Vegan recipes: occasionally difficult to title appetizingly. Title aside, this Anna Jones thing was delicious, fluffy like a Spanish tortilla, creamily starchy like french fries with mayo, and spicy and herbal like a falafel. OK I guess it was really truly only like a tortilla. Served with a spicy mayo, which you'd almost never do, egg on egg crime and whatnot. Wait what am I talking about you'd totally do that. I myself used to do that all the time, toasted bread, egg over-easy, mayo and sambal badjak, it's called the Sjako. That's a good sandwich. Chomp.


carrot and chickpea flour pancake with lemon-herb mayo. 

150g chickpea flour
230ml homemade oat milk or other non-animal milk of your choice
2 tbsp EVOO
2 medium carrots, grated...I decided that I hate grating carrots enough to buy pre-grated
1 or 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil for frying

4 normal gherkins or 8 cornichons
1 fresh green chile
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
4 or 5 tbsp homemade vegan mayo (this recipe, is, in fact, nearly indistinguishable from trad mayo if you bump up the lemon and the mustard a little)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
the zest of 1⁄2 an unwaxed lemon, or 1 tsp of Moroccan preserved lemon rind

a handful of mesclun for serving.

Serves 2, which is important to note. Also important to note: in order to get this looking awesome like the picture in the book you've got to have your tortilla/frittata-flipping skills happening as well as two cooperative skillets. Somehow mine worked.



This is not cheese, it's cashews and tapioca starch and a bunch of other stuff designed to emulate Camembert. OK, don't think of it like that, but goshdarnit if it isn't kind of cheesish.



falafel taco.

Serendipity? I didn't invent this unholy bastard mess but I should have. Above: storebought taco shell filled with: avocado and shredded iceberg dressed with lime and salt; momofuku cukes, tomatoes and red onions; zhoug; amba; beet hummus; soy tzatziki; sriracha. And homemade falafel. After a week of pretty awful cooking by me it was time to go for what you know.

Below, the next day's non-taco version.




Always thought that was a good band name. So there's been a thankfully uncharacteristic series of kitchen failures this week, probably related in an either cause or effect way to an also uncharacteristically persistent shitty mood.

This is the first unreservedly successful thing I've made in days.



1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cacao
50g dried coconut (the cheap kind)
2 tbsp chia seeds
50g dried fruit (i used half dates and half raisins)
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cacao

1 tbsp nut butter (i used pumpkinseed)
1 tbsp date syrup (or agave or maple)
pinch salt

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cacao

Combine first things in a food processor until they're a coarse crumble that's beginning to stick together. Add the nut butter, date syrup and salt, then process again for ten seconds or so, you're trying to get something you can roll into a ball.

Then: shape into balls and roll them in a mixture of sesame seeds, cinnamon and cacao.




Such an uninformative photo. But this was really delicious, a total surprise, veganized by Nelson, original recipe by someone that I have been onstage with more than once, another total surprise. Official adaptation to follow.



meißen to groningen.

Meißen was perhaps a bit of a step down in the accommodations department, but we'd done so well up to this point how could you really complain. Plus there was the normal German Sausage Array for breakfast.

The town itself was, as you can see, wunderschön, "best Saxon hill town we visited on this trip", etc. And then we hit the road, plowing through more endless fields of rape, listening to a little Barbra and Barry, and stopping for lunch at a combination gas station/Subway/pizza place/burger joint. The sign down there says that the meat they use is local and they slaughter it themselves. I don't even know what that is I'm eating, I thought I ordered a bratwurst, this was like a big delicious meatball. Everyone else pussed out and ordered a Subway because they included vegetables. I just needed one more moment alone with my meat: goodbye fleisch, it was nice.


kraków to meißen.

We were a tiny bit sad to leave Poland, because well, Poland was a big surprise. It almost immediately became my third favorite European country that I don't live in. You can't really tell from this day of photos, but Wroclaw was kind of wonderfully shabbily beautiful and Krakow was surprisingly grand and everywhere just reeked of history and atmosphere.

The people were without exception sweet and quiet. There was music everywhere. And Poles seem to put a little bit of extra effort into atmosphere and gezelligheid, more so than maybe anywhere I've ever been. Sure there are shitty soulless bars and cafes and snackbars, but it was very easy to find a place that was dark and candlelit and crammed with the furniture and belongings of millions of dead people. That's a horrible joke but A) I'm apparently half Polish and 2) it's true.

Above: the breakfast room of the Klezmer Hois. Below: trying to find kielbasa to take home, because somehow I managed not to fucking have one while I was there. Below that: gas station sandwich calling out to my apparently blood-genetics based Polish love of pickles and eggs. Below that, boomkanker, or as most people refer to it, mistletoe. It was everywhere along the Polish highways and its presence engendered a week-long discussion of the history, science and myth around this mysterious parasite. I guess we had a lot of long drives. Below that, the only bad meal we had in Poland, a case of the #1 TripAdvisor restaurant in town feeling like a depressingly inauthentic experience. There were real Polish people there, construction workers and what not, but 75% of the diners at my table didn't eat even half their food, some much less. The whole place just felt kind of off, and it was an unfortunate end to a few days of unexpectedly good eating.

Below that, the next logical step after our continuing to watch the temperature drop in five-degree increments from 55F to 35F as we headed west across Poland. Below that, arrival in Meißen.

krakow day 2.

Behold, our walk from the Klezmer Hois (our hotel) in the historic Jewish district of Kazimierz to the old center of Krakow. My lunch target was full Chinese tourists and seemed a bit ongezellig, so we moped around for a little bit and ended up at the other place I recognized from my research, Szara.

Which seemed like, oh shit, we walked into the most expensive restaurant on a touristy square in a touristy city, it's very empty in here, fuuuuuck. But the atmosphere was totally nice, and the food was truly excellent, Nelzer had a perfect asparagus and enoki risotto, and my "Polish-style steak tartare" was full of top-notch components. And the whole thing was a totally reasonable €60, one course of really professional cooking for four people, plus one wine and three coffees.

The evening's meal went unphotographed due to phone death, a place called Qrudo that was kind of sadly soulless inside and featured live music of the "acoustic jazz-pop with female vocals" type, so not really a score in that regard. But the wine was good, the pierogi were maybe the best of the trip, and Aaltje ordered a really really delicious creme brulee with rosemary, Angostura bitters and a teeny-tiny pitcher of Jagermeister to pour over top. Then we returned to the Klezmer Hois, where there were constantly string players warming up, tuning, learning songs...I'm glad we didn't sit down to watch the music, but the place was just full of it and that seemed an appropriate atmosphere for old Jewish Krakow.