Chips + Dip(per)s | VeganMoFo 2019 Day Eighteen

Hello on a truly steamy Sunday! Low 90s and some serious humidity. Good thing I spent two hours at the pool today, lounging in the shade with a book and then cooling off in the water. :)

It’s been a mish-mash food sort of day, with no real meals and lots of grazing (bagels, leftover Chinese food (from a post-bowling, late dinner last night), the odd apple).

So it seemed fitting that Steven made a graze-y dinner: tortilla chips, potato-carrot cheesy sauce, and a bean-pepper-corn-tomato-cilantro salsa/salad/dip. Yes please! Unfortunately we ran out of nutritional yeast, so the sauce isn’t quite as cheesy as one would hope. But it’s still tasty, especially mixed with the salsa. A perfect casual summer Sunday meal.

On a wholly unrelated side note, I’m curious: What do you call it when it rains while the sun is still shining? That happened earlier while I was walking Rosie, and it got me thinking about terminology. I’ve always called it a sunshower, which is both an accurate description and a sweet little word. My Southern friends say that in Alabama, when this phenomenon occurs, folks will say that the devil is beating his wife. Yikes. Somehow I would expect nothing more or less of the American South. So what do you call it?

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Baked Potatoes and a Cheesy Sauce Query | VeganMoFo 2019 Day Six

After weeks of intense heat and very little rain, I’m sitting here watching it pour absolute buckets. It’s a gorgeous summer sort of rainstorm, with lots of hazy golden evening light and just the mildest rumbles of thunder off in the distance. My plants need this. Maybe I need this, a restorative cleansing of sorts.

I can hear a bird peeping through the heavy rainfall and my guilt-ridden conscience swears it’s the catbird mama, still trying to find her missing baby so she can feed him dinner. I keep second-guessing our decision to bring him to the rehab center. We showed the rehab folks a video before bringing him in and they agreed, yes, something was wrong and he needed help, but still. Would it have been better to leave him, even if he might not have survived? Then his mom would’ve known where he was, at least. After we brought him to the rehab center, I saw the mama bird hopping around, beak stuffed with a juicy pokeweed berry, looking for her hungry baby. I could’ve sworn her little peeps were plaintive.

The rehab folks emailed back today and said he’s doing better — much more alert and active than he was on intake. But he’s still having trouble staying upright; he could’ve injured his spine when he first fledged. I’m holding out hope he recovers but I’m worried he won’t.

(For the curious, we brought him to Second Chance Wildlife Center and made a donation when we dropped him off. A sign in their office said it costs $75 to treat each patient, on average. If you feel moved to do any charitable giving this time of year, might I suggest Second Chance? Or a wildlife rehabber in your area?)

Anyway, on to the food. Tonight we had another simple dinner: baked potatoes, featuring jacket potatoes from the farmers market. I topped them with black beans cooked from scratch and this spicy nacho cheese sauce. They would’ve been excellent with roasted broccoli for something green, but alas, I didn’t have any. Steven prepped the potatoes while I was at work (he works from home) using my new favorite method: coating them with olive oil and kosher salt, then putting them directly onto the oven rack. No need to waste a piece of aluminum foil, and the skins turn out nice and crispy.

Question: What’s your favorite nacho cheese sauce recipe? This one was pretty good, but I’m always on the hunt for more. I do like the carrot- and potato-based ones, too!