (as I have so little interest in them that to put forth the effort to vegan-ify them would strain me so)

Eating this cookie, I found myself as bored as Karl Marx on Wall Street…

but I do think I managed to capture it’s essence through this photo series, no?

 

Day 176 – June 25

So I have to admit – whenever I think of ‘strawberry parfait‘ I actually picture Prince singing it to the tune of ‘Raspberry Beret’

As National Strawberry Parfait was lurking around the corner on my calendar, this song was in my head more oft than not the past few days

I ‘whipped’ one up, quite easily with stuff I had on hand!
Thank heavens I didn’t have to make a grocery store trip, money’s tight and the guy that works at Safeway drives me crazy – my Kitsilano readership knows who I’m talking about 😉

Anyway- I grabbed a mason jar and layered the following:

  • graham crumbs
  • strawberries, not Driscoll brand, boycott those, diced
  • Cool-Whip

That was it.

I’ll, again, admit my surprise that Cool- Whip isn’t the grossest thing ever. I really always thought it was so incredibly gross, but it really isn’t so bad. Must be getting old and ‘settling’.

Day 163 – June 12

National (vegan) Peanut Butter Cookie Day

Whipped these suckers up pretty good
I always have tubs upon tubs of peanut butter around because I live off the stuff and stock up at Costco every chance I get
I looked around online and scouted what generally goes in them then decided to wing a PB cookie recipe… you ready?

  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed + 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 cups raw natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of flour ( I was out so just ground up some instant oats in the blender)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the flax seed and water. Let sit  for a few minutes, till gooey/gelly consistency. This is what we call in the business a “flax egg”. It acts as binding agent, the way eggs usually do.

Then throw the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and mix well!
I even threw in some chocolate chips on my second batch.

Scoop onto baking sheet and press with a fork for the signature peanut butter cookie look. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350.

I can never wait for shit to cool down because I’m a real go getter, so I ate these fresh out of the oven and burnt the fuck out of my mouth.
(Ir)regardless, they were delicious, especially with my home made cashew milk 

Day 162 – June 11

NATIONAL GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY

My new friend Steph’s birthday is National German Cake Day
She threw a birthday party, so naturally I had to bust out my cake making skills on this one.

It should be known that it’s not actually a German invention. It’s American. The guy that invented it had the last name ‘German’.
How very misleading.

I’ve never made a German Chocolate Cake before and, quite frankly, don’t know if I’ve ever had a really good German chocolate cake before.
The idea is rich chocolate cake and coconut & pecan frosting more or less.

I deliberated on making a regular one, as I was bringing it to a party full of people who don’t give an f if there is chicken embryo or cow puss in it, but as I went through recipes, I realized I had more of the vegan necessities to make it so decided to stay true to moi and went vegan

I followed this recipe from Whisk & Shout more or less to a T (very rare for me, as we all know).
I used my own DIY Cashew Mylk instead of the almond milk called for. Probably why it was extra delicious

I walked the 25 minute walk to her house in the scorching sun with this fucker.
But it was totally worth it. Home made shit is just so damn touching.

I ended up having to leave before the ceremonial singing and serving, which was fine by me, that stuff half makes me cray, so I didn’t an official slice. However I did sample some of the crumbling ( it was a hard walk on the cake in the sun ) and icing and was  pretty pleased with myself.

 

 

Day 154 – June 3rd

National CHOCOLATE Macaron Day

Not to be confused with National (regular) Macaroon Day that was literally three days ago.

Here’s a helpful diagram

So as you can see, to partake in this holiday, veganism had to be tossed aside, which I’m not ashamed to do from time to time

Got me some real nice macarons at the Whole Foods.

I think $2.65 is a little steep for a treat that’s barely bigger than a townie, but apparently they are tremendously labour intensive, so I let it slide

Way way waaaay better than the ones at the fancy macaron kiosk at the Granville Island Market that a classmate brought in one time.  I actually enjoyed eating them! They actually tasted chocolatey and I couldn’t feel the sugar granules in my teeth so two thumbs up from me !

Day 153 – June 2

N A T I O N A L  D O N U T  D A Y ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

This was the day that started it all… sort of
Last year, on National Donut Day, James and I went out for a nice dinner at a nice place and had a nice time. But, when we left, $180 poorer, we were still hungry
Bullocks
We were driving home, disappointed, and I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a few #nationaldonutday celebrations going down
I suggested to James, who was driving, going to the Tim Horton’s drive thru to get a few donuts, seeing how it was apparently National Donut Day
And so we did.
I took a picture of Herman indulging (Figure 1A), and then got to thinking about how many god damn national holidays seemed to be.

