Saturday, May 16, 2009

A shocking lack of tomatoes

This week Jim went to the grocery store and didn't get a single tomato. We were all completely shocked. What we did get were some gross cauliflowers, three boxes of broccoli, a box of bok choi, several bags of pears, a papaya, a melon, and a solitary banana.

Plus all that bread that magically appears every week. And caused a conflict when I told a resident of the building to ask us before they start looting muffins. (I don't care if they take them, just ask!)

Later Graham and another guy who's name I forgot showed up with backpacks full of boxes of just-past-best-by-date baby food. It was basically just flour and stuff, and we totally used some of it.

I showed up a little after one, and some of the guys who are organizing the Vancouver anarchist book fair were there. I think they were talking about using the space? But I have no idea, as they didn't talk to me about that. Note to self: Check out Russian hall kitchen and see what the deal is about us cooking there.

I set up the stuff, and soon Ricky showed up and we started cutting up pears. Well he (and Dave) did. I decided I was going to make rice pudding, carnsarnit. I had bought four litres of soy milk a few days before as it was like a dollar more than buying two litres, and I wanted to make rice pudding. Why was I so excited about it? I have no idea, but I've wanted to make it for ages. The only time I've actually had home made rice pudding was in an activist community centre I stayed at in Melbourne, Australia (they also did Foot Not Bombs there!). Before that I had no idea you could even do that!

So I checked the cupboard and discovered that shit, didn't we used to have loads of rice? And now all we had was a bag of weird Italian rice. I decided to go with it, because Food Not Bombs is totally about experimental cooking. So I cooked up the rice (which actually turned out to be a really good rice to use for this), added the soymilk (using the same amount as the rice, which was two big yogurt containers), and lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Delicious! Oh hey! And some raisins. Sweet.

Meanwhile we were cutting up a storm of cauliflower and broccoli. The cauliflower was super gross, and I took the task of getting it out of the bags and cutting off all the really nasty bits (and just throwing some of them out entirely). Ew squish squish squish. But yeah, nobody wants to do that. katie did the far more palatable task of cutting up the less gross parts.

Graham and his friend (why can't I remember his name. Dang) set to making some sort of soup/stew/stuff that is an FNB staple. What goes in it? Bok choi! Broccoli! Spices! Cans of tomatoes in the cupboard. A huge can of tomato juice I didn't think we would ever use for anything. More spices! Mix 'em and cook 'em in a pot like gumbo.

Meanwhile, it was decided that since we only had pears we'd make some sort of hot thing, as a bowl of chopped up pears is kind of depressing (we ended up serving some of it anyway). So we set to making a crumble of some kind and baking that stuff. Last time I had used a recipe from the internet that was two parts margarine to one part flour and one part sugar. This time we decided to use some of the baby food, a lot of our precious, precious oil, sugar, and the banana. It sugary olive oil. Uhm. Okay. On top of the pears and into the oven it goes.

But what were we going to do with all the broccoli? How about roasting it? With spices. Let's get to it. They turned out really well, and we totally would have done more if the ovens hadn't been filled with cookies.

Cookies you say? Well after thinking about making some sort of pudding out of all the baby food stuff, Whitney and Zoƫ went about making some cookies, filled with cocoa powder and carob chips and other yum things.

Why is the crumble filled with liquid? What the hell? I guess pear's are liquidy. We tossed all three pans of it into a bowl, where the crumblelyness of it was kind of lost, and it was just a sugary, hot pear thing. At least it went well with the rice pudding.

The stew thing needs more something! We cooked up some spaghetti and put that in, but we really should have just chopped up a couple of baguettes and used those instead. We were fools!

Looking at our plate situation, Katie and I headed to the army navy store were we bought like 75 horrible stryofoam plates. I was going to buy the more expensive paper ones until Katie informed me (using info from an article she'd written last year) that they weren't any better for the environment. Sad.

Upon returning, we felt crazy hot in our horrible, unwindowed, cooking space. Oh! That tray is too big for the oven, and the door is open, so all the heat is escaping. Crud. Wouldn't it be nice to cook outside? I think for the anarchist bookfair thing we should do all the vegetable chopping and stuff at MacLean park if it's nice out.

Oh, and that guy with the rabbit was there again.

The serving.

Actually went really well. The people all seemed really nice today. Nobody really got mad or anything. We seemed to give out less bread than ever, and we were so close to my dream of an all dessert FNB serving.

The final dishes were:
The stew thing with chopped up spaghetti in it.
The small amount of roast vegetables (delicous).
The hot pear thing with some crumbleyness.
The rice pudding.
The uncooked pears.
The cookies.
The presliced bread.

Plus all the other bread, pastries, boxes of baby food, and boxes of broccoli we had left over.

It generally seemed to be well received.

The clean-up.

No cloths again! Oh, we had one. That meant that while we (and by "we" I mean Katie) managed to wash everything, it wasn't the driest when it went back in the cupboard.

What was missing this week (remember to lock the door carefully):
The CD player.
The bag with all the patches.

What was new:
That gross popcorn pot we left out last week.
A bag of flour.

Next week: photos!

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