Oh, did I mention that my band is opening for The Misfits at the Palladium? If you're in the Boston area and you love the Misfits, you should buy a ticket here. Oh, and come early so you can see Acrasjia! We'll have a merch table in the back, so say 'hi'!
We started off at the DCU Center, checking out the horror convention. I have to say, I wasn't incredibly excited, but I was in good company so it was fun. There were lots of movie posters for sale, comics, books, action figures and do-dads, 90% horror related. Of course there were the expected fanatics, running around in halloween costumes.
I got a free book. It's 'Dark Water' by Koji Suzuki and translated by Glynne Walley. Let me tell you, I love reading and I cannot stand lazy writers (you know, the modern romance novel type). So, to see if the book is worth reading, I'll open up the book to a random page and read two lines. Conclusion? While Koji may be a great writer, the translation is crap! Oh, well. It was free. :)
So I saw Tony Todd (Candyman), Shawnee Smith (Saw) and a bunch of other B movie actors from horror movies. Mike's nephew, Al, got choked by Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th) and he said he was really choking him. Kinda scary.
I didn't actually talk to any of them because I didn't care to wait in a line, but if Pinhead had been there, I would have been all over that.
I did, however, talk to Greg Nicotero. He's the makeup artist of many horror and gruesome action films, such as Evil Dead, Land of the Dead, Sin City, Grind House, Planet Terror, Kill Bill and a ton more you prolly know.
He was a chill guy, but I think he was a little curious as to what we were doing hunched over his display. Why, we were drooling over the original book of the dead, necronomicon, and all the papers inside, that's what!
I touched it! I touched it!
He was desperately trying to leave the table to get food, but people kept talking to him, so I told him, 'Go eat something!' and he was grateful to make his get-away.
So on came the music at the Palladium. I loved Daath, mostly because I could dig the music and their performance was so charismatic and they were great at interacting with the crowd. I got a shirt to support!
Lordi was also entertaining, in their crazy masks and whatnot. The drummer had quite the personality, I'll tell you.
I didn't care for the next couple of bands. You see, despite the fact that I'm a singer in a metal band, I'm very picky about what metal I like. Some of it is plain annoying (i.e. black metal... sorry, Kevin) but every now and again I'll find a metal band that can incorporate other genres as well as intricate melodies, harmonies, groove and unique style.
Mushroomhead came on second to last. The lights and choreography made their show. I wasn't a fan of the music, but one of the vocalists had very impressive skills. He could scream in a way that wasn't shrill or annoying and he sang with professional technique. He seemed egotistical, though, which was the vibe I got when I snapped a picture for Al. It came through in his performance as well.
I didn't stick around for Type-0 Negative. I was irritated, exhausted, hungry and my back hurt.
All in all, it was an entertaining day, and to fill our bellies I made some fun, easy-to-take-on-the-road food. It's quite a challenge being vegan and going to all-day music fests, especially metal ones. The metal community is lacking in vegan influence, so my options were subs and pizza. I think not!
Here is what I made for our day in Worcester:
I wanted something that was easy to eat in the car, since we weren't allowed to bring food inside, so I thought, how about a wrap? I didn't want just any, old boring wrap, so I decided to make all the fixin's from scratch.
First, I made hummus- 'cause what is a wrap without hummus? The chickpeas took FOREVER to cook, despite the fact that I soaked them over night and boiled then simmered them for about 2 hours. Oh, well. In the end, they ended up being the perfect texture.
I threw them in a blender and mixed it with some tahini, lemon juice, garlic, a pinch of salt and cumin. The cumin stood out the most, despite all the garlic I tossed in, as it has a naturally strong flavour. It really gave the hummus a little kick.
Because I am in dire need of a food processor (hey, my birthday's coming up!) and my blender is old and rickety and I kinda broke it trying to mix peanut butter once, there were still some chunks of chickpea. Most of it was smoothe, but I love the chunky surprises! Sometimes good things happen by accident.
Next, I made an excellent tabouli salad. All the usuals went it- bulgar, celery, parsley, green onion, chick peas, cayenne, lemon juice, tomatoes, garlic and spicings. Normally I only put tabouli in a sandwich, but this was so delicious we were eating it straight out of the bowl. I think it was the red wine vinegar that really did the trick.
The recipe was a big one, so I ended up with tons of left-overs. That was just fine by me! Always looking for something quick and easy when I get home from work, as I'm always ravenous, I decided to cook some whole wheat pasta and mix it with the tabouli. On the cooked pasta, I use about a table spoon of red wine vinegar, sprinkled with lemon juice. It's so much healthier than jarred pasta sauce and it's tastier (in my opinion). If you have no time to prepare tabouli, you can always buy it in just about any super market. It adds some life to your pasta!
So, next up, I decided to go a little crazy. We've got hummus, we've got tabouli... why not go for the guacamole too! After gutting some avocados and mixing in lime juice, red onions, tomatoes, salt and jalapeño, I thought, this is really boring. So, I threw a ton of garlic in and that did the trick.
Lastly, for the 'meat', I kept it simple. I fried up some firm tofu in shoyu sauce (my favourite sauce, mind you) and got it so it was nice and crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.
I spread everything onto a whole wheat wrap, added some romaine lettuce and cucumbers and wrapped it up!
Finally, I wanted a little side dish because this was an all-day thing and I knew we'd be hungry.