Figure 1 A – ‘Herman with Vanilla Dip’.  iPhone 5s. June 2, 2016.

I looked up ” national day calendar” and found several websites listing these random, nutty holidays.
I mentioned, aloud, how whack it would be to try and keep up with them all

Flash forward to now, my second time celebrating National Donut Day, 153 days deep into doing just that; celebrating everyday, literally.
None the richer or famouser, mind you.

As I was teeming with excitement about this one, because I fucking love donuts (Figure 1 B), I had made plans, well in advance, to go for donuts with Kathleen at Cartems, my favourite doughnuterie here in Vancouver

Figure 1 b Self Portrait professing donut love. Film. May 23, 2005

The old lady ahead of me poached the last “Strawberry Love” donut (yeast donut with strawberry glaze, balsamic drizzle and a strawberry chip on top) 🙄, so I opted for their regular chocolate dip vegan donut (featured centre Figure 2A) as well as their other seasonal vegan offering “Sweet Berry Wine Stuffie” (yeast donut stuffed with berry compote stewed lightly in wine with a meringue topping, forefront). Kathleen got their salted caramel (back)

Figure 2A. Donuts. Digital Photograph. June 3, 2017

Cartem’s is great because Duncan is allowed in there. We had a few coffees too and sat outside (Figure 2 B).

Figure 2 B. Donuts & Coffee. Digital Photograph. June 3, 2017

Duncan, as always, wanted in on the action

This stuffie was great, but nothing beats their London Fog stuffie, it must be said. 

Then celebrating donuts time drew to a close, so we packed up and headed off to work.
Bummer

 

Day 151 – May 31st

National Macaroon Day

Feels like I haven’t baked or cooked anything in a while for this project so although Whole Foods is not even a block away and you can get a pack of vegan, gluten free macaroons there for like $6, I went the old fashioned route and decided to make them myself, as I have never made them before.

I looked up recipes and came across this one by The Minimalist Baker and liked the sound of it:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate

Basically combine all the ingredients save the chocolate in a food processor. Scoop into macaroon like shapes and place on baking sheet. Bake briefly (they said 8-10 minutes, mine burnt in 5 so keep an eye… )

Allow to cool and then dip in melted chocolate

Expectation:

Reality: 

Yeah so total disaster all in all but sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you, amiright?

May 31st is also my big cousin Kory’s birthday 

He should have been turning 39 today
He died the year before Sarah
Testicular cancer.
I was aware he had been diagnosed and was undergoing treatment, but I was completely naive and thought he would be fine and just come out the other side- it was really shocking when I got the news it didn’t go down like that.

At this point in my life, what is more shocking is that I had been lucky to have never experienced losing a family member until then.
He, like Sarah, left three children behind.
Quite frankly, I usually push away thoughts about it as it’s just straight up eery

So I just wanted to take a moment to not just celebrate National Macaroon Day, but also to remember my cousin. Kory was a really happy person and just pursued ‘joy’ unlike anyone else I knew.
Gone but not forgotten. Hope he is at peace. Xo cuz.

Day 146 – May 26th

It was National Blueberry Cheesecake Day according to my calendar, but then I saw a bunch of people on Instagram celebration National Blueberry Pie Day instead,  so I decided to follow their lead.
I knew exactly where to get some vegan Blueberry Pie, but vegan Blueberry Cheesecake ? Good luck.

Kathleen, Duncan and I headed to our nearest and dearest pie monger, Aphrodite’s, for a slice.

It was ok.

There we saw truck driver donning (still) a “Hilary for Prison 2016” shirt.
Totes adorbs.

I posted a Boomerang on Instagram of the pie eating and, as you’ll note in the comments, got called out for celebrating the ‘wrong’ day.

Would you believe this isn’t the first time this has happened?
By people who haven’t commented before, first nor last?
Reaching out only to criticize and point out flaws?
I suppose you would believe it, if you’re remotely familiar with the internet.

I would like to say I take it with a grain of salt but can’t help but think about how damaged an ego one must have to feel compelled to comment on someone’s celebration, in honour of their deceased sister, to tell them they are doing it wrong.

I’ll just leave that there.

Then Kathleen kindly escorted me to NAPA autoparts in North Van to return a deep cell car battery that we use in The Pickle because it was dead but still under warranty. This gave me extreme anxiety because I hate returning things and know nothing about the battery.

Turned out all my worry and stress was for naught. It was a great experience with no questions asked and lots of hooting and hollering and swearing. I almost can’t wait for the next one to die so I can go back. Thanks NAPA for making National Blueberry Pie Day special and being easier to get along with than my Insta followers!