Tag Archives: star trek

Aren’t you that smurf that likes Star Trek?

star trek pumpkinsI had to stop veganmofo because of a recent tragedy  It’s been really tough, sad time, and I certainly haven’t been feeling like blogging. Everyone has different coping methods for the hard times in life and they will offer you up helpful suggestions like drinking or the bible. For me, when things are just too dark to deal with I always turn to Star Trek. If you’re not a trekkie it probably sounds totally ridiculous. But honestly it really helps to immerse myself in a world where there isn’t hunger or poverty and everyone works to better themselves and do the right thing. I have been a fan for a long time. In middle school I went to a couple of conventions, I even met Wil Wheaton and Majel Barrett Roddenberry. My bff Amanda and I both had a gigantic stack of Star Trek trading cards…. that we traded with each other. We also once recreated an episode in my Mom’s basement. I’ve gotta get that on youtube, I was Worf and she was Data. The rest of the cast was played by 11 year old girls too, except I made my Dad come to town to act as an admiral. Last year at Vida Vegan con someone came up to me and said “aren’t you that smurf that likes Star Trek?” and it was pretty much the best thing ever.

When I heard they were going to have a convention in Austin with the entire Next Generation cast a few months ago I was so stoked. And then after everything that’s happened the timing became fortuitus. Like the universe was looking out for us. On Thursday I really didn’t even know if I felt up to having fun but we already had our tickets and Amanda was driving into town from Houston so of course I was going to go. It ended up being the perfect thing.

So excuse me for a minute while I geek out.

The first night after looking for shit to buy we got to see the Women of Star Trek Panel with Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden. When we were kids these ladies were heroes to us. It was so amazing to hear them, and learn that they are hilarious, kind, liberal, artists and feminists. Just exactly what I would want my childhood heroes to be. They did tell some sad stories, like McFadden getting fired by the producers in the first season for wanting her character to have a deeper relationship with her son than just mothering him. Those producers eventually got fired themselves and she made it back in the third season. I also learned that Marina Sirtis, who at the time looked like this, was told she was getting fat by the producers and she had to spit out all that chocolate she eats. Sad sad sad.

The next day we got to see Patrick Stewart, talk about whatever he wanted and then answer some questions. He is so adorable and so funny. He talked about how he is really excited about comedy these days after doing extras and the daily show.

Then later, the highlight of the whole weekend’s programming, the entire cast came together to talk about their experience.  I knew Michael Dorn was vegan, my friend Daniel even asked him about it, but I learned during that panel he’s single because no lady can get through the Marina Sirtis’ screening process. There was also one part where a fan said that really the only reason she wanted to ask a question was so she could stare at Patrick Stewart, he got up and did a little model style posing and then Marina ran up to him and said he had amazing abs too and tried to lift up his shirt. She really reminds me of me and I think I would totally pass her screening process so now I want to marry Michael Dorn. I did shake his hand later and I don’t think that’s going anywhere. We told his assistant he should go to Counter Culture. It was so cool to see how much the cast loved each other. And singing Reading Rainbow with LeVar and the whole audience! And learning that 80,00 dollars worth of costumes were stolen from the set of their first movie by a guy that was trying to trade them for KITT, the car from nightrider. The police and the costume director busted them when they were making the trade in the desert! 

The last panel was the Men of Star Trek and it was here that I decided to ask a question. While I stood in line waiting for it to be my turn I got so nervous that I really thought I was going to puke. That has never happened to me before. I almost changed my question to “Has anyone ever vomited on you before” but I kept it together and I told them about the Kirk VS Riker: Ultimate Ladies Man in the Galaxy debate at the Alamo and then I asked them who was their most memorable love interest. Jonathan Frakes talked about his Imzadi (aw) and then Michael Dorn talked about Jadzia and it was so sweet I started to swoon. Poor LeVar only ever got with holograms and Data picked Ishara Yar, sister of Tasha. I thought he would say the Borg queen. There were a lot of jokes about him being fully functional.

Seeing everyone walking around the Comic Con in their costumes was a lot of fun. At one point I told Daniel to meet us by the escalator and as I approached I heard the Imperial Death March and looked up to see a bunch of stormtroopers descending down the escalator. Then when they got to the bottom they did a choreographed dance. Check out the little Boba Fett in the back row! And that R2 unit totally talked shit to me.

The other thing that happened is almost too exciting still to even talk about.  We stood in line for about an hour and then we turned a corner and suddenly there he was, Patrick Stewart standing just a couple of feet away from us. This was not like meeting any other celebrity for me.  We couldn’t even talk. He put his arms out and we got on either side of him. Then after the photo he started to say something, looked at my dumbstruck face, and just laughed. Then Amanda and I both cried. You will never see a picture where I look happier than this. I mean, I look high. It was amazing.

