Friday, July 11, 2008

Kicky pesto; sunny picnic

Have you been seeing these bunches of green shoelacey-looking things the past few weeks at your farmers' market? They're called garlic scapes, and while you can chop 'em up and throw them in salads, soups and stir-fries, they also make a mean pesto.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Liz and Michael (pictured below) passed an unvegan version of this recipe on to me, which I quickly converted. The scapes replace both the basil and the garlic from a traditional pesto recipe. (For the record, I didn't take the pic above - the sun was down when I was preparing this post and you know I'm not one for flash photography!)

1 cup chopped garlic scapes (about 10 scapes)
2/3-3/4 cup raw nuts or seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds - or a combination of a few!)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
a good few twists freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive, flax or walnut oil
1/4-1/2 cup filtered water

Throw the scapes, nuts (or seeds), salt and pepper into a blender or food processor and give it a good whirl. Stop the machine, scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula, and whirl again until a pretty uniform paste is achieved (you may need to stop and scrape again). While the blades are still whirling, pour in the amount of water needed to get the desired pesto consistency (it's up to you, but I go with the larger amount of water - and pouring the water in like this makes the pesto creemy, which is nice).
Serve over pasta, on pizza, in salads, as a dip... whatevah!

Now, if you're on the Get It Ripe facebook group or have checked the events page on the Get It Ripe website, you know that we had a potluck picnic on the Toronto Islands last week. It was great! Good food, gorgeous weather (though I forgot to sunscreen my back and got a wicked burn which still smarts), and even bubble wands that make 2-foot bubbles!
And with our celebratory Indonesian umbreallas (which typically live in my parents' living room), passersby kept stopping to check us out.

Here's a quick look:
David, of Get It Ripe illustration fame, setting up the umbrellas and little stove.

He and my mum brought Pinto's Refried Bean Burritos with all the fixin's, including Fresh Salsa (set out on banana leaves - yup they're real... you get 'em in China Town in the grocer's freezer). You also see Cilantro Black Bean Dip in the less attractive container there, and the bag of corn chips in the foreground.

My mum's good friend Lynn, who lives on the Island, stopped by. She used to attend summer picnics with my family in the exact same spot over 20 years ago (and brought pictures to prove it).

David and Ryan kicked back in the sun...

... and before long, more friends arrived.

Neil and Sara...

Michael, Liz, and their wee ones.

Kids really make a picnic.

Fun with bubble wands followed (Neil has those pics, maybe I'll insert them if he sends them to me)...
... till we were tuckered out.

Some of us couldn't make it to the end without a nap in the shade...

If you're in the GTA, you simply must join us for our next picnic. (Details in the sidebar!)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Calling all Guerrilla Marketeers!

"Guerrilla Marketeers" is a title that I first heard used by hip mama and author Ayun Halliday a few years ago, but it turns out it dates all the way back to 1984. Encouraging common-yet-creative folks like you to spread the word about the work of common-yet-creative folks like me is the way to help us get off or stay off welfare. I mean it! You think I have the backing of some sugah daddy, an arts grant (turns out cookbook-writing doesn’t count as an art by the beloved Canada Council), or even a big rich publisher that can afford to advertise my work all over the place? Nuh-uh. I am gratefully counting every copy of this book that sells – and the good feeling that that gives me accounts for a decent amount of the fuel that'll get my next book into high gear. If you hate shmarmy/glossy/insincere advertising, work against it and lend your efforts projects like this that you believe in and could use the grassroots support!

1. Talk about Get It Ripe on your blog and chat about it on foodie internet forums. Give a link to the website (getitripeDOTcom).

2. Review Get It Ripe on chaptersDOTindigoDOTca and amazonDOTcom and amazonDOTca (I've given you the direct links here). I think the section for that is called "reviews from the community". Of course, five-star rave reviews are most appreciated, but I'll take whatever I can get (I wouldn't ask you to be insincere).

3. Next time you visit your local indie bookstore, make sure they carry Get It Ripe. If they have it, chat the staff up about all its virtues (they can't be expected to personally know about every book, but you can make sure they know enough about this one to recommend it to any customer looking for anything even remotely like it), and ask if they can display it in a prominent place (because it's a women’s bookstore and I'm a feminist writer, because it's a Toronto or Montreal bookstore and I’m a local author, because it's a queer bookstore and I'm queer, etc, etc). If they don't have the book, ask them to get it in (tell 'em the folks to get in touch with are Arsenal Pulp Press).

4. Stock up on copies of Get It Ripe for all your family and friends – even if they're not vegan – we should all be eating more whole foods! (If you're in Toronto and want to buy more than 4 copies, contact me and I may be able to cut you a deal.)

5. Host a Get It Ripe potluck – everyone brings recipes from the book!

6. If you have a connection to a magazine or newspaper or community newsletter, write a review of Get It Ripe if you can, or highly encourage the person who does that kind of thing to do so. Ditto goes for a radio or teevee show connection. Heck, get in touch with me personally and we’ll do an interview!

7. If you have an affiliation with a nutrition school or another relevant educational institute, suggest to the appropriate prof that Get It Ripe be considered as a coursebook or at least be put on some recommended reading list.

8. Tell your naturopathic doctor (or other holistic practitioner) about what a great health and nutrition resource this book is and suggest they carry it in their office for patients (or clients) to purchase. (If they're in Toronto, they can get a discount though me - they just gotta ask: getitripeATgmailDOTcom.)

9. Ask for Get It Ripe at your local library (or heck, any library – they don’t have to know you’re not from the neighbourhood). If they don’t have at least one copy of it in stock at that location, ask them if they can get one.

10. When you see someone at the grocery store who's about to buy some pre-made packaged food, tell them "There's a delicious and simple recipe for that on domesticaffairDOTca". (Okay, I'm kidding about this one. I don't want to be directing you to get all up in other people's bizness while they're trying to shop.)

And do let me know when you do some of these things – I'd be thrilled to hear about it! Every effort counts!



"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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