onion rings and four other things

The salad mix we’ve been getting at the Kapa’a farmer’s market has freaking ROSE PETALS in it! And flowering herbs and all kinds of gorgeousness. It’s ridiculously tasty, and is sold by the most insane crazy biodynamic new agey deeply wrinkley slow moving hippie lady you have ever SEEN. I’d love to ask if I could take her photo, but I’m actually too scared to speak to her (Jacob is too scared to even go near her stand). She looks deeply into your eyes for about two full minutes before she will let you buy her stuff, as if she is reading your soul and deciding if you’re worthy of her coddled baby vegetables and rare fruits. Anyway, her produce is INSANE. She must pack the salad mix five minutes before she goes to the market, it’s so fresh and crunchy and…my mouth is watering.

1. A friend of a friend is opening up a vegan bakery in Portland this week! I hear such good things, I can’t wait to visit. Check it out! Dovetail, all my best to you!
2. Lovely Isa had the great idea (one of her millions) to put together vegan bake sales for Haiti. Awesome.

3. Adam Gopnik (of all people, usually he irks me to no end) wrote a beautiful piece on van Gogh vs. Gauguin in last week’s New Yorker,* and it included this line, which has been floating around in my head for days:

The stripping away of conventional decorum that van Gogh’s illness forced upon him made him almost unnaturally present, alert to the world; when his mind went wrong, he became all heart.

That’s the way I want to go, when I go crazy.

4. Oh my god you guys, I hated The Lovely Bones so much. Oh my GOD, I hated it SO MUCH.

Phew. I’ve been wanting to vent about that to someone for like a year. Sorry Brittany, I know you liked it!

Here’s the thing. I listened to the audio book twice. The first time, I thought it was insanely beautiful. And the story moved along at a good clip and painted a fine portrait of some random not-all-that-interesting people in a time period I am rather fond of (the 1970s). Like the store Anthropologie, it irked me, but it was pretty, so I didn’t think too hard about it. The second time around I began to get a little ragey–about God, Christianity, the tone of the whole thing, EVERYTHING. And over time it’s just made me more and more and more mad. So I was happy to read, today, Roger Ebert’s wonderfully scathing review of the movie:

“The Lovely Bones” is a deplorable film with this message: If you’re a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to. You can get together in heaven with the other teenage victims of the same killer, and gaze down in benevolence upon your family members as they mourn you and realize what a wonderful person you were. Sure, you miss your friends, but your fellow fatalities come dancing to greet you in a meadow of wildflowers, and how cool is that?

The makers of this film seem to have given slight thought to the psychology of teenage girls, less to the possibility that there is no heaven, and none at all to the likelihood that if there is one, it will not resemble a happy gathering of new Facebook friends. In its version of the events, the serial killer can almost be seen as a hero for liberating these girls from the tiresome ordeal of growing up and dispatching them directly to the Elysian Fields. The film’s primary effect was to make me squirmy.

Y*E*S. (via Jezebel.) Roger Ebert is pretty universally amazing, no?

4.

And finally, onion rings—in five minutes. I made this the other night in my very skimpy vacation “kitchenette” which lacks pretty much everything you need to put a decent meal on the table. And because I was starving and was wolfishly eating the little fried fuckers the minute they came out of the oil, I forced Jacob into taking pictures of them so quickly that he barely had time to focus—any ideas about stylishly stacking the misshapen rings into a tidy stack or anything were out of the picture. Yours will look prettier if you aren’t cramming the batter into one tiny bowl because you only have one bowl because a gecko is currently inhabiting the other one and you’re too hungry to wash it out.

The substitution of chickpea flour for eggs in batters—are all vegans doing this? I’ve been doing it for a few years, and find more and more and more uses for this little gem of a trick. Bob’s Red Mill makes chickpea flour you can find in most health food stores (check the wheat-free section), but it’s much cheaper at Indian markets, where it’s called besan.

Peel an onion and chop it into nice thick rings. Then get out two bowls:

bowl #1:

some beer

some prepared mustard

if you have a nice sourdough starter, toss in a tablespoon or so for extra deliciousness and stick-to-it-iveness (sourdough is an excellent egg replacer too).

bowl #2:

something like equal parts all-purpose flour and chickpea flour

lots of sea salt

lots of cracked ground pepper

Some nice herb like dried rosemary or thyme or oregano or smoked paprika or five spice powder or ground cumin or aleppo pepper—something yummy.

  1. Dip onion rings in bowl #1, then bowl #2, then fry in hot oil (I used local mac nut oil, but at home I’d use grape seed or coconut).
  2. Drain on paper towels, then eat the fuck out of that fuckin’ shit. With ketchup, of course. YUM.
  3. If you have leftover batter, use it to make crazily wild and delicious banana fritters the next day. Or just fry whatever you have on hand with it, you can’t go wrong. Seitan! Tofu! Eggplant! Sage leaves! DO IT!

*And don’t think we’re not going to hash out the insane Whole Foods dude article in there too. Wait for it…

11 Responses to “onion rings and four other things”

  1. christy h

    I just started using chickpea flour! and I am so glad I did… and I am even more glad to know that I can use it in onion rings! Thanks again for introducing me to radness. We are having onion rings with dinner tonight!

    AND! I am on my way to Dovetail’s first day of being open to the public. I am so excited. I also can’t wait for you to make it to Portland so we can have a date there.

    Reply
  2. Christy

    Oh, godless angel, I made your onion rings tonight and, sweet Jesus, they were good!!!

    I love cauliflower breaded with a chickpea flour and roasted (with a mix of fennel, coriander, cumin, turmeric, basil, ginger, and hing).

    Reply
  3. ruby

    I was cat/housesitting once and made shake and bake cauliflower. Everyone that was at the potluck that night still talks about it. I have to get around to recreating it with real ingredients.

    I hated The Lovely Bones with a passion when I read it. I despised the plot and style, and then this dumb girl I was in college with saw I was reading it and gushed. It was her favorite book. “Really?” I asked. “I’m halfway through and I’m not sure I can go on.”She assured me that something amazing happens near the end that makes the book totally worth it. When I got there, dear reader, I kept reading thinking that event couldn’t possibly have been what she was talking about.

    It was.

    I’ve traded on that terrible book for years now. I like to get drunk and rant about how bad it was at bars and the big pay-off is recounting that stupid, offensive, anti-feminist-in-so-many-ways-I-can’t-quite-identify-all-of-them “magic” at the end. (I also like to tell folks the plot of “White Nights” – a movie I adore – while tipsy, because that’s pretty unbelievable too.)

    Ebert is great. I assume you’ve seen the youtube clips of them bickering between takes, non?

    Reply
  4. roger ebert « resistance is fertile

    […] Remember when I was waxing on about how much I hated The Lovely Bones and pointed to Roger Ebert’s awesome review of it as proof that the movie can’t be much better? Then Ruby and Marla pointed out that RoEb is the most awesome dude ever? I’ve sort of been thinking about him ever since, and feeling sad I’ve been missing out on his general awesomeness, a fact that, as it turns out, everyone in my life knows about but me (perhaps this is because important people in my life live in Chicago), because every time I say something about him, the person I’m talking to says something like “Oh, I love Roger Ebert.” Finally, I do too. This Esquire profile (which you’ve probably come across as well in your recent tours through the internet) confirmed my affection and, oh man, totally made me cry, just a little bit. […]

    Reply

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