Friday, October 7, 2011

Vegan MoFo Six - Southern traditions and a rice cooker cake

Welcome to Vegan MoFo Six-
Day Six of Vegan Month of Food 2011

God speed, Steve Jobs!
and thank you for thinking
"outside the box."
My favorite quote attributed to him speaks of/to us Vegans,
and MoFo,
out to change the world, one tasty bite at a time.

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. 
The troublemakers. 
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. 
And they have no respect for the status quo. 
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. 
Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. 
They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? 
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. 
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

(tune in MJ, who, himself, also left us too soon, singing
Gone Too Soon.)

When notified of a death, Southern Belles, of a certain age, head for the kitchen.
Our tradition is to cook up something to comfort the bereaved family.
And though I don't know the Jobs' family personally, 
motivational speakers tell us we should
"act as if..."
So I decided to bake a cake in Steve's honor.

However, due to Houston's continued heat wave,
my oven is in hiatus until November, 
or sustained temps below 90 degrees
(whichever comes first).

We Belles are good at improvisation,
and adaptation.

Found this book at my local library.
 Have Your Cake and Vegan Too 
by Kris Holechek
and opted to make the
Spiced-Rice Cranberry Cake recipe.
Because
1. It sounded interesting
2.I had all the ingredients at hand, and
3. It did not involve a hot oven!

Do not be fooled by the title, 
no rice is used in the making of this cake.
It is made in a rice cooker, and I just happen to own one.
(It was a one-day sale special price, with a mail-in rebate
and I had a coupon. Translation: great deal)

Cake Batter in Rice cooker

Cooling on Rack.

In my 16-cup Multi-Use rice cooker, this made a single layer cake, just right for a small gathering.
In a smaller size cooker, 
the cake would be suitable for slicing into two layers.
The recipe lists cook time at 30-35 minutes, yet my cooker switched from 'cook' to 'keep warm' after 15 minutes,
though the cake wasn't done.
Required some tweaking on my part,
and the results were quite tasty.
Since I adore cranberries, and we ate this as a snack cake, 
I omitted the suggested glaze frosting.

My advice:
only make this in a basic cooker, where you control the timer,
or make cupcakes (see Cupcake Maker),
or bake in oven.
Here's to you, Steve,
on behalf of a grateful nation.

For further reading, I highly recommend this lovely book 
explaining some of our Southern traditions,
Being Dead is No Excuse
The Official Southern Ladies Guide 
to Hosting the Perfect Funeral
by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays

FUNERAL TIPS AND TIDBITS
G      Nobody eats better than a bereaved Southerner.
G      When someone you love dies you need two things, friends and alcohol.
G      Fat, sugar, and salt are the three major food groups.
G      Polishing silver is the Southern ladies version of grief therapy.

Of course there are recipes in the book; 
I'll work on Veganizing these for MoFo 2012.

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