The Library of Table

Given an infinite combination of games & food . . .

Archive for VeganMoFo

The Joys of Failure

So, obviously, I did not make it all the way through VeganMoFo. Perhaps next year. But now that I’ve got this blog rolling, and I’m not giving up on it yet. By my count, I owe you lot at least eight posts about food. And you shall have them! Just not at the moment. Let’s say, before the new year.

In the meantime, I’m going to push forward the gaming agenda of this blog a little more. Because in addition to being an eater, I’m a gamer. And I even design games. Even games that have YouTube videos made of them:

My gaming stuff is all over the place, but in all sorts of official capacities. My Dread blog is all about, well, Dread. My Dig a Thousand Holes blog is about the games I’ve published myself, which at the moment is dominated by my latest: Time & Temp. And the Imagination Sweatshop is about a group of friends who get together to make games up as they go along. And as many and varied as these links are, a lot of my gaming interest and thoughts tends to fall through the cracks. I intend to employ this blog in preventing such crack falling through.

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The Undeniable Duality of the Green Bean

Right, so in an effort to get back on track with VeganMoFo, I’m forcing myself to post before lunch. And I’m pretty fucking hungry, so this’ll be short and sweet.

Let’s talk about the green bean.

Oops, sorry. My fault.

I meant, “Let’s talk about the green bean.”

Though these two vegetables share the same origin, they’re about as different as any two vegetables can be. (Originally I was going to go with this whole pre- and post-black album Metallica metaphor, but I didn’t want to taint either of these noble foodstuffs with “The Unforgiven” and company.)

Despite this common origin, and their homophonic relationship, these are two very, very different foodstuffs. To swap them up in a recipe is to invite disaster into your kitchen. Read the rest of this entry »

Potatoes in Vinegar Sauce

A few years back, while I was working as a temp at an insurance company, I decided to read Moby Dick on my lunch break. (I know, MoFoers, not the most vegan of books, but hold on, there’s more to this.) I was shocked by how much I was enjoying my slow, leisurely stroll through this mammoth of a classic.

For months, I looked forward to my lunch hour (more of a half an hour, when all was said and done) and the time I got to spend with Melville and his whaling crew. During those same months, I was rarely on the ball enough to pack a lunch. I had to fend for myself in the financial heart of New York City. It was during this time when I discovered the falafel cart.

$2.50 for a platter of stuffed grape leaves, freshly fried falafel balls, hummus, baba ghannouj and a spicy giardiniera salad all drowning in rich tahini. And warm pita on the side. Heaven!

Every week day I sat in that tiny break room with my wire book stand and my falafel platter and disappeared into Moby Dick. And after pages and pages of sensual details of whale hunting, an activity I had absolutely no frame of reference for, I began to trick myself into associating the various alien smells and tastes described in the book with tahini, falafel, and company.

I had not realized this until, long after I finished reading it, I was enjoying a falafel sandwich and thought to myself, “I bet this is what whale tastes like.”

In much the same way, I’ve trained myself to associate Chinese takeout with D&D. After months of meeting up with folks twice a month to enjoy a little General Tso’s Tofu while pursuing the minions of Demogorgon, I managed to permanently link frustrating die rolls, exploding monsters and that deliciously sweet-with-a-hint-of-spicy sauce of the general’s.

But this story isn’t about D&D or the white whale. It’s about potatoes in vinegar sauce. Read the rest of this entry »

Catching Up on the MoFo

So, I’ve been in Western Massachusetts the past week. I ain’t bragging or nothing. Just letting you know why I haven’t been MoFo’ing in a while. By my count, I’m about five or six posts behind. Looks like you’re going to get a couple of these a day until I’ve caught up.

So here it is, three of my favorite vegan places to eat in Western Massachusetts.

First on the list is Cafe Evolution, my one-stop shop for Sheese, delicious pastries, toothsome meals, and just plain old enjoyable atmosphere. Also, a wide variety of seating options, including booths, chairs, stools and couches. Which is something more places need. And a Ms. Pac-Mac game, if I’m not mistake. Which is something every place needs.

Then there’s the Green Bean, which doesn’t seem to have a webpage.

In 2009.

No webpage.

It’s almost as if it doesn’t exist.

Okay, so here are some folks talking about it. I had their brunch, and loved it. Especially the corn cakes, so don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Not everything’s vegan there, but what is vegan is clearly labeled. Very vegan friendly. Also, they have a tree of coffee mugs, which is quite charming. If they had a webpage, I’m sure I could find a picture of it that would swiftly illustrate why I love it. But they don’t, and I really don’t feel like typing the requisite thousand words said picture would be worth. So just go see for yourself.

And now for some sad news I didn’t know about until I started this post (otherwise I would have protected you, dear reader). My third entry is not long for this world.

Tofu A Go-Go is a wonderful little vegetarian place with mostly vegan options, which is surprisingly rare in the vegetarian world. Their Crack Tofu is as habit-forming as the name implies. Despite this, they’re disappearing at the end of the month. I suppose they’ll have to fill the vacant storefront with a methadone clinic. Tis a shame.

Coffee Is Vegan

If you asked me what’s the most important thing about veganism, that would be my answer.

Coffee is more than just warm, dirty water. It’s the best warm, dirty water nature has to offer. I know that’ll elicit controversy from the tea crowd, and I apologize, but sometimes we have to take a stand for the truth.

I do enjoy tea, and the incredible variety it brings. But tea is tea and coffee is God’s own brew.

I cannot, however, talk endlessly about either, for I am no connoisseur.  My palette welcomes all manner of coffee as long as it’s not flavored. Something about most flavored coffees just rubs me the wrong way.

Black, that’s the way to best enjoy it.

There was a point to this post, which has slipped away from me. I’m sure it’ll come back to me, but for now the takeaway point is that coffee is vegan.

Paladins for the Ethical Treatment of the Animate

Ethics get tricky when they’re imaginary.

Just for a moment, consider the lowly orc. There’s all manner of debate in the roleplaying crowds about whether or not it’s okay to fight them unless you are in imminent peril or there’s clear evidence they’re up to no good. Do you need just cause to kill an orc, or because orcs are considered by their very nature to be evil, is it cool to kill them on sight?

Paladin in Hell(Or is it even out and out racist to have a race of purely evil beings in your game to begin with. Though those who object to universally qualifying orcs as evil start to lose their objections when we swap orcs with the various sorts of undead, demons, or devils, who in our pseudo-Christian culture it’s downright kosher to think of as inherently evil. And they pretty much think it’s a-okay to do whatever you want to a Nazi soldier in your game, which raises all sort of questions about priorities when you stop to consider they’re the only folks on the list to have ever existed and are not by their inherent nature beings of evil. These, of course, are questions I won’t be addressing here.)

But D&D has far deeper ethical issue than who you take a sword to. Read the rest of this entry »

Sabra Cadabra

Feel so good, I feel so fine. Lovely little hummus always on my mind. I swear, there’s nothing in this world a tub of hummus can’t fix. In fact, it’s pretty amazing when you think about how long we’ve had this technology and we haven’t solved everything yet.

Oh well, there’s still time.