January 23, 2010

Make it yourself

Dearest Supporters,
   You really came through for us! We made over $100 at the first dinner and are on the verge of ordering seeds for an upcoming project (more to come on that). We plan on getting seed for flowers (poppies, zinnias, sunflowers, etc), herbs, and veggies (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, greens, brassicas, corn etc). What do you think? Is there anything you think is a must-have? Tell us what and why.

   It seems like you all enjoyed the food, so we've decided to share some of the recipes..you know, for the weekends when we aren't there to personally feed you.

Cauliflower and Chickpea (aka Garbanzo bean) Curry

The secret to this is making your own curry powder. This means you might have to "invest" in some spices. It also means you should plan on making curries more often.

Curry Powder

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp cardamom seeds (open the pods to extract seeds. Pods can be found at Indian stores)
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp   fennel seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried chiles, broken in pieces, take out seeds (didn't put in because I didn't have them)
1 tbsp turmeric (yellow powder to be added directly to pot)

-Throw the whole spices into a pan (coriander, cumin, fennel, cloves, mustard, cardamom, peppercorns) and TOAST over med-low heat. Don't leave them while you finish ironing your pants because they're bound to get burned. It should take a few minutes.
-GRIND in a coffee grinder which doesn't give off the intoxicating aroma of coffee. Aim for a pretty fine powder. (You can make more and store it!)

The Actual Stew

1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter) OR coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 tbsp curry powder (that you made!!) I added all the powder I made..didn't measure.
1-inch piece of ginger (peel and cut)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets
3 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed. (I used dried chickpeas which I cooked beforehand)
2 tbsp tomato paste
cilantro leaves (I didn't garnish)

Heat ghee or oil in pot, med heat. Add onion, curry powder, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes (prob 6-8) and stir a few times. The onion should be softened. Add tomatoes until they break down and soften. Mix in cauliflower, chickpeas, tom. paste, and 1 cup of water. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender (15-20 minutes). Uncover. Finish cooking until there is a thick gravy. Season with salt.
Pairs well with brown rice. Serves 4, maybe more.

Vegan Persimmon-Apple-Walnut Cake
(Steph made this with a baby strapped to her so you really have no excuses for not making this)

3/4 cup sugar (brown or sucanat/raw)
1/2 cup coconut oil (or other oil)
2 cups persimmon puree ( you prob don't have this so use an apple puree instead)
2 cups flour (whole wheat or other)
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 to 1 cup apple slices

Prep 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream sugar and oil. Add puree and mix. Combine dry ingredients and then add to wet mix. Stir in raisins, walnuts, and apple. Turn batter in pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

You're in for a tasty treat!!!!!! Bring me some; you don't need it all!!

     A smattering of pictures from the dinner

   Well, it's time to sign off. You should expect to hear about our February dinner soon!!

   Happy eating,
      Cuatro Caminos

January 02, 2010

First Cuatro Caminos dinner

Happy New Year!!
We'd like to welcome 2010 and celebrate the continued progress of the Cuatro Caminos Collective with a hearty winter dinner.

Please join us on January 10th, 2010 as we feast on the fruits of the season!! The dinner will feature a winter squash stew as well as other goodies. We are committed to using organic, local produce and, as our microfarms develop, produce that we have grown.

When:   January 10th, 2010 at 7:00pm
Where:  Either in or near Whittier (exact location to be determined)
Price:   $10**

** Why the charge? The money from this dinner will be used towards the organization. We are looking to buy seed. A seed catalog will be present at the dinner so that you, the guest, can have a say as to what we purchase/plant.

The dinner will be vegetarian-friendly. Please indicate if you have any allergies. 

Please RSVP by January 9th at  ivcaminos@gmail.com or contact Eddie/Stephanie/Iris

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