September 06, 2011
We began the last day with the same breakfast choices as day two. Some people were disappointed with the repetition, but not me. I loved the breakfast and would have been happy to eat it every day for weeks. Besides, there were still many items on the long tables I hadn't even tried yet. I had lots of the same things from the day before, but I did try one combo that no one else at my table seemed to appreciate, though I thought it was terrific. Instead of maple syrup on my xgfx pancakes, I poured on the gravy meant for the biscuits. Oh, it was good!
I attended two workshops — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: The Marketing Panel, and Product Reviews and Ethics. One useful point I took away (and still remember!) was when reviewing food products, we should photograph them both inside the packaging and on a plate, so readers can see what they look like.
Then it was off to a quick lunch — quick because we only had about 1/2 hour before leaving for a food demo at Whole Foods. This was my favorite conference lunch — a taco bar made in heaven.
Every conceivable taco topping from fabulous raw nut meat to Upton’s Naturals chorizo, to the best tasting soy curls I've ever had. There was vegan queso, and a vat of of guacamole as well as chopped raw veggies, olives, grated cheese, and of course, corn tortillas or large lettuce leaves for those who wanted their tacos raw. Etc. Etc. Etc.
There was Spanish rice and cooked peppers and onions.
And there was this. Was it broccoli hummus? I honestly can't remember. Anyone know? I ate my two tacos and hurried to Whole Foods for another cooking demo.
This time the inimitable Hannah Kaminski was presenting a class entitled: Mastering the Art of Vegan Meringue. Vegan meringue? Yes, and easy to make, too. Hannah produced a stiff and fluffy meringue using only four ingredients and an electric mixer.
Then, despite an uncooperative oven and inadequate WF kitchen equipment, she made meringue cookies, Napoleons and a lemon meringue pie filled with lemon curd she had previously prepared. Because of the oven, the cookies were slow to bake, but tasted delicious when they were finally finished, as did the pie and Napoleons, filled with the tart lemon curd.
The slow oven made us late getting back to the hotel for the next session, Specialty Diets, but I'm glad I went. All four panel members were interesting and informative. Kittee Burns, Fran Costigan, Gena Hampshaw and Susan Voisin explained how they arrived at their special vegan diets, and shared ideas for making special diets work. One hint I'd like to pass along to those eating xgfx diets came from Kittee. She highly recommended using superfine brown rice flour from Authentic Foods in a mix of three parts superfine, two parts potato starch and one part tapioca starch for baking sweets. She also said The Allergen-free Bakers Handbook by Cybele Pascal has been invaluable to her.
Sadly, this was the last conference session, and all that remained was the closing address by Isa and Terry.
Fran, Julia, Marika and ... Helen? Is that you?
But we're not done, yet. There were still vegan Portland restaurants to visit, and eating to do. For dinner, we headed to what turned out to be my favorite dining spot of the weekend — Blossoming Lotus.
Pan Tossed Angel Hair Pasta with smoked vegetable marinara, herb pecan pesto and sage balsamic roasted tofu, topped with fresh herbs and a basil oil drizzle.
Live Taco Salad L, GF, SF crisp romaine, chili lime dressing, red onion, avocado, bell pepper, tomato, pecan chorizo, and our famous spicy nacho chips, served with a side of house made cashew sour cream.
Crispy Thai BBQ Salad GF romaine, mixed greens, shredded cabbage, carrot, cucumber, raisins, crispy rice sticks, curried cashews and thai spiced barbecue soy curls, with creamy sweet ginger dressing, fresh herbs & toasted coconut.
I had the crispy Thai BBQ salad and all I can say is OMG. And I don't say that often or lightly.
Helen ordering her breakfast.
On Monday morning, Bethany, Helen, Mr. EV and I went to Sweetpea Baking Company at the vegan mini-mall, for breakfast. I think I was too full from a weekend of overindulgence, and all I could manage was a cup of vanilla rooibus tea — but it was good tea. And I bought a chocolate chip cookie for later, 'cause I was kind of used to eating dessert before and after every meal, and I was afraid I might need that cookie.
We visited Herbivore Clothing Company where Mr. EV and I purchased sets of bamboo traveling eating utensils, and Food Fight!
After that, we wandered around the corner to Red and Black Café where we purchased lunch for the train ride back to Seattle. (Except for Helen who had scored a live salad from Blossoming Lotus at Food Fight.)
Then we headed to the train station, Helen on her bike, and the rest of us in a cab, where we caught the 12:15 back to Seattle ...
... and my sweet girl, Buffy.
I'd like to thank Wellsphere.com for sponsoring my ticket.