One thing that makes me incredibly happy about or new vegan material is that engravings work exceptionally well. Now, finally, we can produce our calligraphy series without real leather (we call it calligra-peel, by the way).
To find inspiration, I primarily concentrated on one calligraphy, "slave." I felt pretty drawn to it, probably because it's so ambivalent with its positive meaning in kink and the terrible historical background.
Some of my favorite books from when I was younger addressed slavery, and I found it horrifying to read how bad people are willing to treat one another. Now, years later, it still terrifies me. However, today I have the added knowledge that, consent given, slave doesn't necessarily mean something bad. Having a strong fondness of D/s myself, it even awakes some very positive feelings when set in the context of BDSM.
Still, I'd feel strange calling myself a slave; I can't even explain why. It's definitely not because it's harsh; I 'ven been called much worse and still liked it.
The duality led to me really wanting to use this word as a starting point. So, I sat down with the collar and started thinking. And did research. How did slaves live? What did they do? And mostly: what did they eat?
The internet had lots of information available, especially about Southern America, where the base concept for my recipe originates.
One key component of southern American slaves' food had been cornmeal.
English is not my native language, but I believe that this term is usually used for something flour-like made from corn - please correct me if I'm wrong. However, translation sites told me that it could also mean polenta; I'm simply not sure how common that usage would be.
Nevertheless, this led me to polenta. I never really warmed towards polenta, but that was only an additional motivation to make this work.
So I made grilled polenta with roasted veggies (and it was yummy!)
Roasted veggies are one of my standard meals since they are incredibly flexible and swift to cook. All you have to do is wash and cut vegetables, toss them with some seasoning and olive oil, and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes - it won't get much easier.
I invited myself over to my mum's and dad's place to do the cooking since they have this fancy cast-iron steak skillet that makes the pretty stripes.
And now, let's have a look at the recipe:
For the polenta (for four people):
250 g Polenta
1 l vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp yeast flakes
a few twigs of fresh rosemary
more olive oil for grilling
Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the polenta. Add salt, pepper, chopped rosemary plus the yeast flakes and stir well. (My mom told me she always uses parmesan when cooking polenta, so yeast flakes seemed a likely substitute for that. You don't necessarily need them; they just add some nice flavor).
Let the mixture come to a boil and then turn off the stovetop. Stir in the olive oil and let the polenta rest on the hot plate for about 10 minutes to get soft. Stir the mixture occasionally so that it won't burn. You can now add more seasonings if needed.
After that, oil a mold, fill it with the hot polenta, and smoothen the surface. Now wait until it's completely cool; that way, your polenta will solidify and become a sliceable block (plan at least an hour for that).
Once this is done, turn the mold upside down and put the polenta on a cutting board. Cut into desired shapes, heat up a pan with some olive oil, and roast until you're satisfied with the level of browning.
It's as easy as that :)
Oven veggies are one of my favorite meals, and I eat them at least once a week. They are easy and fast to make and come in such a wide variety.
I'm not going to write a real recipe for that, just some general pointers.
Before you start preparing the veggies, preheat the oven to about 175 degrees Celsius.
I'd use about 200-300 g of veggies per person (just go with your gut; usually, I don't measure them). You can choose whatever veggies are available. This time, I used potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, pepper, spring onions, and romanesco broccoli (to be honest, this one entirely out of curiosity after seeing it at the farmers market).
Wash and cut the veggies, and put them into an oven-safe dish.
Now, I love to add tons of garlic. It will lose it's sharp taste while roasting and leave lots of aromas. My mum taught me to peel the garlic, smash it, and put in the whole gloves. It depends on my mood, whether I do that or slice it up before adding it.
Once that is done, all that's left to do is add salt, pepper, and a generous splash of olive oil.
Now put it in the oven for about 45 minutes for the veggies to roast, and that's it!