Soy Vay!

Goldie From The Block

I once read somewhere, back when blogdom was in its infancy, that one kitchen diva’s nightmare was that guests would arrive and there wouldn’t be anything on the table they were willing to eat.  Haven’t most of us had that nightmare?  You know what I mean… you invite guests over for Shabbat lunch and it turns out they are macrobiotic raw foodists who don’t want to go near your cholent, or snaggle-toothed carnivores who turn up their noses at your tofu curry.  You just can’t win with some people.

I used to be one of those guests, once.  I was a vegan for 5 years back in the mid-90s, eschewing meat, eggs, dairy, any kinds of animal product.  I totally freaked my friends out.  It’s not that I was being kind to animals, it was that animals weren’t kind to me, I had problems digesting animal protein and a vegan diet was the only one that worked for me back then.  These days I’m my old carnivorous self again, although I love catering for veggie guests.  When veggie friends come over I can whip some tofu curry as good as any card-carrying PETA member.  Ju-Boy gets a bit miffed, though, when they reciprocate but don’t sacrifice a cow for his dietary preferences.

Once upon a time, before my vegan days, I had a friend from back in the hood, Goldie From The Block.  Goldie and her very own SugarBear had recently made aliya and I invited them over for dinner.  “You know we’re vegan,” announced Goldie.  My first reaction?  Oy!  I spent two weeks researching a vegan menu worthy of Goldie and SugarBear.  After all, I wanted that meal to be perfect!  I had invited another couple over for dinner as well, and the X (I was married to the X then) said, “This other couple are not used to this alien food, you should make something dairy as well, just as a backup.”

So our guests showed up for dinner, and I started to bring food out on to the table.  Potato and leek soup, lentil pie, tofu and sweet potato curry, couscous and salad.  I had a fruit salad chilling in the fridge for dessert, to be topped with a forest fruits sorbet.  Not a single animal had been harmed or taken advantage of for this meal.  Except for when I brought out the quiche.  If I was going to cater to the vegans, I’d cater to the non-vegans as well, and I had made a small tomato and onion quiche with lots of cheddar cheese, eggs and cream.  As I placed this dairy masterpiece on the table I said, “Everything here is vegan, except for the quiche.”

“Quiche!” exclaimed Goldieblox and her Bear.  “Quiche, we love quiche!”  and they helped themselves to giant portions of enslaved animal products.  “B-b-b-b-b-but,” I blubbered, “you guys are vegans!”  “Yes,” said Goldie, “but we don’t expect people to cater for us when we go out!”  Goldie may have been married to a Bear, but I was the one who growled then.

Goldie, SugarBear and their three cubs

But what’s a little oppressed animal cuisine among friends?  Although Goldie from the Block and SugarBear have given up their vegan ways, they still are very kind to animals and other living things in the guise of lacto-ovo vegetarians.  They live on the other side of town with their three cubs.  Goldie had a birthday the other day, and her friends all got together to throw her a party.  We all brought something to eat, and in memory of those vegan days I brought along a dish of edamame hummous.  No animals were harmed, exploited or taken advantage of in that dish of green.  As Goldie tried some on a cracker she told me that it was “juuuuuuust right!”

Edamame Hummous

Don’t let the fact that this is healthy or vegan deter you, it’s yummy, and a nice alternative to chickpea hummous.

  • 1 bag (400 grams, about 13 ounces) frozen, shelled edamame
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Bring the edamame to boil in a pot of water for about 3 minutes.  You can also nuke them in the microwave for about 5-7 minutes, until hot.  Drain them in a colander and rinse under running water.
  2. Place the beans in the food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients and give it all a good zhuzz until the mixture is the consistency of guacamole.  If it’s too thick add a teaspoon of water, one at a time, until the right consistency.
  3. Taste and correct seasonings.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until party time!

Serve with pita chips or strips of red pepper for dipping.


About Miriyummy

All I want to do is live happily ever after.

Posted on 6 February 2011, in Birthdays, Celebrations, Shabbat, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. love it!
    I was a strict, inflexible, obnoxious* ovo-lacto-vegetarian for 25 years. *I never preached it, because I wasn’t in it for the ideology, but even though I’d say:
    “Don’t worry, you don’t need to make anything special; I don’t.” People tried.


  2. Fantastic story – and that chumus/houmous/bean spread sounds amazing! I was just introduced to edamame not long ago – I think I’ll give this a try!


  3. My DD and her hubby are vegetarians and it’s been a challenge at times to cook for them and the carnivores… but it all works out somehow. I’m now famous for “my” tofu pot pie the kids request for the holidays each year… *lol*


  4. I have seen edamame in a health store but never actually tasted it.
    Do you bring the edamame to a boil to cook them or are they already cooked?


  5. I have to say that I’m a bit more annoying vegan than your friends. For me, it is about not harming animals, not health. I won’t eat animal products out of the house either. I don’t expect people to cook special for me. As long as there’s a salad or something that I can pick around, I’m happy.

    I’ve never thought about using edamame as a spread. What a great idea. I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe. Thanks!


  6. Looks good Mirj. Is the tehina supposed to be “raw” or the ready made stuff from the supermarket? Way to go – let’s keep the animals alive! Have a good one. Suz


  7. Brynn Sugarman

    Wow, Miriyummy, starring in your blog sure makes me still feel like a princess days later…what a fab 50th BD gift! The edamame hummous is not only miriyummy but very creative: East meets Middle East! Love ’em both! I’ll give it a whirl! If mine doesn’t quite live up to yours, I’ll just grab my hammer and go in search of Mr. Meo the 8 kilo vunderpuss! (neutered male, eternally mistaken for a pregnant female… Hardly lean and gamey!) Shaggy the Dog is likely to cheer me on, but she’d better beware because who would likely be next?! Vegetarians gone mad…
    oh, but there’s that Kosher business, isn’t there?!
    Guess I’ll just stick to the edamame hummous—and the quiche! (almost got you, Ju-Boy…)
    Cheers and Love,


  8. As a close relative of Goldie, SugarBear and their wonderful cubs, I can relate. We also went through their vegan (etc.) phases with them, catering to it and avoiding all sorts of good meaty food at our table when required. While we may have had the odd (or more) kvetch about it, their food fetishes did open our minds to alternatives, and as a result, today nothing much phases me in the kitchen (except maybe the odd parev, frosted birthday cake).
    Great blog!


  9. Very funny post. I am always so conflicted about what to tell people. I don’t want to tell them I am vegetarian for fear of putting them out, but if I say nothing and everything on the table has meat in it and they find out after the fact that I am vegetarian, then they might really be annoyed. I really am fine with whatever is served as long as there is at least one thing without meat in it on the table, and there usually is anyway.
    But I have also have had my share of surprises when serving guests. Serving kugels that they used to love, but, whoops, now they are on a strict no-carb diet. Cold cuts for the kids, but, oh no, the mom doesn’t approve of deli or hot dogs because of the nitrites. Or the time that I made strawberry soup and found out that a guest detests strawberries.


  10. Great blog, Mirj. I once had a vegan come to me for Shabbat and she hadn’t warned me she was vegan. I had NOT ONE appropriate dish for her to eat. I had even roasted the potatoes alongside the meat. I felt both embarrassed and angry. Love the videoclip!


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