LLAP

And stay safe East Coasters!

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Camp Swisher and another trip to Portland OR

My multiple trips to Portland have gotten almost ridiculous. People say things to me like “Oh I forget that you don’t live here” and “Will you be back for…?” and “You missed Star Trek in the Park?”. I never get tired of the Northwest though, my friends, the trees, the rain and the sausage stuffed waffles, the chicken fried tempeh, and of course the donuts. Oh, I ate so many donuts. 

I tried some places I’ve never been to before. I absolutely loved the Kung Pao Tofu and the Braised Spicy Ginger Eggplant at Lucky Strike and will go back next time to try more. Their tofu custard had these lovely little roasted soy nuts but otherwise was a total bust. Down the street I also got to try the El Beardo Scramble at Jam on Hawthorne. I had never been there before and I loved it. God those hashbrowns, the red pepper sauce, and the homeade JAM! The best part was the service, I think I had the most vegan friendly server in my history of being vegan. She just asked every question you could ever fathom. It made me so happy. She even let me add olives. And gave me a vegan english muffin with earth balance. It was breakfast bliss. 

I tried a little cart called Sonny Bowl downtown and had such a Portland ibowl: rice, barbecued soy curls, yams, kale with tahini sauce, and chow mein noodles. I wish I could go back in time clean up the sauce on the side of that bowl though. It’s just not worth photoshopping. Then I’d get to eat it again too, blogging makes me so hungry you guys.

 

While downtown I got to see all kinds of different art and I finally got to go to Ground Kontrol. They had a Star Trek TNG pinball game!!! We were so excited to play but the game just wanted to steal our money. The guy came to fix it and then he got so sucked in we didn’t even get a chance to have at it. We just watched him for a while and then went to find another one! I felt like a little kid. 

Another place that I finally got to check out was the Sweet Hereafter, a super styley vegan bar is southeast. I loved my pretzels with noochy sauce. They made me want to try everything on the food side of the menu. On the other side, I was a not a fan of the gigantic cocktail which feels weird to even type! What the hell? It just wasn’t mixed right, maybe if I’d been drinking all day it would have been better but that’s not much of a recommendation, tasty cocktails if you are wasted!  I’m sure it was a fluke.

 

After spending the weekend freezing my Texas ass off on the coast all I wanted for my last day was to get back to town, soak in warm water at the Kennedy school and get some delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. This time I tried Got Pho on Sandy blvd and it was tasty enough to completely satisfy my craving. The broth wasn’t anything special but once I got all the toppings and condiments mixed in I was slurping like crazy. The best part was the fried garlic and roasted peanuts for a topping. And also the totally compostable coconut water. The perfect spot for the hungover. 

And why was I hungover you may ask? Well the truth is I didn’t just go to Portland to stuff myself silly but actually went to see two of my most favorite people in the universe tie the knot during a camping wedding on the coast. I’d never been to the Oregon coast before and it was stunning, it almost looked like Hawaii.

A much colder version of Hawaii. My friends spared no expense and paid such attention to detail that we were totally overwhelmed with love all weekend. After taking a boat to the island campsite we all got flashlights, and Camp Swisher T-Shirts and souvenir pint glasses and walked through the sand to get to our cabins before the first of many meals. 
It was summer camp to the point that Friday night we had a talent show so Dan & I worked on our Biz Markie megamix for the first part of the evening which ended up going over really well. There were toasts and songs and s’mores and they even had sweet and sara marshmallows which I’d never had before but now will get every time I go camping. The next day the ceremony was right on the beach and it was just perfect. Then we went for more drinking and toasting and of course it was super vegan friendly because even though I was the only vegan there my friends are the shit. Plus look at them!!! They are the cutest.

I might have over did it on the wine just a tad. I was not a late night super star this time but I just had the best time. I was all set to move back to the northwest and open a vegan breakfast taco stand. Then we landed in Austin and I felt that sultry September air embrace me and I knew I could never leave forever. But I’ll think about you Portland every day. I love you all and your doughnuts.

 

Star Trek Feast

I can’t find the picture that I have of the 7th grade version of me dressed in full Star Trek the Next Generation starfleet uniform. I really wanted to post it. I am surround by two Klingons that are dressed so well you would think they stepped out of the future. When I was in 6th grade my best friend, Amanda, and I even reenacted an episode, casting all of our (girl) friends as Picard and Riker etc. I was a very belieable Worf, well as believable as a 6th grade girl can be.

So yeah, I was am a nerd. I don’t go to Sci-fi conventions any more but I did live in my mom’s basement for a while. And you know what? Now I blog about food that I made. So if you see me walking down the street you can yell “NERD” all you want and I will take it as a compliment. There aren’t many people, I would wager, who simultaneously had a crush on Captain Picard AND Wesley Crusher. I can also identify the season of the next generation by the shape of Riker’s beard.

