Sunday 11 September 2005

A Fair Veggie Food Fair

Vegetarian food fair today. So, we went after the Quaker meeting. Hadn't been to a Quaker meeting in a long, long time. Pretty nervous about how Istra would behave. For those who don't know, Quaker meetings (unprogramed ones) are mostly held silently (a meditation sort of thing). Istra is pretty good though. She make a few noises, a couple of times... but mostly was sleeping and pacified. Selena did fairly near the end of the meeting get up and take Istra out, as she was starting to get more restless... but all in all it went quite well. After the meeting we went out into the backyard where there's a bench made of split logs, and the baby got changed, and fed.

But back the food fair. The most interesting thing about it was that it was nearly exactly the same as last year. The same booths, in (most cases) identical locations. Hare Krishna's staking out a slightly different location in front of the stage and singing and singing and singing their never ending, and rather monotonous, song. It might be a good organization for novice musicians to join, I mused. Maybe I mused that last year as well.

We ended up, it seems, hitting the same stalls and getting virtually exactly the same food we got last year, with a few exceptions.

We started out at the rastafarian barbecued corn stand, which amazed us last year. It's corn, shucked, slapped on the barbecue, until slightly blackened. They then rub the corn with lime, give it some butter, and sprinkle it with a reddish spice mixture... somehow this year it wasn't as good as last year. Couldn't taste the lime. Wasn't as spicy. Was still good though.

Next we headed to what we knew was good. This little booth that it seems is occupied by an elderly Indian couple representing a Hindu temple in Niagra. They don't really have any "advertising" I noticed. They just have trays of samosas, pakora, and the ever interesting dhokla. They didn't let us down. See the picture at the top of this post (the dhokla is the corn-bready looking stuff with the big black spots on it; and note especially the glorious green goop down beside it...). In fact while their food was exactly the same as last year, I don't remember the green sauce. We don't know what the green sauce was... it seemed to be some sort of spicy cilantro concoction. It was fabulous. It matched and enhanced the dhokla perfectly. It was the highlight of the whole fair!

The samosas weren't as good as the really good ones one of Selena's prenatal-mom friends brought to their get together here some weeks ago (I got left overs), but they are pretty good ones. Really interesting mix of spices. The green sauce went great with these too!

The pakora I don't get as excited about, but theirs is pretty good too. They also had mango chutney which seemed to us to be spiced just perfectly. But I wish we had more of the green sauce.

So Istra got the breast twice in public today. A new record for her, i think. Selena attempted to pee her behind a tree (the very tree you'll see her exploring if you click the link), but she would have none of it. She then promptly peed her diaper as we put it back on her. She does this sometimes perhaps just to remind us who's boss.

So, Selena once again could not resist the Tofutti table, and suckered me into going along with getting a couple of "Marry Me" bars. These are vegan chocolate covered soy "ice cream" on a stick. I can't say I like them much. Alas.

So we decided to try some more food. We got a plate from a cheapish restaurant which had a booth. The plates kind of look like those one might get at an oriental-type place at a mall food court... but impressed us due to its use of brown fried rice instead of the bland white stuff. Selena was interested because of the vegetarian sweet and sour "chicken" balls. It also came with salad. It wasn't very good. The balls were kind of interesting, in a chewy sort of way, but not very good. The sweet and sour sauce wasn't very sweet nor sour. We did however have better luck with the 'vegetarian patty' we got with it. This is like one of those cheap "jamaican meat patties", only vegetarian. It wasn't bad. Didn't have at all the same texture as a meat patty, but had the same sort of spiciness (and saltiness, as Selena pointed out)... it was a delightful tidbit.

Selena then, with the last bit of room she had in her tummy, couldn't resist the vegan carrot cake. I declined cake, as I was yearning for some spring rolls. The carrot cake was pretty tasty (I had a bite) and refreshing. The spring rolls however turned out to be a disaster. Super greasy, bland, and the chilli sauce I'd been looking forward to with them was just icky.

But, despite that disappointing ending, we simply had no more room to eat any more. So what was the use of sticking around? We fled.

Now we have to wait another whole year for more dhokla and green sauce...

(For those so inclined, clicking the above gratutious image of Istra leads to more...)

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