June 04, 2013

VVC 2013 in Portland, day 3


If you read my previous post, you saw that I had a rather abbreviated, short-arm-version of a self-portrait-with-Amey, and promised to post the long-arm professional version taken by Amey herself, when she sent it to me. Not only can she  draw the best cartoons, she's a master of the self-portrait. Go Amey! (Taken at the end of Galarama and silent auction.)


Sunday morning started with breakfast in the Art Museum ballroom. I enjoyed Bob's Red Mill GF multigrain hot cereal sprinkled with hemp hearts, coconut chia pudding, Peeled snacks dried fruit, fresh fruit and something else that might have been a tofu scramble with veggies. Honestly I can't remember, and even trying to think about all the food I ate during the weekend leaves me weakened. What you see is only what ended up on my plate — there was more to choose from.

The first session I attended was Advanced Photography by Susan Voisin. If you follow Susan's blog, FatFree Vegan Kitchen, you know what a fabulous photographer she is. Self-taught, she shared her wealth of knowledge with us in an attempt to inspire us to make our blog photography the best it can be. Though she is widely-known and highly respected for her wonderful recipes and stunning photographs, Susan is as humble and kind as she can be. It was an honor being in her class.

After the session, we zipped out the door and headed to Powell's Books, where my husband wanted to look for a book he'd been unable to find at home. He didn't find it, but I found a hardcover copy of "Vegan Eats World"  at a can't-pass-up price.


After our shopping spree we headed back to the museum for lunch — a sandwich board affair with both regular and GF bread, and heaps of toppings — Nasoya mustard-herb tofu · Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan · Tofurky slices · raw walnut meat · Nayonaise · Happy Campers GF & Grand Central bread · raw greens · Earth Balance peanut butter · Lily’s hummus · grilled summer vegetables · GO Veggie! shreds · dressings and hot sauces from Organicville & Secret Aardvark. I had a tofu and raw greens sandwich and a collard wrap with grilled veggies and carrot shreds. With toppings.


Just after I snapped a photo of my lunch, one of my tablemates appeared with a very creative-looking plate, and I had to photograph hers as well.


There was ice cream for dessert. There was ice cream all day long, actually, and as I already noted, I ate more than my share. I probably wouldn't have sought out dessert but Bethany brought me some GF cookies & cream to try. I think it was Larry and Luna though I couldn't find it on their Web site. It might be a new flavor that hasn't yet hit the market.

These are my samples. Where are yours?

Speaking of ice cream, I'd be terribly remiss if I didn't mention the Wayfare Foods ice cream, which is made from oats. And no, it doesn't taste like oats. I sampled so much of the Wayfare ice cream that at one point I had to walk away from the table because the pile of empty sample cups in my sweaty palm was embarrassingly high. It's really good. My favorite flavors were vanilla creme, Vermont maple and lemon sunshine. I entered a drawing to become a new products tester for Wayfare, and I sure hope they pick me.

My first session after lunch was the very informative How Hot Topics in Nutrition Influence Vegan Advocacy by Gena Hamshaw, Ginny Messina and Jasmin Singer. Next up was Tech for Effective Web Presence by Jason Das. If my post titles become more boring (at least temporarily), it will be thanks (or no thanks) to Jason.

And then, all too soon, it was time for the closing address and the end of VVC 2013. The three lovely VVC organizing wizards, Janessa, Jess and Michele thanked us about 50 times (at least) for coming, but it was really we who should have been thanking them for creating such an amazing and inspiring conference. THANK YOU! x 50. I had a wonderful time meeting fellow bloggers and seeing old friends (Ricki from Diet Dessert and Dogs, Kim from Welcoming Kitchen, Megan from Gluten-free Vegan, Kittee from Cakemaker to the Stars, Amey from Vegan Eats and Treats, Kristy from Keepin' it Kind, Cadry from Cadry's Kitchen, Christy from The Blissful Chef, Marti from Tofu and Sprouts, Susan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen, The Food Duo, Dan from The Gay Vegan, Julie Hassan, Lydia and Mauro from A to Vegan,Jennifer from Vegan Dance if You Want To, etc. etc etc.)