I threw together some apple coleslaw with raisins. This one was too easy- I shred some white cabbage and chopped up some apples. I didn't have time to prepare my own mayo, so I bought Vegannaise, which is the best out there, in my opinion. The apples really made the whole dish interesting.
To make sure we were getting all our nutrients, we brought some fruit and soy yogurt and we were good to go!
As planned, we ate lunch in the car like the vegan hippies that we are. ;) The wrap was very thick, but very filling. Hummus always fills me up kinda quickly but that's just fine by me.
Next up is the much anticipated Boston Vegetarian Festival!
We thought we were arriving early by arriving at noon, but we couldn't have been more wrong.
There was absolutely no parking in the lot and a red truck got stuck trying to squeeze by some poorly parked cars. (What's a big truck doing at a vegetarian festival?)
There was so much to see, I don't even know where to begin! First off, let me say that there was ice cream there to die for. It's called The Ice Cream Project and it's supposed to be taking off in November sometime (my month!) so hopefully it comes into fruition. Living in Boston makes it easy to get to health food stores, but there are so few vegan/vegan friendly restaurants and cafes! My sister actually talked about opening up a vegan bakery in Boston with me, but I told her I needed to make some money off of my singing career first!
We got the peanut butter flavour and let me tell you- it tasted like smooth and creamy candy! Out of all the non-dairy ice cream I've tried, it absolutely had to be the best. They served them in cute, colorful cups. I washed mine and saved it, in case I feel inspired.
We bought some caramel chocolate popcorn and a delicious homemade dark chocolate almond crunch bar to start. Great lunch, eh? The chocolate was amazing, but the popcorn stuck to my teeth... not so much fun.
We saw Isa and Terry, selling their Veganomicon. The table looked extremely busy- way to go! Then we happened on by The Conscious Kitchen, where Emilie was selling her utterly delicious cupcakes. We bought two and saved them for a dessert at home. The vanilla was great, but I have to say that red velvet was my personal favourite.
I would have said 'hi' to Emilie, but it looked like she was going crazy with all the customers, so I just went on my way. I wasn't trying to be shady and I'm totally not shy, I swear! I just didn't want to distract.
We tried lots of great burger, soup and rice samples, as well as some pasta. Mike's favourite was the pancakes. I forget the company's name, but I do have a postcard. I couldn't believe how buttery, yet light they got their pancakes. Looking at the ingredients, it simply contained baking powder, white flour (unbleached) and wheat flour. It must be that perfect amount of ingredients, seeing as there was absolutely no sugar! Mike snagged two and tried to go back for more, but I had to pull him the other way.
When sampling some mango chips, the instinctual vegan in me turned a bag over to scan the ingredients. The vendor was curious as to what I was looking for. I told her I was doing the ol' vegan shuffle and she assured me that this year was all vegan. No cheese, no milk, no eggs. That's why they couldn't display all of their products for sampling; some of them had whey and milk products in them. I was very happy to hear that the place was 100% vegan! It does get more and more veganized every year, eh?
We tried some delicious jerky and a slim jim looking thing. Mike bought some to take home. We also tried plum Italian ice, which could have used more sugar, if you ask me. Oh, and I FINALLY sampled this famous Açai (ah-sci-ee)juice everyone's been talking about. It tasted good... but kinda... harvesty at the same time. It's definitely something I would drink often if I could afford to just because of the antioxidants, but it's not a favourite flavour-wise.
After a long day of stuffing post cards, brochures and food bars into our goodie bags, it was time to go home!
I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked to- or any, really- because there was barely any room to breathe, the place was so packed! I was starting to get irritated after a while. While I love the fact that vegetarianism and veganism is growing in Boston, I get very claustrophobic when bunched together with hundreds of people. Call me crazy, but I know I'd be the first to get trampled in a fire! Hopefully they move the fest to a slightly larger area. I think it's a smart idea, seeing as the fest gets more and more popular every year.
So, due to my lack of pictures, I decided to post a picture of me excitedly holding up my new 'The Joy of Vegan Baking' cook book that I had been yearning for for quite some time. I'll definitely be sharing experiences with the recipes!
Once we got home, I made us some apple curry soup and biscuits.
I always make my own broth. Being that it's the chilly season, I've been making soup every weekend, so broth making is perfect for left over vegetables. I usually make enough for a large soup, roughly chopping tons of carrots, celery, onions, peppers, potatoes, brocolli and cauliflower and throwing them in ten cups of water. I add a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of peppercorn for the added zing. You can really taste the difference when it's homemade. Any broth left over can be refrigerated for a week or tossed in the freezer for up to a month.
I love throwing fruit in my soups, but apples always seem to disappear into the soup, being like tofu and taking on the flavour of what it was cooked in! In any event, the celery, brocolli and zucchini were a perfect addition. I sauteed some onions with the apple and mixed in some curry powder. Once the onions were translucent, in went the broth and the veggies to simmer.
While that was simmering, I threw together some yummy biscuits. I used unbleached flour and canola oil, mixing in green onions and dried dill. They came out smelling great, but the recipe called for a little too much baking soda. It dried out the biscuit a tad. It still tasted great, but next time I think I'll cut back on the soda and add some water to mix it up better. Hey, I'm still a beginner and I'm gonna make some mistakes!
Well, it was a great dinner, regardless. =)
I'll be posting more soups, salads and smoothies in the next couple of days. Oh, don't you just love alliterations?