Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Welcome to the Casa Corazones Pantry!


I'm not even sure who's reading here anymore! I let this blog fall by the wayside for several years, writing instead about prisons and finishing my book. But there's been plenty of kitchen action going on! We are now happy homeowners and occasional farmers in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco, and despite working long hours outside the house we try to make it a priority to cook and eat together at home. I recently turned forty, am still swimming and started riding my new awesome bicycle, and we're raising the world's most fantastic two cats, Spade and Archer.

The good news, foodwise, are now that I've returned to veganism after a 20-year hiatus. It feels good to be ethically comfortable with what I eat, and many of the compromises of the last few years had started feeling like unsatisfactory rationalizations. Chad eats cheese and eggs, but less and less now that what we eat together has no animal products.


Our happy neighborhood location means that our produce shopping is usually done at Casa Lucaz, which has a lot of fresh produce. We try to shop seasonally, even though they stock imported, out-of-season items; their prices and kindness are hard to beat.

We also grow some of our vegetables and fruit in our backyard! We have a lemon tree and enjoyed our own tomatoes all summer long. Right now we have kale and chard outside, and fava beans, and many herbs in the back, and we're hoping to have heirloom corn and more tomatoes next summer, as well as other vegetables.

Our very busy lives mean that we are not as diligent about shopping as we should be, and I'm therefore looking for a CSA. Next week I hope we'll be getting our inaugural box from Albert & Eve Organics, and I very much hope to renew the tradition of posting the recipes we make with the contents of our box.

Legumes and Grains

Another big novelty is that we are now the happy owners of not only an enormous kitchen and a fabulous 1950s Wedgewood stove, but also a couple of slow cookers. I'm finding them indispensable and frequently use them for cooking beans, vegetables, oatmeal, and my favorite--warm compote for breakfast.

Lots of the home cookery relies on beans, which we buy canned from reputable, decent places, or dry from the good people at Rancho Gordo. Our favorite brown rice is the lightly milled Sukoyaka brand. And we like brown rice pasta from Tinkyada.

Soy, Tofu, and Analogs

The world of vegan convenience foods has sure changed since the last time I was vegan! At home we regularly stock unsweetened soymilk and almond milk, preferably from Westsoy. Delicious, albeit expensive, cheeses are available as well, and I treat myself occasionally to the creations from Miyoko's Kitchen and Chao Slices. Field Roast makes wonderful sausages and other alternatives to meat. And the new Just Mayo is a big hit around here, too.

Nuts and Dried Fruit

We try and buy these snacks in bulk; Alfieri often have a booth at the Heart of the City Farmers Market.

Please stay tuned for upcoming fabulous recipes!

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