There are certain dishes that I should not be able to make vegetarian versions of. In some cases, even I must admit that it just seems wrong. And yet, it is possible, and so I do it. And I am not ashamed of myself in the least. Regardless of how I have spit in the face of the lords of meat dishes, I cannot be anything other than fully satisfied with myself.
(Is the Jane Austen voiced narrator in my head showing?)
Anyway, all of this is brought on by the fact that as I am typing this, my room is being filled with the scent of vegetarian shepherd’s pie. Yeah . . .I know. A thousand Englishmen just screamed out in abject terror.
It’s a layer of vegan meatballs. (I know, right!) Peas, carrots, and green beans. Vegetarian brown gravy. (Eeeeh, gads) Topped with garlic, cheesy mashed potatoes.
And what’s worse, all those things either came frozen, powdered, or boxed in some manner.
Go ahead! Verbally flog me!
But I probably won’t be able to hear you over the sound of my own chewing.
When I was in England this last spring, visiting with family and spending a few days in London, the greatest thing I discovered was their jacket potatoes. This is popular pub faire. It’s a baked potato stuffed with something. The thing that makes it unusual, to American standards, is what they stuff it with. This isn’t your butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and chives potato that you would come across at a steakhouse. In the pubs we visited, they stuffed their spuds with things like beans, coleslaw, and tuna salad (which they just call tuna and mayonnaise and has sweetcorn). I just loved them.
So, I’ve made a few jacket potatoes since I’ve been back. The other night, I made one for dinner, and had enough left over to bring for lunch today. The thing is, I’m trying to take the pesco out of of my pesco-vegetarianism, so I wasn’t down for the tuna and the coleslaw isn’t quite the same here as it is in England. I decided to try to add something from the other side of my family to this Brit dish. The other side of my family are Okies from Bakersfield. There’s this salad that one of the aunties used to make that is essentially like potato salad, only substitute sweet peas for the potatoes. It’s scrumptious.
So, the Okie-fied Vegetarian Brit is having a Sweet Pea Salad Jacket Potato.
Today was one of the awesome, sunny, clear days in San Francisco. These are the kind of gorgeous days that make you forget when you were freezing your nose off in the middle of July in the fog. It was warm, brilliant, and comfortable out in The City today.
I went over to the farmers’ market at the Ferry Building on Embarcadero at lunch. I got a vegan tamale for lunch, and picked up persimmons.
I love the “fall” in the city. It’s funny, though, that in other parts of the country, it’s starting to turn cold, and people are unpacking their sweaters and coats. Here, we never pack up the sweaters or coats, because you’re just as likely to need them in June as you are in January. However, you also never know when you can wear skirts and sandals. I think tomorrow is going to be a skirt and sandal day for me personally. It’s nearly October.
I hope that this October does not disappoint me. It’s usually the warmest month of the year here, but this year has been very off. We didn’t get enough rain over the winter, and then it never got as hot inland as it normally does. It’s normal for it to be barely 60 in The City in August, but not in Concord. I guess only time will tell, but I’m hoping for many more brilliantly warm fall afternoons in San Francisco.