Happy VeganMofo, awesome readers!
I hope you are enjoying the whole interwebs full of vegan glory and festivity!
This year, I am going to be (mostly) sticking to the theme of Noshtalgia: foods that remind me of people I love. If all goes as planned, it'll be everything from sourdough toast to green beans to a vegan bacon-taste off and even vegan sole almondine. So, we'll see if that all comes to pass!
For my inaugural Mofo2013 post: a sweet and simple food that is very sentimental for me: Raspberries. My mom's parents had a really awesome garden, and ever since I can remember, they had a huge long double row of raspberries. They lived quite nearby, and whenever I would visit - for a family gathering or just an unannounced drop-in... I would always make a pass by the raspberries for a nibble or two.
As long as raspberries were in season, no family gathering was ever held without a giant bowl of raspberries. We ate them by the handful in the garden, and by the spoonful at the table. We ate them on birthday cakes and with vanilla ice cream, and we ate them unadorned for a simple dessert. Any ol' way, we loved them so much.
My grandparents had their own little system for two-handed picking... They had a few old plastic tubs (usually either fat free yogurt or fat free sour cream - sorry, she wasn't a vegan! ha ha!). Then, they punched holes in them and tied some strings to them (see figure 1). Next, they taught me to tie the strings together behind my neck, so that the bucket could dangle freely like a necklace (see figure 2). Then, it was time to pick! At some point, my grandma figured out that she could get little baby me to do all the down-low picking, and she taught me how to carefully check for berries hidden under leaves or deep inside the bush. Meanwhile, she would be picking the obvious and easy-to-find berries up high (see figure 3).
These days, my beloved grandparents are no longer around, but - luckily! - my aunt now lives in their house, and tends the raspberries. Happily, bowls of raspberries still appear at birthday parties and family dinners... and recently I was over there and she and I ended up in the back yard picking berries together. In that moment, I felt so close to my grandparents, and so happy for the simple joys of fresh raspberries.