Heya, this is part two of my giant January catch-up post. Get started with Part One here - especially if you like cats. There are so many cat pictures.

Monday January 13

I woke up early to make a delicious chana masala before heading down to AmericasMart. I recommend the Post Punk Kitchen recipe. It’s the one I’ve used for years with only minor variations.

Adding the tamarind.

My not-so-secret ingredient: a giant dollop of pure organic coconut cream. A fistful of cilantro to finish, a pile of basmati rice, and you’ve got yourself a meal.

That night we met up at a Joystick, a classic arcade/bar, to remember Aaron Swartz. After a long conversation about internet activism and data liberation, we distracted ourselves from sorrow – and celebrated Aaron’s incredibly inspirational life – with X-Men and Mrs. Pac-Man. You gave us so much, Aaron – we only hope you knew how deeply loved and admired you were while you were with us. You continue to inspire.

If you haven’t already signed the petition to remove those responsible for pushing the case much, much further than it needed to go, it’s still a good idea. The best place to keep up with the fair use and transparency issues that Swartz championed is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I’m also fond of the Free Software Foundation.

Wednesday January 16 – Sunday January 27

Everything changed. My poor sweetheart had surgery on Wednesday to correct his deviated septum and reduce the turbinates. It was really, really hard on him, but I stayed by his side and gave him medicine every four hours and helped him however possible. I was grateful that Margie was flexible with my hours, because I really didn’t want to leave his side.

I took one picture of him while he was laid up in the bed recovering, but it’s so pitiful it breaks my heart to look at it – so of course I’m not sharing it here! I will, however, show his first solid foods:

Sunday supper: barbeque tofu and sweet potato souffle.

He was also thrilled when I made use of the bevy of Veggie Hubby greens in a variation of Bryant Terry’s gumbo zav, or gumbo z’herbes, from The Inspired Vegan.

In progress: local organic cabbage, kohlrabi greens, kale, collards, and parsley.

Served with sweet potato biscuits.

As much as my food helped revive his spirits, I’m pretty sure the most helpful thing was all the Star Trek: The Next Generation we watched. We were both completely new to the series (and Star Trek in general), so this was the perfect time to dive in. WE ARE OBSESSED.

Monday January 28

At long last, my sweet started feeling better! I made a special breakfast:

scramble over pea shoots with salsa and avocado

We celebrated at Joystick with drinks and games and a joyous reunion. Everyone was so excited to see Nate again, not least of all, Brit:

My favorite part of the night was ambushing our friends at Mrs. Pac-Man and shoving in quarters so they had to keep playing. Y’all, there’s no more stressful game than Mrs. Pac-Man. I loved seeing ‘em sweat!!

Tuesday January 29

A good day is one that begins with a flock of red-winged blackbirds.

Unseasonably warm weather permitted us to open the windows for our little sweets. They can’t resist an open window. Housework is always easier with a fresh breeze, so I got all caught up.

That night we headed over to our pal Christin’s for the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Five. Have you seen the amazing Look Book that she made for me? It is the bestest! I love it so much that I CRIED when she gave it to me. I know I shared a few pictures in a previous entry, but if you click the link you can see the whole book. You should also check out her fantastic Episode One: RuPaullywood or Bust re-cap (if you’ve seen the episode ALREADY, of course!).

My favorite performer is by far Seattle’s Premier Jewish Narcoleptic Drag Queen, Jinkx Monsoon! I also have a teensy crush on the crazy Alyssa. And who doesn’t love Detox and Alaska? Still, my favorite to win is the absolutely gorgeous Lineysha Sparx. It’s time for a Puerto Rican queen to take home the 100,000. It’s just time.

Wednesday January 30

Wednesday started much earlier than usual with a trip up to Mt. Arabia to help one of my favorite folks with an art project. He made a call on Facebook a day or so prior for helpers and my taste for adventure overrode the fact that it was a before-dawn assignment. Once there, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to spend a Wednesday morning. The air was still a bit warm from the stormfront moving in, but the rain stayed at bay most of the time we were there. I was mostly there to schlep props up and down the mountain, but I still had a really lovely time. The photographer Andre was outstanding and such a pleasure to interact with. Here are a couple of his shots:

Lavonia Elberton by Andre Keichian

If you were there, you would have seen me just out of the frame, assisting with the fabric. Let’s be real here, though – the wind did most of the work.

I was a bit tired for Vegetable Husband deliveries but they went fine, despite the fact that the city was under a Tornado Watch through 8pm. :) I made it home by 4:30pm and got to work on a special dinner for Nate. We still celebrate our dating anniversaries monthly on the 30th. He always draws something for me and I almost always make him dinner from scratch (unless we go out).

I made tempeh crab cakes (crabfakes) served over local organic pea shoots with a spicy remoulade:

They were accompanied by a gingery coconut-pumpkin soup and the creamiest ever scalloped potatoes with kohlrabi. Sorry, no pictures of the potatoes.

All three recipes were heavily modified versions of Alicia Simpson’s in Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations. The scalloped potatoes needed about 5 times longer to cook than she called for, though… and the crabfakes needed a fair bit of jazzing up with spices, tamari, and vinegar to suit my taste.

Thursday January 31

The last day of a pretty good start to 2013. Though I lost track of my resolutions while Nate was sick, I had a good time, surrounded myself with kind people, and cooked great food.

You know, like vegan chick’n and waffles:

Frying

Browned on both sides. Tongs are your friend.
Southern fried if I’ve ever seen it!
Homemade savory waffle getting the maple-mustard-mayo treatment.
One? Two? Three. This big guy’s for Nate, my skinny fella with the giant appetite!

With a sliced heirloom tomato and some organic lettuce, what else could you desire?
Only a fool (me) tries to bite this beast. This is a sandwich for a knife and fork!
My lovely one enjoys his new favorite thing.

Big thanks to to Bianca Phillips of VeganCrunk for sharing these amazing recipes in her new book Cookin’ Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South! If you love Southern food, veganized, and don’t already have Cookin’ Crunk, you must get it immediately! She has all kinds of recipes for your favorites, like Memphis-style BBQ sauce, brown-sugar baked tofu ham in redeye gravy, no-tell Ro-tel cheese dip, pimiento cheese sandwiches, devilled egg bites, spicy seitan hot wangs, and more. You might also enjoy following her daily eats at VeganCrunk.Blogspot.com.

Hooray for January… now let’s all hope I don’t wait another month to share about February’s adventures!