Tuesday, April 17, 2007
My Vegan Birthday
My darling wife made me feel so special yesterday. It was my 34th birthday, and boy did I get a delicious vegan feast. My wife actually took off early from work to prepare the food. Anita made steamed spring rolls with a spicy peanut sauce as an appetizer, and for the main meal, she made a Szechuan-style stir fry with snow peas, bamboo shoots, broccoli, mung bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, carrots, onions, fried tofu with brown rice. I was full, but I managed to eat two kinds of whole wheat brownies, one sweeter without frosting and the other with frosting. She bought me some neat books, including "A Vegan Taste of Thailand" by Linda Majzlik, "Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style" by Chat Mingkwan, "The True History of Chocolate" by Sophie and Michael Coe and a book by liberal radio host Ed Schultz. You can probably tell that I'm obsessed with Thai cooking. Thailand truly has an amazing variety of cuisine. What gets me is the number of sauces they have. You simply could never get bored with what they offer. The chocolate book also has an interesting story. You learn about the plant and how it was used in the Americas and what the white conquerors did with it. More than the incredible story of chocolate, the fact that the book was published at all was a testament to love. Sophie Coe wrote the wonderful book called "America's First Cuisines," which examined the foods that came out of the Americas, including tomatoes, chili peppers, bananas, potatoes, pineapples, pinto and black beans, of course chocolate and many others. Her husband, a famous archaeologist and anthropologist, wrote numerous books on the Mayans. Sophie Coe became terminally ill with cancer as she began to write the chocolate book. She died only three chapters into it, but her husband took the research she did and finished the writing. What a sweet love story.