Weekly features piece on Red Hook’s Cat Cafe

The Almanac Weekly invites readers to “Enjoy Some Lunch and Adopt a Furry Friend at Morgan’s Cat Café in Red Hook.” (Link is to vegan café’s own site.) The article is in the December 21 paper issue, available free around the area; I will follow up with a link to the article right here if and when I find one!

Breakfast cereal, vegan-nutritarian style

A vegan version of a vegetarian buckwheat granola special, made on request by Outdated café on Wall St. in Kingston. The cereal is sweetened with spirulina, a nutritious and fancy vegan ingredient made from algae, and has been sold from time to time at the cafe. The special comes with dairy products and a fruit compote. I ordered the cereal made with water and found the kitchen had served the dish with fresh fruit on top, resulting in something closer to a vegan nutritarian equivalent–not a stripped down item at the same price!

The picture at the top shows how the dish was served. After eating the fruit, I found that the cafe has left it to me to add water from their self-serve dispenser.

I repeatedly added water and let it absorb into the cereal, resulting in a thick but fluid water-granola mix. Here is what the moist and crunchy cereal looked like:

Note the blue-green color, suggestive of the sweetener’s native surroundings, in the sea. The combination of the sweetener and the hearty whole-grain buckwheat made for a remarkable nutritarian-vegan breakfast-brunch Hudson Valley dining experience.

 

 

Hot and sometimes bitter Hudson Valley vegan food in late fall

Just days ago, T, The New York Times Style Magazine, noted a recent fashion for bitter foods—a seemingly odd preference for bad-tasting food. I have always enjoyed many bitter flavors, such as dark-roasted coffees that are relatively bitter, rather than smooth-drinking, and in fact my mother has a remarkable (to some) liking for marinated foods, including tomatoes dressed with vinegar. I do also, though to a lesser degree. Of course, perhaps this accounts for the fact that I have never been to Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary and neglected them in a regrettably half-baked discussion of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in this area in this post. It offers sweets and tea, along with light food all day, according to an entry in the happycow.org site.

An example of popular bitterness cited in the article is the popularity of molé sauces in Mexican food eaten in the U.S. Dr. Joel Furhman’s ultra-healthy website store offers a sauce for bean dishes it calls an Olé sauce. The directions advise the home chef to water-sauté vegetables, then add sauce and beans and simmer. Hudson’s omnivorous Mexican Radio has long offered a molé sauce along with two other vegan sauces for its enchiladas. The magazine article offers an interesting appreciation.

I have also not mentioned Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, which is fund raising to pay for hay during the winter with its Hay Every Day drive.  Donors who help feed the animals every day can watch their hay being eaten in videos provided by the shelter.  I should mention their snack bar as another place regrettably omitted , though the Sanctuary is closed for the season and does not reopen until spring.

Aba’s Falafel draws raves from friends who enjoy their offerings at the Rhinebeck outdoor farmers’ market during the warmer months. Its new storefront operation is located at 54 E. Market in the same village.

Outdated: An Antique Café in Kingston (vegetarian but not vegan and with many interesting foods) has recently been open Friday and Saturday nights until 9 pm, rather than its usual 4 pm. It has retro chic and is housed in a place with interesting nooks and crannies. I might mention it features some Lagusta’s Luscious candy in the case at the front counter. It will be open Christmas Eve until 4 pm, according to a sign on the door.

Then there is www.meatfreezone.org, another worldwide web presence, a project of Woodstock Animal Rights Movement (WARM), an organization with headquarters in the Catskill Mountains village of Woodstock. The operation once boasted a bricks-and-mortar store in the village.  The website’s store sells pro-vegan merchandise bearing the slogan “meat free zone” which was developed as part of a campaign to create meat-free zones much like nonsmoking areas in buildings.