I have been recently revisiting my Star Trek roots in anticipation of the new movie, listening to podcasts, watching the original series on the Roku and Deep Space 9 on DVD from Netflix (why do they have to be so expensive?). I have also been thinking about all the food and how good it would be. I was lucky enough to see the new movie with a glass of Romulan Ale in my hand (thank you Alamo Drafthouse) following this feast.

I made Bajoran Hasperat. It is based on Lolo’s version at Vegan Yum Yum except with the addition of a large sausage shaped chikpea cutlet, some extra spices (sumac & smoked paprika) and golden beets instead of carrots. Everyone really liked them and the guys even had them for breakfast the next day.

I also had gaeta olives on the side that were supposed to be in the wrap. Mmm Gaeta.

I roasted Ferengi Tube Grubs (Fiddlehead Ferns) and Asparagus for the side dish that were made palatable by the addition of Cardassian Yamok Sauce

the sauce was basically white beans sauteed with garlic, onions, tarragon, and lemon and then blended with a few green olives.

We had it on potatoes too, I loved it and it inspired the next night’s meal. I will post the recipe if anyone is interested it was perfect for the season.

Here is Amanda and I forcing her boyfriend to give the Vulcan salute,  it is sad that neither of our boyfriends are Trekkies, they have thier own nerd activities though, I promise.

My favorite part of watching the new movie was that Amanda was sitting next to me and every time someone gave the customary hand greeting Amanda did it too. (NERD!!!!)

The best part of the whole meal, though, was the Earl Grey cupcakes, they are an alteration from the chai cupcakles in Vegan Cupcakes take over the World. I made the frosting from the book that uses Agave and coconut butter instead of sugar and margarine and it was divine. Mr. Smurf doesn’t even like frosting on cakes usually and he was eating the leftovers with a spoon.

It was a good meal.

What are you a nerd about?

PS- the cupcake background is from http://hubblesite.org/gallery/wallpaper/ they have lots of great images

Vegan Klingon Gagh

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip . ..

Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume

Does that mean that Beets are inherently Klingon? Especially when you consider that the Kingons were based on the USSR….

Obama doesn’t like beets but I think they are a perfect food, they are even the name of a fake pop band. Eastern European countries are especially known for their love of the beet, most notably used in Borscht. Most Westerners usually roast them in the oven or cut them up into salads or they roast them and then add them to salads.  Beets are also used to sweeten some dishes.

Healthy types enjoy beets not just because of their taste but also because they have many desirable nutritional qualities.

RawVeg.info says they are both detoxifying and full of antioxidants

Beets are another high-antoxidant veggie, with an ORAC score of 1840, and a total antioxidant concentration of 1.98. They contain many healthful substances: betaine (aka: trimethylglycine, TMG), betalains, betacyanin, betanin, folate, iron, and fiber. Betaine helps convert homocysteine into methionine, preventing heart disease.

Beet fiber seems to be particularly health-promoting. Pectin, a soluble fiber in beets, binds toxins, heavy metals, and excess hormones that have been dumped into the gut from the liver. The toxins are passed out instead of being reabsorbed.

Some people say that beets can even extend your life.

I like to buy them at the farmer’s market with the greens attached because then it is two meals for the price of one. The beet greens have a similar nutritional profile to Swiss chard and mixed with the beet root they are pretty much an unstoppable force of goodness.

Cruising the net the other day I came across a very strange recipe that utilized both the root and the leafy part in a pasta dish. Beets and Greens pasta moved to the top of my list of recipes to try since I just got some at the farmer’s market on Saturday. The meal was quick, easy, and fantastic. Mr. Smurf gobbled it down like he had been standing in a line all day waiting for beets.The noodles turned intensely fuchsia from the beet juice which might even make it kid friendly. Beets are very earthy tasting though so maybe not.

I changed the recipe just a little bit and later realized how much it resembled a certain Klingon dish so I give you:

Gagh

Ingredients

1 bunch beets, with greens, divided and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1  small onion, diced
.5 tsp dried red pepper flakes
5  garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1  cup vegetable broth
3  Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2  Tbsp. each of  basil and chives
Salt & pepper
½ lbs linguine

First, get a pot of water going for the pasta and then prep all the other ingredients. When the water is boiling add cook the pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and red pepper flakes until the onions are soft. Then add the garlic and the beet roots. After another minute or two when the beets are soft add the broth, the zest, and the beet greens. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted. Add the herbs, the lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for another minute before you toss with the pasta.

Enjoy with (vegan) Bloodwine!