But we weren't leaving until very early Monday morning, so we had one more meal to fit in. I really wanted to go to the Mississippi food trucks and get takeout from Homegrown Smoker and/or Native Bowl to take on the train the next morning, but we just couldn't manage it, and ended up walking to Prasad Café instead, for dinner.


It took me forever to decide what to get and finally I chose the urban bowl — mixed greens with olive oil, steamed kale, cabbage, sea vegetables, avocado,
carrots, scallions, sesame & hemp seeds with jalapeno cashew cheese sauce. I really had high hopes for Prasad, but even though I knew my selection had sea vegetables, and I usually like sea vegetables, I was unprepared for the vast quantity of sea vegetables. There was a huge pile of wakame on top, and lots of hijiki (my least favorite sea veggie) mixed in. It was just so fishy. I removed the sea veggies as best I could and ate the raw salad. Then, at the bottom of the bowl I discovered the steamed kale, but by that time I was so full I couldn't eat more than a bite or two.


My husband was much happier with his choice, the Kali bowl — quinoa, garnet yam vegetable curry, steamed greens, slow cooked mango chutney and cilantro. He also had a salad, and he was a happy eater. Next time I'll choose better.


We both enjoyed our juices — carrot-ginger for me, and carrot-beet-apple-ginger for him.


Before I close, I want to mention how much I love Portland. It's a beautiful, accessible city with great restaurants and shops, cool citizens, and to say it's vegan-friendly is an understatement. The downtown is filled with interesting buildings and street art, and is a pleasure to explore on foot.


And it's weird. But before you pack your bags and move to Portland, you should know that it does rain a lot. I think the weather is a small price to pay for all the rest of the package. But of course, I live in Seattle so what do I know?

coming up next: swag


20 comments:

  1. It rains a lot? More than London a lot?! Either way, I'm packing my bags!

    I bet that photo session was great - and so much food to try your snapping skills on!

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    1. Yes, it rains a lot. I don't know how much it rains in London but now that I recall, it rained a lot when we were there. It usually doesn't rain much (or at all) in August, but the rest of the year is pretty wet — not 24-hours-a-day wet, but wet at least part of most days. And no sun. But there are other virtues.

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  2. That's a really cute picture of you & Amey!

    The sandwich buffet sounds really fun. What a terrific idea! It's too bad you didn't make it to the food trucks but looks like you had a delicious meal anyway. Jalapeno cashew cream cheese sounds SO good! Your salad looks fantastic, at least. It's a shame that it was so fishy.

    I would love to visit Portland, but if I were to move it would definitely have to be to a drier, sunnier place. I really struggle with the large amount of cloudy, cold & rainy days we get here.....

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    1. Thanks. Amey actually took it herself.

      The weather has gotten so weird in the Midwest. I remember Madison as having a lot of sunshine, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It also had low humidity when we first moved there and no one had air conditioning. Things have changed.

      The temperature doesn't get extremely cold here but it's damp, so it can feel colder than it is. And there's not much sun in the winter. We don't have mosquitoes, though! At least, not in Seattle.

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  3. Susan's class was one of my favorites of the conference. She packed it with lots of useful information, and like you said, she's just so down to earth, real, and an all around lovely human being.

    Lucky you getting a good deal on Vegan Eats World! I am enamored with all things Terry, and that one is my current obsession. I can't wait to hear/see what you make from it!

    Your final sentence cracked me up! I saw a book at Powell's called something like, "Portland: That City You've Heard You'd Like." It made me chuckle, because of course, everyone has always told me that I'd love Portland. I'd been there once before, but this was my first time experiencing the vegan aspect of it. We were there for six days, but I feel like I only just dipped my toe in it. I so enjoyed Portland and want to go back and spend more time there, but judging from this trip, the weather would dissuade me from moving there. Living in a place with cold, dreary winters like I do is hard on me. The next place I live needs to have a very healthy amount of year 'round sun!

    I know I've said it already, but it was so wonderful getting to meet you at last! I'm already looking forward to VVC3!

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    1. Yes, to everything you said about Susan. I've studied my notes and hope I can improve my photos even a little.

      The Portland book title is hilarious. I know exactly you mean about the weather, having moved to the PNW only a few years ago, but I try to keep the weather in perspective. Most places, no matter how wonderful, have some negative aspect or weather feature. (I'm a little afraid of Iowa, after having witnessed a tornado there!) My beloved city of Madison has winter snow and ice, and summer humidity and mosquitoes. I still think it's a great place to live, though. And Portland would be cool as well — so much to balance the weather — you kind of get used to it after a while.

      I'm so glad I got to meet you. You have a very special glow of enthusiasm and kindness!

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  4. There we are!! Ha ha, I love that someone from Seattle is saying Portland rains a lot. :) The pot calling the kettle black!

    What a wonderful weekend it was! I hope we get a chance to connect again someday soon, Andrea! :)

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    1. I did admit I live in Seattle when I issued the rain warning — it's only fair to give people a heads up, though it's impossible to really understand the weather before living here. And even then ... sigh. I'm from the East Coast and the Midwest, so the PNW weather is ... I don't know ... dark.

      It was fun to meet you and your mom, Amey. See ya!

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  5. Powell's is awesome! Getting Vegan Eats World is a great find. I've only been to the store once but I've sold a lot of books to them online over the years.

    It looks like ice cream heaven! I would have a really tough time passing on any of those samples. :-)

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    1. Powell's is a little too awesome, if you know what I mean. I should limit myself to libraries.

      I think I ate a five-year supply of ice cream — at least.

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  6. So, when I arrived in Portland for my first visit a few years ago, the cab driver asked why I was visiting. I told him I was vegan and that Portland was a must-visit for vegans. He said, "Really? I don't even know what that means." I guess you only see what you're looking for!

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    1. Was the cab driver even from Portland? Sounds like someone from another planet to me. Last year when we got into a cab and said we wanted to go to the vegan mini-mall, our cab driver knew just where to go. Then we got an earful about every friend and relative he knew who was vegan. But, you're right. The very first time we were in Portland, the person we were visiting had no idea there were vegan restaurants there. But now he cooks things from my blog.

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  7. All of your food sounds so good--especially the conference food! A vegan, gluten free friendly sandwich bar?! YUM! And I have been hearing about the oat ice cream for a while now--I can't wait for it to hit the stores! I am sorry you were not thrilled with your dinner at the cafe, though. I often have order remorse when I get my meals in restaurants too...it is so hard to make the right choice!

    Courtney

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    1. Did you ever try the oatscream soft-serve that used to be made in Minnesota? We used to get it at our co-op in Madison until they stopped making it. I loved that stuff. The Wayfare ice cream is a heavier version — more like hard-pack ice cream — and really good.

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    2. YES! Oatscream was SO good. I love that it didn't have added sugar...that is what I dislike about all of the newer vegan ice creams. They have so much added sugar! Oh how I miss oatscream. I was so sad when I went to the co-op to get some and found out it was no longer being made. Finally--someone who knows what I am talking about! :-)

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    3. Right, it didn't taste very sweet. The Wayfare version has added sugar and added oil and is definitely sweeter — but still good.

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  8. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Andrea. You and your husband are just the sweetest- I look forward to spending more time with you both at the next one! xx

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    1. I enjoyed meeting you, too, Kristy. I wish we could have had more time to chat.

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  9. Such a wonderful time--good food, good sessions and good friends. I'm glad I am vicariously experiencing it via your posts!

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    1. I'm enjoying experiencing it vicariously through other people's posts, too. Some of them make me feel like I didn't have enough fun. :D

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