Mashin’ on Memorial Day Weekend

When I was a kid, I never understood why adults got so excited about three-day weekends. Sure, having a day off from school was great, but I certainly didn’t look forward to it for weeks ahead of time. That may have been because I was an incurable nerd who hated missing school, but we don’t have to talk about that. The point is, now that I’m a Working Adult With a Real Job, I get it. This Memorial Day weekend? I’ve been waiting for it since Easter. And after this Friday – which was easily the most stressful day I’ve had since beginning work in December – it was like a gift from above. Three-day weekend? Bring it, baby!

To celebrate, my roommate and I went to the west side farmers’ market yesterday, and then headed to Bratfest before spending the evening chilling by Lake Monona and walking around downtown. Yeah, you heard that right – the vegan went to Bratfest, a quintessentially Wisconsin celebration of gluttonous pigging out on brats. While I may not particularly approve of that behavior, all the proceeds go to charity *and* they have vegan brats. So I decided to take part as a cultural experience. I certainly feel more like a Wisconsinite now, and really, it wasn’t that bad – there was live music and carnival-type food and a really fantastic atmosphere. Much better than I’d expected!

My lunch today was also much better than I’d expected. I whipped up the Chickpea Mash from Toni Fiore’s Totally Vegetarian, a cookbook I won a while back but haven’t used that much. But I wanted something light that would showcase the amazing Country Sourdough bread I picked up at the farmers’ market, and this simple, filling mash totally did the trick.

Mashity-mash.

Paired with a massaged kale salad and a few pickles, this was a delicious, simple summer lunch. The mash is not overly seasoned, but you could definitely doctor it up to meet your personal tastes. It’d work great either warm or cold, too. And the local, organic kale and tomatoes – also from the market – shone in the salad; you really can’t beat fresh, juicy tomatoes when you want something that screams “SUMMER APPROACHETH!” …cuz my tomatoes are Shakespearean, obviously.

Happy Memorial Day, American friends! Enjoy the three-day weekend (if you’re lucky enough to have one) but – as trite as it sounds – don’t forget to remember you have the day off in the first place.

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