Right now, I'm seriously regretting that I wasn't one of those girly little girls that imagined "fairies and rainbows and sparkles" at her wedding. In fact, my only vague memories of extreme party planning are tied to my Bat Mitzvah...the most vivid of which being the argument between my grandmother and I when I demanded I wear a pants suit instead of a dress. How I didn't know I was gay when I was 12 is still a mystery to me. But I digress...
Jane and I have begun the serious planning stages of our wedding. We easily decided on a location (mountain top in Malibu? Yes, please.), and easily agreed on the food. Now comes the tough part. It's not the actual planning of the party itself, but more in the details I don't want to be bothered with. Like do we play "Here comes the bride" or "Here come the brides"? Maybe we should just play some snappy lesbian hip hop and "Back dat ass up" down the aisle.
What is our color scheme? I don't fucking know. I'm more of a "summer" and Jane's more of a "winter". I guess that leaves "spring" being the happy medium. And how the hell am I supposed to pick out a bridesmaid dress that fits all four of my differently-shaped bridesmaids well? I can't even pick out a dress for myself. My sister has tits, by best friend doesn't. Where's the happy medium in that scenario?
All I know is this: I want it to be fun. I want to feel warm and fuzzy with love, then get shitfaced drunk and dance on the table in my underwear...just like another memory from my Bat Mitzvah that sadly involved my grandma doing the dancing. Well, I guess that makes two things I know for certain: give a Shagrin a bottle of good wine, and the evening will not turn out bland.
Now the question I know you're dying to ask: "What about the food?!" Well, we decided to go with a blend of Indian and American. It's easily vegan, and pleases almost anyone. Of course, I offered my culinary expertise should the chef have any questions. Here's one answer:
- 2 TBSP Vegan Ghee (recipe follows) or Sunflower Oil
- 5 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP finely chopped Ginger
- 1 cup Tomato Sauce
- 1 TBSP ground Coriander
- 1 tsp ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 10 oz packages Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and un-drained
- 1 batch of Home-Made Vegan Paneer (recipe follows, or sub cubed Super Firm Tofu fried as indicated in the Paneer recipe below).
- 1/2 cup MimicCreme
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
Stir in tomato sauce, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground red pepper, and salt; reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer 7 to 8 minutes or until thin film of oil starts to form on surface of sauce.
Stir in undrained spinach. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until spinach turns a light olive green.
Stir in Homemade "Cheese". Cover and simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until "cheese" is hot; remove from heat.
Stir in MimicCreme and Garam Masala.
- 1 gallon (16 cups) High Fat Soy Milk (4-5g per serving)
- 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 TBSP White Vinegar
- Sunflower Oil, for deep-frying
Heat soy milk to boiling in 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Make sure to stir frequently while it's heating up to prevent scorching.
The second that the soy milk hits the boiling point, quickly stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. The soy milk will immediately separate into vegan "curds" and "whey" .
Pour the contents of the pot into the cheesecloth lined colander in the sink, then lift edges of cloth, hold up the "cheese" in the cloth, and pour any excess liquid out of the colander. Completely wrap the "curds" in cloth, and place them back in the colander. Making sure to use an object that covers the entire surface area of the "cheese" in the cloth, place a weight on top of the "cheese". I use a stock pot with a cast iron skillet resting on top of it. You can also just fill a correctly sized stock pot with water to use as a weight. Leave the "cheese" in the sink for 5 to 6 hours to drain well.
After 5-6 hours, remove the weight and transfer the "cheese" to a cutting surface. Unwrap and discard the cloth, then slice the "cheese" into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the cubes on a plate, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. They should look like so:
Heat 3 inches deep of sunflower oil in dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat. When the temperature reads 300 degrees (or when testing one piece of cheese, it fries), deep fry the cheese in two batches for 4-5 minutes until it floats to the top and is golden brown.
Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove it from the pot, then drain on paper towel lined plate.
Use immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for a few months.
- 1 stick (or 8 TBSP) of Vegan Margarine