Monday, November 7, 2011

Heathen Housewarming

My friend Leslie just moved back to Midtown after spending the last few months in Somerville, Tennessee, a tiny town on the outskirts of Memphis. It's so tiny, I don't even know where in the hell it is. Here's an old picture of Leslie from earlier this year.

Now that she's back in the city, she's been welcomed in true Memphis ghetto fashion. Just after she moved in, her next-door neighbor was arrested for having meth lab materials. And you wanna know how the police found him? They were responding to a complaint that meth dude's brother was grilling a raccoon carcass in the apartment building's parking lot. Yep, welcome back to Memphis, Leslie.

Of course, that was no proper welcome. So Leslie hosted a Heathen Housewarming Potluck with her friends to celebrate her new digs, which are actually really cute despite her crazy white trash neighbors.

We started the veggie potluck with some of Leslie's homebrew. She made Pumpkin Ale (a.k.a. Witches' Brew):

And hard apple cider, or Swamp Cider as we like to call it:

Leslie made a giant salad and provided yummy bottled dressings, including my fave — Amy's Goddess Dressing:

I made the Two-Tone Shepard's Pie from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson:

This hearty casserole is made with seitan, green beans, carrots, corn, and peas topped with a layer of gravy and then topped with mashed white potatoes on one side and mashed sweet potatoes on the other. It was the first dish I've made from Party Vegan, and it was quite a success. I found it in the potlucks chapter.

Here's my plate with Lentil Soup, Salad, Bread with Earth Balance, and Shepard's Pie. Not pictured is the Lemongrass Tofu that arrived after I'd fixed my plate:

We also had Leslie's yummy Nettle Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Orange Frosting:

Leslie's kind of a hippie, so she's always using weird herb-y things like nettle. I'm not even sure what that is, but it tasted awesome in these moist cakes. Almost like a pumpkin pie cupcake.

Welcome back to Midtown, Leslie! And sorry about that meth-raccoon situation!

13 comments: said...

Everything looks great, especially the cupcakes.

Brian Woz said...

Never heard of nettle, but you could put pretty much anything in a cupcake and i'll eat it.

Anonymous said...

What a great friend, bringing by homemade beer!
I secretly think goddess is the best store bought dressing too; closely followed by annie's sesame and shitake vinagrette :)
I've never made or had shepherd's pie in my life, but I just made a huge log of seitan so maybe that's what we'll have for dinner tonight. Great call!

jesse.anne.o said...

Oh my god, I read about that. Lovely.

Belle said...

Why in the world would anyone be in Somerville? (I grew up there and am allowed to talk about it hah).

Nettle is good for reproductive health if i remember correctly.

Jenna said...

Those cupcakes look so great! I've only heard of nettle in tea. Interesting! I also think I need to get a copy of Party Vegan!

Michelle said...

Oh my word...are you sure she didn't move to Jackson? That sounds like something that would happen here...of course you are only a little over an hour away.
The homemade brew sounds good...I'd like to try some of that!
Everything looks delicious. And, I've heard of nettle, but never had it. If it's in a cupcake, I'll eat it. :o)

BTW...I'd love to meet up the next time I'm in Memphis. The past few times we've been it's been a little rushed. Imagine Vegan Cafe sounds like a great place!

dreaminitvegan said...

Good times. At least Leslie will have some good free entertainment to watch. lol! Thos cupcakes look fab! Oh and very cool for the home brewed ale.

Leslie R. said... least the party looks awesome!

and_i_say said...

Wow, crazy neighbors! I love the gorgeous cupcakes. I will definitely crack open my "Party Vegan" book for that shepard's pie. Yum.

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler said...

Wow! That's a fine "How do ya do? Welcome to the neighborhood!"

I'm tellin' ya, Annie's Goddess dressing goes with ANYTHING. So darn good.

KTBuns said...

Hahaha... gotta love raccoon-roasting meth-heads. Or not. What a story! Glad she recovered with this awesome-sounding potluck. :)

Richa said...

lovely! agree about the cupcakes.. gimme some pretty ones anyday!