We appreciate the ecological importance of native bees. We grow flowers in our permaculture polyculture guilds that attract bees. This bee is pollinating grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum.
It fits over my raised bed made with recycled plastic. Terrific! We plan to grow summer and winter squash and cucumbers in it during the warm months and then leafy greens in the fall and winter.
I’m trying something new for sourdough quarantine baking: pumpkin cinnamon rolls. The two cans were the perfect amount. Because the filling is wetter than regular cinnamon rolls, the unrisen rolls are droopy. I don’t think it will matter, but I’ll see! I intend to eat these for breakfast, so they are healthier, too: less sugar, basted with melted vegan butter, but none in the dough or spread on the rolled out sections.
My vegan version of World War II Mayonnaise Cake, baked at 7,000 feet elevation. Mayonnaise Cake was created by inventive cooks who looked for ways to make familiar foods in a time of rationing. The mayonnaise substitutes for butter and eggs. I used Vegenaise and a modified New York Times recipe.
Cocoa Vegan Mayonnaise Cake
1. Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil: Try using tea or coffee to add flavors like espresso and peppermint.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Frontier Coop Dutch-processed).
3. Pour in the boiling water, let sit for a few minutes to make it easy for the cocoa to dissolve, then whisk until smooth.
4. Whisk in 2/3 cup Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. The liquid portion will become smooth.
5. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups flour (I use home ground whole wheat, but commercial whole wheat pastry flour all-purpose flour work, too) until there are not any lumps.
7. Use a spatula to help pour the batter into a greased 8- or 9-inch diameter pan or cookie sheet with bar cookie indentations or a cup cake pan (smaller cakes are better at high altitude). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on altitude and size of cake(s), until the tops spring back when the center is gently pressed.
What if there was a year-round method of cooking that was low cost, powered by sunlight, non-polluting, and easy to do even in college dorms, apartment balconies and off-the-grid locations? There is: solar cooking.
In the 21st century, the need for sustainable cooking solutions is great, including fossil fuel-caused climate change, the end of cheap oil, and deforestation due to firewood collection. Whether you spend a couple of hours building a simple solar cooker out of cardboard and foil, or buy a sturdy commercial model, it is possible to do everything from simmering to blanching, poaching, steaming, sautéing, braising, baking, roasting, toasting, pan frying, grilling, food canning, medical sterilization, and even making ice (at night!).
My book includes the following information: