|Good news from Costco.|
I have kind of an unwritten rule at Costco — if they have organic fruits or veggies for sale, I usually buy them because I want Costco to know organic choices are supported by their members. That would explain how I ended up with a giant bag of organic sweet potatoes that we ate until I couldn't stand the sight of sweet potatoes for a while. And a 35.2 oz. (1 kg) box of organic cooked beets. Seriously, beets? (More about this later.)
But, I'd be lying if I said it was only fruits and veggies that got my attention. When I spied the box of Hail Merry miracle tarts in one of the coolers (as I searched for the tofu), I had to buy it. I love Hail Merry treats, and the tiny tarts were too big a temptation to pass up, especially since I was attending a family dinner that night and could take them along as my dessert contribution. Were they good? Hail, yes! They were rich, creamy and satisfying. Although to me they tasted perfectly sweet, another guest thought they were not sweet, so I guess their degree of sweetness would depend on your own personal sweet tooth. My only regret with the purchase was the excess of packaging. Normally I would make my own truffles from raw ingredients and bring them on a plate. Packaging is such a conundrum when it comes to stuff like this.
As for the beets, in my last post I wrote about buying pre-cooked beets at Trader Joe's, and about my concerns about packaging. When I saw a huge box of beets at Costco, I felt the same packaging worry, but my husband, who loves beets but doesn't like cooking them, couldn't resist. Of course, he had to go out of town and hasn't eaten any of the Costco beets, but I soon put them to good use by whipping up a large batch of beet burgers à la Post Punk Kitchen for a family dinner on Saturday night. I more or less followed the recipe, but instead of the lentils I used a leftover spicy lentil-walnut dish I happened to have, instead of the fresh onion and garlic I used dehydrated, instead of the fennel (gaaa!) I used five-spice powder which I now can tolerate more or less, and instead of the breadcrumbs I used crushed rice cakes. And I refrigerated the burger mixture overnight. Just a few small changes. The mix is eerily ground beef-like, and looking at it is disconcerting.
|Looks like beef.|
The burgers, while they don't taste like beef, are delicious. I served them with a starter of curried carrot soup, sides of smoky potato wedges from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions (review), and a mixed green salad with tahini-umeboshi dressing. (The dressing contained only umeboshi paste, tahini and water, though the recipe I linked to has more ingredients.) I didn't take any photos of the dinner, so the photo is of a previous batch of the exact same burgers I made from the Trader Joe's beets, that we ate with squash and broccoli.
Speaking of beet burgers and such, I just remembered that I have a beet loaf recipe on the blog that would probably make good burgers. Or maybe I'll follow my own recipe and make a beet loaf — still have plenty of beets!
So why did my husband go out of town? (bad news)
It's been pretty stressful around here lately. Many of you know that when we moved from the Midwest to the West Coast four years ago, we held onto our house and rented it out, usually to reliable renters. We weren't quite sure if we would really stay here or go back to Wisconsin. And we loved our house. We've had to do many tenant-related repairs to the house, and that's as expected, but I wasn't expecting the call I got last Monday, informing me that the current tenants had just returned from vacation to find the heat off and the house at 35˚ with all the radiators and house pipes frozen. They left the house empty and unattended in brutal Midwest weather, including during the polar vortex when wind chills reached -60˚ F. I spent frantic hours on the phone getting the heating company and the plumber out to the house, etc. The insurance company has been working with us as has a contractor who will oversee repairs. My husband left on Friday to see the house, meet with all the repair people and insurance agent and try to coordinate the restoration. The house is devastated — all the radiators but one need replacement, holes were made in walls and ceilings to replace damaged pipes, and walls and ceilings will need to be opened for mold prevention. Our beautiful house is in shreds, and the repair costs are now exceeding $100,000. Most of the costs will be covered by insurance, but many will not. Ironically, we had decided to sell the house this spring, and a realtor was one of the people my husband met with. Oh well.
How about some good news?
Welcoming Kitchen telling me she saw my humble blog on a list of 10 best vegan lifestyle blogs. Thank you Becky, for including me. :) I feel honored to be included with such wonderful blogs. Take some time to look at the other blogs on the list — you may find a new favorite.