Urban house sitting has it’s privileges including – when we’re lucky – a well appointed kitchen. A recent stint on Beacon Hill in Seattle gave us an exciting opportunity to launch the New Mystique Cooking Club. NMCC emerged from a concept Harpo developed with her friend and former colleague from On the Boards, Tania.
Both Sara and Tania consider themselves improvisationally challenged in the kitchen. While we’re able to follow recipes, we’re often unsure 1) what that bay leaf is actually doing; 2) how to cut up a head of fennel; 3) what do you buy instead if the store is out of dandelion greens; 4) what do we do with that peach that is starting to turn?
Our solution: trial and error. We decided to attempt to cooking through the entirety of Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” – using appropriate vegan substitutions. We invited NKO for the occasional benefit of having a high functioning vegan chef to help drink the cooking wine. We invited Erin and Richard not only as taste-testers, but also for their intelligent conversation, wit, and good looks. Part of the fun of cooking is sharing the booty – it’s far more entertaining and rewarding than say, abstract painting.
Our first menu (all vegan):
- Peach & Balsamic Shrub Cocktail (peach, basil, sugar, vinegar with whiskey & soda), garnished with a Basil Leaf
- Barley Risotto (earth balance, olive oil, onion, garlic, dry white wine & homemade vegetable broth), finished with Lemon, Parsley, Nutritional Yeast
- Massaged Flowering Kale, Fennel, Celery, Spinach & Mizuna Salad, with Homemade Croutons, toasted Cashews & Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
- Roasted Asparagus with Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Homemade Crust