Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

This year, for Thanksgiving, I decided to cook things well in advance. I'm heading to two gatherings, the first at Jefferson's and the second at BBJ House. My initial plan was to just cook roasted root veggies flavored with rosemary and thyme. I swung by my favorite little organic grocery, Buffalo, and picked up a golden beet, red beets, a turnip, purple potatoes, a sweet potato, a yukon gold potato, and carrots.

The recipe is simple. Chop the veggies into bite-size chunks, toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp of dried rosemary, 1 Tbsp of thyme, 1 tsp of pepper, 2 pinches of salt, and bake in a single layer in a preheated oven at 375 F for 40 minutes, tossing once in the middle (pot in image was not used for the actual cooking).

While making the potatoes, I was sufficiently motivated to try my hand at a vegan seitan "turkey." I'm pretty proficient with homemade seitan, but the recipe I wanted to try was very different. Back when I was vegan, I often heard of seitan roasts by Bryanna Clark Grogan, a popular vegan chef. Unlike the quick seitan recipes I was used to (30-45 minutes of boiling wheat gluten), Bryanna's most celebrated recipes required upwards of 3 hours in the oven. I was curious, but I just never got around to trying any of them.

I generally mess around with recipe instructions, but this time around, I followed Bryanna's instructions to the letter, including the use of a soaked clay pot.

The addition of nutritional yeast flakes to the mix was no surprise, as it gives a poultry-like flavor to seitan. I first learned of that from Jo Stepaniak back in my vegan days. The surprise ingredient for me was the full-fat soy flour in the dry mix and the block of tofu added to the wet.

Unlike other seitan recipes, this one required two kneadings broken by an hour rest for the dough.

Bryanna's parchment paper tip worked wonders.

It's very easy for seitan to stick to the bottom of pan, but with the parchment paper, turning the dough was a breeze.

Three and a half hours later, I was left with one of the best tasting meat analogues I've ever cooked!

The first stop was at Jefferson's, where we had an early dinner with his roommate, Britney, and his good friend, Nikki. Jefferson cooked the turkey and sweet potato biscuits, while Britney served pan-fried & roasted brussels sprouts and green beans with parmesan.

Nikki prepared cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, my favorite dish of the meal. I was so busy munching down on all the great food, that I forgot to take a picture of the table! Jefferson and I planned to pace ourselves, but... well, that didn't happen.

When we arrived at BBJ House, we were greeted with this snazzy display.

Baker, Ben, Justin, and their LA friends Ben and Scott cooked so much food:

Turkey - Baker
Mapo Tofu - Baker (a BBJ House Thanksgiving tradition)
Fresh baked bread - Ben
Stuffing - Justin
Mashed Potatoes - Baker
Asparagus & Pearl Onions - Baker
Date Nut Torte - Justin
Ricotta Pie w/berry - Justin
Ricotta Pie w/chocolate chips - Justin
Shrimp stuff - Baker
Cranberry Sauce - Baker
More desserts 'n Wine - Scott 'n Ben

After the meal, we all settled down to watch The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Food, friends, and a great film, all added up to the best Thanksgiving I've had in recent memory.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whistles and Ties

For the first time in ages, I decided to wear a tie to work. While waiting at the train stop, a guy on a motorcycle drove past and whistled loudly at me. I really should wear ties more often. Oh, and I love San Francisco.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Claymore Tribute

I can't believe it's been over a year since I first saw Claymore. It's the only work out there that rivals Bubble Gum Crisis for my fave anime of all time. Here's a fanvid with some of the most riveting moments of the series. I miss this show.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, the singer and anti-apartheid activist died on November 9, in Castel Volturno, Italy.

I remember hearing Miriam's "Welela" album back in middle school. It was right around the time I really started to think about Apartheid in South Africa. It's so random, but I was thinking about her this past Saturday during a discussion of activism vs just keeping your life afloat.

Miriam played the role of the mother, Angelina, in the movie "Sarafina." There's a great scene where Sarafina, after looking down at her mother's lack of revolutionary fervor, suddenly realizes all the hard work that Angelina has put in, all the indignities she's suffered, just to keep her family together and fed. Sarafina finally realizes that she and her mother are both part of the struggle and she owes so much to her mother's strength. Miriam was amazing in the role, and I'm happy she lived long enough to see the fall of apartheid.

Here she is singing one of her signature songs, Pata Pata.

Nationwide Marriage Equality Protest!

On Saturday, November 15th, there will be a nationwide protest for Marriage Equality at 10:30am PST / 1:30pm EST!

Black & LGBT

I'm working on a short video project as a black LGBT response to Proposition 8. I'm seeking 12 SF Bay Area black, openly LGBT volunteers (6 women, 6 men), as well as any LGBT families with black children willing to appear on video. The clip will be uploaded to Youtube, Myspace Video, etc. If interested, please drop me a line.

Veteran's Day

If you have a veteran in your life, make sure to thank him or her today. Regardless of our personal beliefs on war, veterans deserve our respect for their sacrifices. Speaking of which, for the Pride High fan currently serving in silence, I hope you're doing okay out there and I wish you a safe return home!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election '08

I'm thrilled that the campaign of fear and hate against Obama didn't work. I'm upset that the campaign of fear and hate worked for Prop. 8 in California. We've got a long way to go. However, a great sign of progress is that Obama mentioned the gay community in his acceptance speech, something no other president-elect has done at the close of Election Night.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Slash Weekend

If you're a fan of Slash fiction and live in the Bay Area, come on down to the Bay Area Slash Convention at the Embassy Suites of San Francisco Airport. I've been invited as a speaker and will be in the Presidio Room at 2pm on Saturday, November 8.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

APE 2008

It was great to catch up with friends like Robert Kirby and make some new ones like Joey Sayers. Joey's work was my favorite find at APE hands down! Her various collection of strips have a really random, out there sense of humor that I love. I bought one mini of hers, read it, ran back nearly in tears from laughing, bought two more, and then came back again for yet another.

Mark Padilla (artist for Pride High #10's cover along with Johnny Nolan)

Rich Boutell of Whatever... along with table partner Desmond Miller, who did all the legwork for our application. Thank you Desmond!

A more cheerful Desmond

Justin Hall and Robert Kirby joking about something, though my camera managed to catch a moment that totally looks like a fight is about to break out ;)!

Steve MacIsaac

Rick Worley, Brian Andersen, and Joan Hilty

Jennifer Camper and her partner Emily

Brent, Robert Triptow, Prism Event Coordinator Ted Abenheim, with a Prism fan

Sina Grace

Other highlights:

A Comic Con/APE organizer, Ned, came up and praised Pride High and looked forward to seeing more of it at Comic Con 2009.

Robert Randle, purchasing assistant manager of (!)Diamond(!), urged me to send the Pride High trade paperback his way once it was completed!

I got to see Pele's hairstyle in real life! Sadly I didn't get her name :(.