It’s that time again folks, yes, Vegan Mofo has arrived! This year the world wide blogging event has moved up a month. For the past couple of years it’s been held in October but it was pushed up to September 1st this year to give us bloggers - and readers - a little more variety. I guess everyone got tired of seeing recipe upon recipe for pumpkin, and Halloween themes. I am super pumped! Like every vegan blogger I always look so forward to Mofo. Not only because I love the intense blogging and cooking but because I love to read about everyone else’s experience.
Many bloggers choose a specific theme to work with over the course of the month, and some people choose daily themes like muffin Monday or something like that. For the past two years I’ve done what I call “Cooking the Books.” in which I make recipes from various cook books in my arsenal and share them with you guys. Since my blog is full of original content year round I feel like this provides a nice change of pace. Plus it gives the me opportunity - or an excuse - to use a variety of different cook books that I might not regularly use, and make some more interesting and involved recipes then I might normally choose.
My first year doing Mofo I didn’t have a theme beyond “Cooking the Books” it was pretty generalized. My Second year blogging for Mofo I wanted to hone in on a theme so I chose to make sandwiches all month. This was a great experience but it also taught me an important lesson. If you have to eat the same basic thing every day for an entire month you might burn out. That’s what happened to me anyway, and so this year for Mofo I’ve settled on a theme that’s somewhere between general and specific. Ethnic food!
I love all ethnic and world foods, I can’t think of a region where I’ve ever said “Ugh, the food there is terrible, or I don’t like ____ food.” Yet, strangely in my day to day life I don’t often cook traditional ethnic dishes. I do a lot of fusion cooking. A lot of Asian fusion or stir-fry. A lot of Indian fusion, Middle Eastern fusion, Mexican fusion even European fusion to an extent. It’s less common for me to make a dish that is distinctly from one country. I really don’t know why this happens to be the case, after all I love world cuisine and I have a wealth of cook books devoted to the subject. I suppose these particular books just don’t fall into my regular repertoire of ‘go-to’ books, but I’d like to change that.
Since it would be kind of impossible to make regional specialties from every corner of the globe in a single month I’ve decided to narrow my focus to only a few regions. Asia, India, The Caribbean, Mexico/Latin America, and Europe. That gives me a wealth of countries to choose from and loads of potential variety so that I won’t get burned out, and I think it keeps things interesting. Other criteria I chose to picking these regions go as follows - I had cook books that focus on these areas, they are some of my favorite cuisines, or I have limited to zero experience cooking them. I plan to break each area down into smaller points of focus so that I can get the most variety and excitement out of the project.
For Asia - I’ll primarily focus on Chinese cooking, though I may through in a few Korean dishes, maybe a few Japanese dish’s, some regional specialities from South East Asia, and I’m also including Hawaii in the Asian category. Even though Hawaii is a U.S. state, anyone who’s ever been there knows that Hawaiian cooking isn’t American cooking. Polynesian cooking is it’s own distinct style, a kind of blend of all the various Asian cultures and cuisines that have passed through the Island over the centuries. I love this kind of food, and it reminds me so much of childhood that I thought it was only fair to include a few dishes from one of my most beloved places.
For India - I want to make both North Indian and South Indian cuisine, with perhaps slightly more focus on South Indian cuisine because I have no experience in cooking it and limited experience in eating it, as many of the Indian restaurants in my area are of the North Indian variety.
For The Caribbean - Well, it’s kind of a ‘free for all’ in which anything goes but probably I’ll make a lot of Jamaican or Barbadian dishes.
For Mexico/Latin America - it’s also kind of a ‘free for all’ that will probably mostly focus on generalized Latin American cooking however there will be at least a couple of Mexican dishes, and a couple of Cuban ones, and maybe something from El Salvador or possibly Argentina.
For Europe - My primary focus will be on French, German and Greek cooking but a few dishes from other European countries might sneak their way in. I chose Germany and Greece for the obvious reason that, that’s where my heritage lies. My childhood is full of German and Greek cooking and yet I rarely make dishes from either one of these places. I wanted to explore these cuisines a little more. I also chose France because I have zero experience cooking French food, but the style of it has always intrigued me, and what better time to experiment with it then now?
So there you have it, Vegan Mofo 2013. I have no particular order to what cuisine I’m going to post when. I’m going to leave it open for variety rather then do all the Asian cooking in one block, all the Indian cooking in one block etc... It’s more interesting this way, and less chance of getting burned out I think.
Lastly, unfortunately - or fortunately - once again I’ll be absent for part of Mofo. My husband and I are going on Vacation next week so we’ll be gone from September the 6th to the 16th or so. During that time I will have limited or no internet access and so I will be unable to post. However, to make up for the days I’ll be gone I plan to do what I did in previous years and post twice daily to make up for it. So bare with me while I’m gone, and please, please stay tuned!
Happy Mofo Everyone!