Filed under: Cakes, Cooking, Uncategorized, winter seasonal food | Tags: chocolate cake, garlic, oven roasted vegetables, root vegetable
Two weeks or so ago I went to the countryside in search of some local food with a couple of friends. In the woods we did find lots and lots of funnel chanterelles (Cantharellus tubaeformis) and lingonberries. Picking these mushrooms is very rewarding: first you don’t see them, but then you spot one and suddenly realise they are simply everywhere… Picking lingonberries can be meditative, or boring in other words, but anyway it’s nice to stumble on branches and get your gumboots sucked inside wet moss in the wet forest, in slowly drizzling rain. We also dug up the last root vegetables from the garden and used them and the results of our foraging for a gorgeous meal.
In the woods we encountered a guy carrying a gun, who was in a moose hunting party. It did occur to me that eating a wild moose might be so much more locavorean* than buying some vegan soy products that might have destroyed half a rainforest. I’m generally not against killing, since in my opinion dying is part of the natural world, and an essential part of how the ecosystem works. At least the animals in the wild have had an opportunity to a dignified life, which can of course not be said about those poor creatures who only exist to serve our needs for animal products.
On our way home we also met a woman from a neighboring house, who had a few cows, a horse and a herd of sixty sheep. She told us that when she shears all those sheep and sends the wool to a spinnery, she will either get 120 euros for it, or 4 kg of ready-made wool yarn, which really is nothing at all. So keeping all those animals is just a hobby for her. She was a really shining person, you could see the happiness those animals were giving her, and they way she treated them was loving and respectful. But it is still sad that in order to make any other kind of profit than just happiness she’d have to do her farming in a much more unsustainable way. What could be the solution to this? My dream is that our food could be provided in the ways we experienced on our weekend trip: with foraging, hunting and small-scale farming. What I don’t know is whether this would be effective enough to feed us all on this planet. Probably not, but I still wish it could be possible.
At home we made the all time favourite: oven roasted veggies and funnel chanterelle sauce, with lingonberry mush. I know everyone knows how to make roasted veggies, but it’s such a nice winter time dish that I’ll write about it, just in case you had forgotten the whole idea in this raw food craze that seems to prevail these days. I originally learned the concept of oven roasted vegetables from a cook book by Saara Törmä, called Keittokomero ja huone, which is a great source of simple, affordable, yet delicious recipes. It’s totally out of print these days, sadly, and of course only available in Finnish.
Oven Roasted Vegetables
a piece of root celery
a piece of swede
6 garlic cloves
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp dried herbs: thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, choose your favourite ones
Chop the veggies roughly. There is no need to peel the potatoes, just clean them well. Peel the garlic cloves, and pour everything onto an oven plate. Mix the ingredients for the dressing, and drizzle over the veggies. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes in 200 ºC.
There was also a cake for Vappu’s birthday the following day. The cake was a vegan chocolate cake, filled with grated apple, lingonberries and frosted with soy cream. It was decorated with lingonberries found in the forest and ancient liquorice found in the cupboard. Very simple, suitable for a country trip.
Basic Vegan Chocolate Cake
4 dl wheat flour
1 dl cocoa powder
2 dl sugar
2 tsp baking powder
0,5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp egg replacer
1 tsp chocolate flavouring
3 dl oat milk or other non – dairy
1 tsp vinegar
2 dl canola oil
Vegan cakes are easy to make: mix the dry ingredients and the sugar. It is a good idea to use a sieve with the cocoa powder. Then mix the vinegar with the milk and add to the batter. As the last ingredient add the oil. Avoid mixing too much! Then pour the batter to a springform pan, 24 cm in diameter, and bake in the oven in 180 °C about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool thoroughly before cutting the layers and filling it. And remember: a cake should always be filled the day before serving!
* a locavore is a person who tries to eat as much local food as possible
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