Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Local Veggie and Bean Wraps and A Series of Fortunate Events

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Local Veggie and Bean Wraps and A Series of Fortunate Events

As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I'm a bit behind in food posting, so this meal is something we had last week, I think I'm caught up now.

When I saw that we had gotten beets in our CSA, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I wanted to try to replicate the Garden Burrito from Main Squeeze, the local vegetarian restaurant in Columbia. What we had wasn't exactly like Main Squeeze's burrito, but it was really close and enough to satisfy our tastes!

Local Veggie Burrito
long grain brown rice
alfalfa sprouts
shredded beets (we used 3 peeled beets)
shredded carrots (we used 2 peeled carrots)

I just shredded up the peeled beets and carrots in a food processor and layered warm refried beans, brown rice, and the veggies in a warmed tortilla.

I served them with some fresh, homemade Pico de Gallo.

Onto the second part of this post, the 'series of fortunate events'. You see, chance stepped in the other day and Brett found something I have long dreamed of owning. First off, I must state that I'm not a fan of shopping, at all, I rarely buy things, and only get excited about buying one thing: books. But what Brett got me is not only a very personal thing, it was also affordable and environmentally friendly. As you all know, we had rented a car to go to St. Louis for the weekend. Brett figured that since we had a car, it was a good time to drop off the old electronics we've been keeping in our closet at the recycling center and take some clothes to the Salvation Army.

When he was at the Salvation Army, he decided to pop in and look around. What did he spot there? A Hammond Organ circa 1982. What's so special about a Hammond Organ? Well, Jimmy Smith, one of my favorite jazz artists made his name on the Hammond, some of my favorite Doors songs have Ray Manzarek playing a Hammond, my favorite instrumental Beastie Boys songs (don't really like the rapping ones) use a Hammond. You get the picture. Never heard a Hammond? Think church organs, pipe organs, but different at the same time. Nothing really sounds like one.

Anyways, it wasn't so simple as him just spotting this and getting it. First, he found a tag on the organ with someone's name on it, but it didn't say 'sold' like the other items in the store with name tags on them. He asked someone and after about a half hour of confusion, it was decided that the organ was not sold, and was for sale. He wanted to make sure I was alright with it and didn't just show up at home to find a 200+ lb monstrosity in our apartment. By the time he had talked to me, dropped off the car, gone home to make sure we had the funds, he decided he should probably call to make sure it hadn't been sold, a Hammond won't last long. When he called, the person on the phone informed him that it had been sold, after all that! He called me and said he wanted to go down there just to make sure, because there had been a lot of confusion about the organ being sold earlier and since he had expressed interest in buying it, he wondered if he wasn't the person that the woman was referring to. Keeping up with all this?

So he goes down there, talks to someone who said it wasn't sold, but that he needed cash. So he hoofed it down to a local ATM, and made it back to finally seal the deal. Whew!

We also got this baby, delivered for $50, second-hand. How did this happen? Well, the Hammond is not only one of the coolest instruments around, it's also one of the ugliest. Let me show you what I mean.

Even Nermal wonders why someone would want something so ugly.....

I'm putting this out there so he can't take it back: Brett told me if I learned the keyboard part of "Riders on the Storm" (the Doors), he would learn the guitar part. You've got yourself a deal buddy!


VeggieGirl said...

What a great Salvation Army find!

Vegyogini said...

That is one of the sweetest stories I've heard in a long time!

selina said...

i bet your really excited! have fun learning!

Bianca said...

Congrats on the organ! When I read the post title, I thought it said "unfortunate" and I was waiting for the bad part...good thing there wasn't one.

Anonymous said...

What a score! You can so often find the best stuff at the Salv!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Woah, that looks so awesome!

Dagny said...

My grandmother had a Hammond and we had more fun playing on that growing up than anything else. As kids we were are coerced into taking piano lessons, but playing on a Hammond is a whole new ballgame.

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Anonymous said...

I find the philosophy behind your avocado abstinence very interesting. I'd like to try that myself. Do you have any resources (i.e. links) for where I can find out which food items are the worst offenders for my area (Ottawa, Canada)?

Alice (in Veganland) said...

What a fresh-looking wrap! I have beets in the fridge :-)
And I love the organ, specially if you're gonna play "riders on the storm"

Wet Blanket said...

mad about udon - love the name. I do not know of any places off-hand where you could go to find such information, but a good place to start would probably be to find a peak oil awareness group in your area and get involved in the information exchange. Looks like Ottawa is better aware of the situation than my area:

Most have a listserv or something like this one, so you won't be obligated to travel or anything. There may be others in your area, and there are many good links on Jennifer's peak oil post if you're looking to research the general topic:

Unfortunately, we're sort of flying blind on this issue, so we have only one anothers' imaginations to go on as to what should be done. The extent of offense is an aggregate of miles traveled and petrochemical inputs used to grow the food and protect it from pests. Unfortunately, no web resource could reasonably capture that complexity without the kinds of labor and resources only governments and large corporations can put together. If one exists, I would be delighted to be proven wrong on this assertion; such a resource would be invaluable.

With that said, I will give what suggestions I can for how to choose your addiction. The problem with this issue is that we all lead slightly different lives and, therefore, have different relationships with oil. For the commuter, gasoline may be the primary draw on the supply, but for most of us, food is where the dependency truly lies. But the challenge, to me, is not necessarily limited to food or even a product (like bananas or shower liners made in China); it could simply mean riding mass transit or eating less meat. It is all dependent on your lifestyle, where you live, and how far along you are in your preparation for a low-energy future. For Jennifer and I, it was Avocados because we've already given up our car, meat and dairy (well, I still have it occasionally), and most conventionally grown foods (non-organic). Now, we're working on the hardest and most important part: relocalization. Hence, avocados because they can't be grown where we live, and we eat (or ate) a lot of them.

So, my advice to you is this: list activities, products, and foods that are an important part of your lifestyle and order them (as best as you can) in reference to their impact on the oil supply, or for that matter, the environment, the social structure, or whatever is important to YOU. This might require you to learn more about the things in your life and how they relate to the larger reality, but if you're looking to shake any sense of helplessness, this is the way to go. I can't tell from your comment where you are in your 'evolution', but I assume you're at least aware that change is necessary and not all of it is the kind of change we can lobby governments for. So, get this list together and revise it as you go. I'm not necessarily suggesting that you literally get a notepad and pen and sit down. It is a list that is always growing and resorting as we learn about new aspects of ourselves and how we relate to the world around us; it is a list that is probably best left in our heads lest we harbor any illusion that the list is complete and correct.

Anyways, work your way through the list, doing whatever is possible whenever it is possible. But do so in such a way that allows you to maintain your sanity. In other words, be patient with yourself and the social/political/economic structures that surround you; don't kick yourself over matters that are beyond your control or capacity. Master the change; don't let it master you.

jessy said...

awwwwwwwwwww! that's such an awesome organ! you two are too sweet! i love it!

and the bean wrap looks so tasty & colorful. i would have never thought to put beets in a wrap. now THIS i MUST try!

have fun playing your organ! :D

callina said...

Congratulations on your organ! I love organs and pianos--I could probably give you lessons if you don't already know how to play, although I don't have a huge amount of experience with organs--I always just tinkered around with the one at my church growing up.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Very exciting. I can hear "Riders" in my head now! I always love the keyboards part in Stones and Johnny Cash songs. You guys are gonna have so much fun.

mom said...

The organ is awesome. I hope you learn Riders. It's an awesome song. I know you have to be so excited to have found this. Love you.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - I know, I'm really stoked!

Vegyogini - Hahaha! I told Brett what you said and he responded 'well, I wasn't trying to be sweet, I just knew how much you would love having a Hammond.' I tried to explain to him that that was what was sweet about it, but it may have been lost on him, since that wasn't his 'intention'. That boy and semantics.... ;-)

Selina - I am and I've had a GREAT time wiht it so far.

Bianca - Thanks. Hahahaha! I was doing a play on that movie that I never saw and now can't even remember who was in it.

Shellyfish - I had no idea you could find such cool stuff there! Brett was listing off some really awesome things!

Katie (Chocolate Covered Vegan) - It is! It may be ugly but it's super cool.

Dagny - Haha! I would have lived at my Nanny's house had she had a Hammond. I gues the Hammond made those piano lessons worth it!

Mad About Udon - Thanks. I asked Brett (the Wet Blanket comment below) to answer your question as I was at work, and well, he just does a better job with these things that I do. If you have any further questions about the links or anything you read, feel free to email us. The address is on the right side of the homepage.

Alice - It is one of my favorite things at Main Squeeze so I really wanted to try to emulate it.

Haha! I will hopefully be learning a lot more than that. If I get 'Riders' down, I will move on and try 'Spanish Caravan', that'll give Brett a challenge on the guitar. Man I love the Doors.

Wet Blanket (Brett) - Thanks for doing this!

Jessy - Isn't it?! Aw, thanks!

Raw beets add a sweetness to the wrap that makes it really tasty and refreshing.

I will, not sure how much my neighbors are going to appreciate it though.

Callina - I would LOVE it if you would give me lessons. I really don't know what I'm doing. I used to have a keyboard and learned to play by ear, but have no idea how to make chords or anything like that.

I wanted to learn how to play the piano part of the Modern Jazz Quartet's "Blues in A Minor", so I went to YouTube to find out where the A minor scale is and I figured it out up until the part he starts doing chords...

At this rate it will be like 10 years before I learn 'Riders on the Storm'. So seriously, if you don't mind, I'll feed you for your troubles! :-)

Lisa - It's been in my head since we got the organ! Ah! I forget the keyboard parts in Stones songs! Good catch, I may have to move on to that eventually.

Mom - ! I didn't know you knew how to make a blogger comment Mom! Hehe. We are really excited and you know you'll hear about it if we learn how to play 'Riders'. :-) I love you too!

Cookiemouse said...

Thanks for your comment. It cheered me up.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

You're definitely not weird for preferring savory foods over traditional breakfast foods; I do too! (Or maybe we're BOTH weird... that's a distinct possibility!)

Happy Herbivore! said...

kitty wants to play moooooooosic. We had an organ like that when I was growing up. I loved it and am still angry my parents donated it when they retired. I would have kept it!

Animal-Friendly said...

That wrap looks so refreshing and delicious!

And you got that organ at a great deal- how cool!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Cookiemouse - Likewise for your piece. :-)

Katie (Chocolate Covered) - I'm glad I'm not alone! I've never liked things like cinnamon rolls or any of that sickly sweet breakfast stuff. And yes, you are right, it is very possible that we are just weird. ;-)

Lindsay (HH) - Gabby DID play music! However, her tune of choice was the "Emergency Broadcast System" noise, not very pleasant.

How awesome! I wish I would have had one growing up, I had a keyboard, that was really cool. I can just imagine you guys lugging a Hammond across the country!

Animal Friendly - Thanks! And thanks, it has been a lot of fun to play, I just hope I'm not annoying Brett, I'm not very good.

Erin said...

There's NOTHING ugly about a Hammond, that's so awesome that you got it. I have a 70's era electric baby grand in my dining room. If I was anywhere near you I'd give you a lesson or two! Oh, and that's a nice looking burrito, I love the texture of shredded veggies.

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