Camping and Stuff, Summer 2010

Here’s a photo dump from last summer. A friend and I went up to North Adams, Massachusetts in the Berkshires for Bang on a Can’s Mass MOCA festival. Unfortunately, none of the performance shots came out and I didn’t take many other pictures while up there.

For Labor Day, we decided to go camping again last minute and Bear Spring Mountain (not to be confused with Bear Mountain) was the only campground in the area that had open spots. We found tons of yummy wild mushrooms in the area mostly growing around the spruces and we cooked up many a mushroom feast while we were there and even pickled a big jar of them!

One night, we went to Upright Citizen’s Brigade and I left my camera behind. The staffers took one of the shots below…

Easy Curry

A friend who knows I love Indian food gave me a packet of Rasoi Magic Veg Kolhapuri Mix. If you’re looking for an easy way to get into cooking your own Indian food, this is it. For this one, you literally just add vegetables and tomatoes (and some oil). The salt is included. No MSG or other funky chemicals. A local produce stand sold me a two-lb bag of bruised zucchinis and and a two-lb bag of bruised tomatoes for $1 each and half of each went into this. (The other halves went into a pasta sauce I made the other day.) Along with a third of a bag of cooked chick peas, a couple of carrots and an onion, this pan of food cost me about $3. So delicious! The spice packs are available at any Indian store and at finer gourmet stores. Study the ingredients and you’re on your way to learning about Indian spices.

It might be unsettling to realize you really are eating a couple teaspoons of spices when you eat Indian food. It’s good for you! Another site I find endlessly fascinating is where I first looked up zucchini. You can find nutrition tables and more on all the unlabeled loose food you buy.

16 Bean Soup

16 beans after soaking

I’ve become a big fan of 16 Bean Soup. This shows the beans after soaking. It looks less appealing after it’s cooked because the small legumes mostly dissolve and make a baby food colored broth but this illustrates what drew me to pick up the ready-mixed bean bag at the grocery store. Technically, there are fewer varieties of beans in the mix because there are different sizes of common beans and barley is included which is a grain. My recipe uses the common soup support ingredients: garlic, onion, celery, carrots, salt, chilis, and pepper; but I also add a melange of Indian spices: cardamom, clove, cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, mustard — and you can add turmeric if you want to yellow-fy the color. The turmeric taste got lost the one time I used it with all the other stuff I added. I hardly ever measure anything anymore so I can’t really give you my exact recipe. (There’s a decent recipe on the bag.) Anyway, you can still taste the beans and this soup gave me a newfound appreciation for large lima beans. I made lima bean hummus from scratch after making this.

Sidebar: One of my sidebar links and internet acquaintances made the front page of the New York Times Fashion & Stlye section today! As you probably know, I’m mostly vegan but the meat use by Georgia and Alie here makes it all the more hilarious.

Thanksgiving Jozz

my bike and jozz at Columbus Circle

I am thankful for a year of mostly no work and having a lot of time to think and read and watch movies, but now I really need some work. My health is great thanks to a mostly vegan diet. I very much enjoyed the PeTA ad that got rejected by NBC. The heavy-handedness is getting a lighter touch. I don’t believe humans will ever be all vegetarians but I think we can maybe go for a more humane and healthy approach to food.

I added a couple more hundred CDs to the pile at Amazon.

Everyone knows how to win the mid-term elections except for Democrats.

Chicken Dudes of Rockefeller Center

chicken cart 51st and sixth avenue

On weekend nights the guys at 53rd and Sixth have a line stretching down the block while the chicken dudes a block or two away have nobody. You can pretty much make your own dish yourself. I’m usually vegetarian and don’t eat this crap but I tell you from days when I sampled the street chicken, there is little difference between any of them. (Several also serve falafel.) If you’re standing in line for chicken at 4 am, you’re more of an idiot than I thought.

Ghost Town movie, opening shot, Sixth Avenue

Opening shot of Ghost Town, looking down Sixth Avenue, included here mostly as sauce.