If you're as old and jaded as I am, when someone sends you an email bearing the title "best new blog," you tend to just raise an eyebrow and say, "next..." You might as well send me a link to some "hilarious" YouTube clip. LOL! But not all tipsters are created equal. Some tipsters know what time it is. So I actually did click on that link. And when I did I found this:
fig. a: hippy birthday to you
The blog in question was Hippy Kitchens, and M. was right, it was the best blog I'd seen in a while.
The content may be old-school, but Hippy Kitchens is one of these new-school blogs we've been hearing so much about recently. It's virtually devoid of text and consists almost entirely of photographs, but, oh!, what photographs.
fig. b: mountain high
Of course, we, here at AEB, have a bit of a soft spot for hippy kitchens. In fact, when we moved in together, for a while there, our bookshelves held not one, but two copies of The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, a book that's gotta rank as the ne plus ultra of hippy kitchen lit. Michelle claims that she actually cooked her entire way through The New Farm, and I believe it. She was known to make her own soy milk back in the day. I was a little more judicious in my vegan cookery, but I definitely made more than my fair share of Melty Nutritional Yeast "Cheese."
Anyway, without any further ado, here are just a few of our favorite hippy kitchen pix:
fig. c: soul to soul 1: Mary!
fig. d: soul to soul 2: fried "chicken"!
fig. e: Mary & co.
fig. f: cactus!*
fig. g: new farm 1
fig. h: new farm 2
fig. i: soybeans!
fig. j: soymilk!
fig. k: Janet's cabbage
And last, but not least:
fig. l: Uncle Bill!
And, while we're at it, one for the road...
I asked Michelle to pick a well-traveled recipe from her glory days, and this is what she came up with.
Have 4 cups raw gluten ready. [recipe follows]
Combine in a bowl:
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup warm water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
Work the seasonings into the raw gluten, some sauce will remain. Shape gluten into an oiled loaf pan. Add 2 cups of water to remaining sauce. If no sauce is left, add 2 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp oil to water. Pour over loaf. Place 2 onions in thick slices on top. Sauce should come almost to top of loaf; if not add a little more water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350º for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Uncover for last 15 minutes of baking, baste. Liquid left in pan can be thickened for gravy.
Basic Raw Gluten
8 cups wheat flour (half unbleached white or whole wheat and half gluten flour)
2-3 cups water (or enough for a stiff dough)
Knead 10 to 15 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. It should spring back when poked. Put in a large bowl, cover with water. Let soak an hour. Knead it under water, kneading out the starch and holding the gluten together. Change water when it gets milky. Let it rest. Repeat the process of kneading, changing the water and letting it rest several times. When the water stays almost clear, you will have 4 to 5 cups of raw gluten ready to be spiced, oiled and cooked.
Chunks can be simmered in a savory broth (add soy sauce, onion, oil to vegetable stock, simmer about an hour and thicken liquid for gravy). It can be baked for a roast or pot roast, oven-fried or cooked in barbecue sauce.
Leftover cooked gluten is good sliced for sandwiches, chopped bite-size and added to chili or used on pizza.
[Louise Hagler and Dorothy R. Bates, The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, fifth edition, 1992 (1975)]
Michelle says she made this roast "countless" times. She also says that it was only last year, when she was making a traditional pot roast recipe that she got from an Edna Lewis cookbook--a stovetop boneless pork roast with a peanut sauce--that she realized what this gluten roast was attempting to simulate.**
In any case, Michelle has been so inspired by this post that she thinks we should do an entire hippy kitchen menu sometime soon. What's it going to be? Sloppy Joes? Soysage? Tempuna Salad? Who will be our lucky guests? Maybe it should be a potluck!
The soundtrack? Melanie! Definitely lots of Melanie.
fig. m: ...is for Melanie
Have your own hippy kitchen lit classics? Tell us about 'em!
* "Even cactus can be a delicious, nourishing food!"
** Indeed, in the index at the back of the book, the recipe is listed as "Gluten Pot Roast."