Friday, October 7, 2011

They Certainly Can't Say It's Sour Cream

I should title this post "Why we haven't moved to some great veg-friendly city yet." I've mentioned this before, but for you newbies...we live in a smallish college town in the Midwest. Not the most veg-friendly college town, that is certain, and there are plenty of things to complain about (the the least, lack of mountains and/or ocean), but it is easy-ish to live here car-free and most important, we have some of the most awesome neighbors on the planet. Even when people come and go, as they are wont to do in a college town, we end up surrounded by really great people. Most of them are not even close to veg which makes the fact that we've had impromptu dinners with three different sets of lovely neighbors three nights this week even more special to me. The conversations at the park, the beers shared on the porch, the help with house projects, and the casual meals are all priceless. It makes living here so much greater than the sum of all its parts. Unfortunately for the blog, I didn't take any pictures. One evening was spent eating gloriously green veggie soup at Anthony and Jean's house and I had to hold myself back from getting out my iphone for a photo.
Another evening was spent with Scott and Deborah (and their adorable boys) at local Mexican place, Fiesta Cafe. They mention vegans on their website so over the many years we've sort of blown off the place, it has now grown on us. One can't say "no" to margaritas outside where the kids can be kids. We had a leftover black bean burrito from the Fiesta Cafe evening which ultimately resulted in the title of this post. I bought We Can't Say It's Sour Cream, from Strawberry Fields on a whim, to go with the burrito. Usually I don't review a product unless I like it. If you can't say something nice...yadda, yadda, yadda. However, I have tried some other Wayfare products with good results. I feel like it is my duty to give some feedback to a company when they can make quality vegan items to let them know when they miss the mark. The We Can't Say It's Sour Cream is off the mark....way off. I would say it tasted and had the consistency closer to plain unsweetened soy yogurt than sour cream. In fact, I checked the label three times to make sure they really were not saying it was sour cream. Ugh! Now I have a 16oz. container of the stuff. I'll stick with Tofutti or make my own.
The third dinner this week was with Vicky and Greg for her dad's birthday. We were honored to be included. The kids adore Vicky's dad and call him grandpa. In fact, they see him much more than they see their own grandfathers (my dad lives only a couple miles from us, sigh). I can not express how much Vicky and Greg's friendship has meant to the kids. Lacking any grandmothers (both of them died of cancer tragically early) and with grandfathers who are at best pretty clueless, our neighbors have really filled the void for extended family and I could just hug them daily. We went to one of our favorite Thai restaurants in the country, Thara Thai and actually looked at the menu. Do you ever get so comfortable with a place that you can order half a dozen dishes and never look them up? We know the owner and her family and our kids have grown up eating her food. Yet, I had no idea they served vegan pho. I mean, really! Why have we been waiting for the once a month pho chay in Urbana when we could have been eating pho all the time at Thara Thai? What a fool I have been! Always peruse the menu, even at a place you know intimately. I was the only one who ordered the pho and it came later than the rest of the food so they gave us an extra vegan pad thai with veggies which you see Dema (above) eating the next day. I like the flavor of Thara Thai's pho better and it had just the right kick with "medium" spice ordered.
The owner also just returned back to the states from Thailand and brought back one of our favorite treats. This shaved coconut stuff. It seems to be dehydrated or toasted or something with maybe sugar on top. Think a chewy coconut candy. They give us some after most of their visits because they say they can't find it in the states. We love it, even if we don't really know what to call it. Believe me, it is yum! If anyone knows what this is and where to find it (we'll be in Chicago soon and I'll look around there), please leave a comment!
This isn't food, but I can't leave our neighbors Margie and Rick out and this is another reason my participation in this year's mofo is a tad on the lame side. Our 100+ year old limestone steps caved in completely out of the blue (luckily no one was hurt).
Last Sunday, Rick spent the better part of the day working with Rob to move these approximately 600 lbs. of limestone (each piece) out of the way so a proper foundation/support can be made hopefully the steps fixed.
Luckily, Rick is amazingly good at figuring out problems and the guys were able to more the steps with their backs still in working order the next day. We didn't ask for his help, he just came over and offered it, brought materials and a plan. We think about Portland and then I remember how much we have here and vegan food carts, vegan bike shops, and vegan donuts don't seem quite so important.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

If you added curry powder to whatever it is that was supposed to be sour cream, would it make a good salad dressing? Curry fixes everything, right? ;-)