Croatian Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Yep, this is another “Kay goes to Food Not Bombs at Occupy Vancouver” post. After all, it takes more than a pile of sandwiches to feed a crowd of hungry protestors.

I’ve been down to the V.A.G. three times now to take photographs and to help feed people. One of the volunteers I spoke to on the food committee estimated that about 2000 meals a day are being served out of the food tent. That’s amazing! Some of the food is made on site, but much of the food is also being made in private kitchens as well as spaces lent to us by local businesses and churches. The on-site kitchen, meanwhile, continues to grow and improve; when I went this morning, it had mysteriously sprouted a kitchen sink, a counter top, and what appears to be an ice box. This in addition to the pantry and kitchen equipment. And when I inquired about whether one person oversaw the construction of the community kitchen, the answer I received was amazing; everything just came together. Many individuals saw ways they could help and brought or built what they could.

And of course, speaking of people bringing what they can, there have been many amazing food donations; people dropping off pots of soup and chili, platters of noodles, trays of cornbread, muffins, plates of brownies, bags of cookies, and so much fresh produce! I estimate that as of this morning they had at least my weight in broccoli – by now though it has probably mostly been made into stir fries and consumed.

Here is the potato salad that I brought the other day:

potato salad

I call it Croatian-style potato salad because my family is Croatian and we’ve always made our potato salad with herbs and a vinaigrette instead of mayo. I don’t typically measure anything when I make it; I tend to just eyeball the amounts and taste it to see if it’s good (and of course it’s always better the next day). So for this Food Not Bombs post, I’ll give you the recipe as a general guideline (which I think fits nicely with the anarchic sort of structure of Food Not Bombs). In the future I will try to quantify amounts for you so I can give a proper recipe!

Croatian-style Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Potatos. Lots and lots of potatos.
Vinegar (apple cider vinegar is tastiest but red wine vinegar and ordinary white vinegar also work. If you use balsamic, use less vinegar!)
Onion
Dill
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Wash the potatos and peel them if they have ruddy skin. If they have smooth skin, you can peel them or not depending on your preference.

Cut the potatos into pieces about 1 inch square, and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly.

In a bowl or measuring cup, mix one part vinegar to 2 parts oil. Whisk until emulsified. Pour over the potatos.

Take either a bunch (5 or 6) of green onions and chop them, or one slice of sweet onion and mince it. Scatter the onions over the potatos. Take a handful each of parsley and dill, mince those, and scatter those on the potatos as well. Finally, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika. Give it a stir, give it a taste, add more seasoning if it needs it, and there ya go! Easy and delicious potato salad. You can also add boiled green beans to this if you want.

Try not to stir it too much or the potatos will break down a lot! You can sprinkle a little sugar on it if you like your vinaigrette a little sweet, but with the apple cider vinegar I don’t think it needs it. Enjoy!

Here is another photo from the demonstration. There are a lot of people camping out!

If you have an Occupy demonstration happening near you and want to help out somehow, this is a message that is circulating on facebook:

THE TEMPERATURE IS DROPPING! SPUDS FOR BUDS: LOVE APPEAL. Please stick 20 baked potatoes wrapped in foil in the oven for an hour and a half at 350F before you leave. Drop them off at the food tent. THEY MAKE EXCELLENT HAND AND POCKET WARMERS as well as providing much needed nourishment – If you don’t have time to cook them, drop them off raw. If you live locally come pick up the raw ones and bake them. WE ARE FEEDING THE HOMELESS TOO!!!! PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH OTHER OCCUPY PAGES!..

Apple sauce

When I stepped outside after work this morning, the first thing I noticed was the chill that seemed to cut right through my coat. The second thing I noticed was the steam of my breath lingering in the air. As I walked to the bus stop, all I could think about was how I needed a nice hot bowl of something to warm up my body and soul. So I stopped at the grocery store on my way home and picked up ingredients for soup. Oh, and I bought apples. Lots of apples.

I haven’t made the soup yet, but I did make this:

Apple sauce

Lovely and delicious apple sauce. I used McIntosh apples which are well known for cooking down into a soft mush – not quite the thing for pies but absolutely perfect if you want to make a sauce.

Apple Sauce

6 McIntosh apples
1 – 2 cups of water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, optional

Cut the apples into quarters and remove their cores. Place the apples into a pot with a cup or so of water. Turn the heat to high, and as soon as the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and place a lid on the pot. Simmer the apples until they break down completely, stirring often. As the apples break down and become more saucelike, they may sputter as they simmer – try to stand back and use a long handled spoon to stir them so that you avoid being splashed with scalding applesauce*. When the apples have cooked down completely, strain out the skins and any pulpy bits remaining by passing the sauce through a food mill or using a spoon to push it through a seive. Discard the skins and return the sauce to the pot, seasoning with the sugar and cinnamon to taste. Enjoy warm or cold!

By the end of the cooking time, the lid was doing double-duty for me as a shield.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

yum

My tiny little balcony garden gave me a gift, recently.

tomaters

A bunch of tiny, perfect tomatoes.

I wanted to enjoy them at their ripest and freshest, so what else could I do but make them into a salad?

This recipe is a sort of non-recipe, by the way. If you aren’t frightened by measuring in handfuls and splashes, read on.

salad

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

1 pint (ish) of tomatoes
4 or 5 inches of cucumber, sliced
One thin slice of sweet red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley
Salt and pepper

If the tomatoes are large, chop them into pieces. Cherry tomatoes may be halved or left whole. Combine them in a bowl with the cucumber slices, garlic and chopped red onion. Sprinkle herbs onto the vegetables; if you are using dried herbs, use a small amount, a tsp or less. Fresh herbs may be used in a large quantity, such as a tablespoon or two each. Drizzle olive oil and splashes of vinegar over the salad, and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix, and then taste to see if you need to adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or chill to let the flavours mingle.

Tip: The red wine vinegar may be replaced with another, such as balsamic vinegar. You may also replace it with lemon juice, or add some lemon juice in addition to the vinegar.

Tip: Stick with Italian herbs for this salad; basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and rosemary would all be good choices.

Tip: If your tomatoes aren’t very sweet, a sprinkle of sugar will perk them up and cut the acidity a bit.