Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Speaking of sharing food with people one cares about, a few days after the aforementioned picnic, my little brother left to study abroad for a year. I offered to make him a farewell dinner of all his favorite things, which was easy for me, since despite eating everything, he absolutely loves vegan food.

He requested the Cesar Salad from Veganomicon, chili from Yellow Rose Recipes, grilled asparagus with lots of garlic and Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondies from Vegan With a Vengeance.

These are all dishes I (and probably most of you) have made numerous times, so I won't bore you with loads of details. I'll just point out the obvious: they NEVER get old. Ever.

I must admit it's an odd sort of meal when the salad is the most labor intensive part of the whole thing. You have to roast the garlic, make the croutons, make the dressing, wash your greens. It's all very strenuous! OK, maybe it's not. But most people I know don't make their own salad dressing or croutons, so when they find out I do, it's total shock and awe time. Even my family, who know just how much (or how little) time I spend on meals like this comment on all my "hard work". All I have to say to that if all the work I did had results as tasty as this, I'd show up on time at my office more often.

I know I've sung the praises of the raspberry chocolate chip blondies myriad times, so I won't do that again. I just want to clarify something: the blondies take less than an hour to make and are amazingly simple. Unless you look at the part of the directions where it says "Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches" and think it says "Drop your dry ingredients all over the damn place".

Yes, I even managed to get flour IN THE SALT.

However, I should point out that the recipe is SO fool proof that even after a fool like me used the flour as confetti, the blondies still came out totally perfect, just using whatever I'd managed to salvage. My brother was perfectly pleased with the whole meal and was none the wiser (unless he reads this now. Oops!). We all agreed it was a very nice send off.

PLEASE NOTE: If this had been meant for anyone other than my family, I would have scrapped it all and started over. I would not feed ingredients scraped off my kitchen table to anyone else!