Over the weekend, I went to one of the coolest parties I've ever attended. This is one of those parties that I've only ever seen the likes of 'round these parts -- almost Pennsyltucky but not quite, right in the Philadelphia Folk Fest's backyard, far enough from the city of Philadelphia that we all have to make our own fun. When my friend Tara invited me, I thought it was just going to be a bunch of people playing music around a campfire. Actually, though, it was her father's annual "Harvest Party" held at his wickedly awesome, mostly hand-built home. There, he set up not one but TWO camp fires, as well as a stage area that was fully mic-ed. Oh my god, it was rad. I wish I had pictures and better video to post, but it was too much fun to be wasting time taking pictures. Instead, I only have this VERY short clip of Tara and her boyfriend Pete performing. It's not the best clip (what with Tara's self-proclaimed "fuck up") and it really doesn't do justice to how incredibly good those two are when they perform (they usually perform with a full band, but in my opinion, they are far better by themselves), but here goes nothing:
Anyway, I made baklava for the party (recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes by Steen and Newman)! I'm, like, pathologically incapable of attending any party without bringing food. I felt a little silly bringing it because I thought it was going to just be around a fire and I figured baklava was far too messy to eat around a fire. But, turns out, it was the potluck event of the year, for which baklava was a perfect fit. A lot of people don't know what baklava is, but there are others who freakin' love baklava. Both types were well pleased with what they ate!
Before I left for the party, I ate some of it myself, and it's a good thing I did, because otherwise I would not have gotten to try any, because it got eaten pretty quickly. However, here is a photograph of the solitary slice I ate:
Want to know something else kinda interesting? The next day, Sunday, I met a childhood idol of mine, Evan Dando! I used to love The Lemonheads when I was a kid. I haven't listened to them in years, but my friend Julie loves him, so we went to his show at Philly's North Star Bar. He ended up sitting in my car with us before the show for a really, really long time chain smoking. Then after the show, he asked me if we could do it again, and we did. We sang along to Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark and he told me I had a great voice and should record with him! Haha! I don't think that's going to happen, but it was pretty darn fun. Here's a picture of me and him:
OK, back to dinner. What do I make when I'm not really interested in cooking? Steen and Newman's Veggie Curry Feast, of course! Why? Because I really don't even look at the recipe to make it. A buncha spices (more turmeric than I ever use in any one recipe anywhere else), some shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, a can of chickpeas, and a can of coconut milk (I buy organic coconut milk in bulk from Amazon.com).
My secret to making this recipe so damn good, though, is that I don't use red or yellow curry powder when it calls for curry powder; I use this delightful Thai green curry spice mix I got from Home Goods. Sometimes, just for fun, I smell the spice mix because it smells so freaking good. Then I insist that my guests smell it. Then I tell them about the evils of eating fish. Then I make them listen to Elliott Smith. Then they leave crying. It's awesome!