Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dee Om(mmmmm!) Festival

Well, I'm back! I've scrubbed the dirt out of all my crevices, uploaded a billion gorgeous pictures of natural beauty and human wackiness, rubbed my belly after meal upon meal of delicious vegan forest food, and now I'm finally ready to get back to city life... and update my blog!

So this is the humble kitchen, rather unassuming by day (though inviting), and positively radiant by tiki torch at night. There was always fresh fruit and whole grain breads around, and a steaming gigantic decanter of yerba mate for the lacking-in-energy camper to drink copious amounts of (4 mugs a day, anyone?)

One afternoon Star and I even discovered sushi being made! Forest sushi! It took all of 3 seconds for her to jump into the kitch and start showing off her fantastic rolling skills. There was even apparently onigiri with pickled plum being made later, which I unfortunately missed, but still... that's damn cool.

Here's me (on the right), grabbing some killer miso soup from The Great-Smelling Pot of Giganticness. I always had to stand on tiptoes to see what was inside!

And here's the bounty of fresh herbs and vegetation at the right of the kitchen, which gave the food this wonderful vitality. (note to self: donate something that is green and growing in a pot next year)

The tea tent! It was this dear little spot, glowing white and smelling of herbs/the always-lit iron stove that kept the kettle boiling outside. There were teas for everything -- lung cleansing, ephedra-energizing if you wanted it, lucid dreaming, even getting in a sexy mood! With agave nectar, fresh citrus to cut, ginger, books on herbs, and just a great atmosphere all around.

The fact that I could stumble down to the kitchen area, grab my colourful breakfast and realize I was munching in front of killer art like this was all part of the fun.

And E-balls! E for energy, of course. Yum, yum, yum, and I have a new appreciation for hempseeds now. Especially the crunchy black unhulled ones, they're SO much fun to eat!

Okay, onto the plates. (every attempt I made to take night photos got thwarted, so none of the dinners got photographed, but rest assured they were pretty involved and distinctive and delicious, even moreso than the first two meals of the day. ah well.)

This was my first breakfast - note the conservative portions, before I realized I could totally take my fill from the table - morning quinoa with hempseeds, soaked/raw whole wheat granola, and spicy applesauce.

First lunch - creamy coleslaw with fresh herbs, split pea dhal, bannock, and fruit salad.

Yay, oatmeal! I loved the announcement of breakfast that morning - the whole kitchen in unison shouting "Gruuuuuuuuel!!!!!"

Oops - this is the one standout meal that sucked for me. 1 out of 21 ain't too shabby at all, though! Another split pea dhal with much much less flavour, and saltless dry millet. Still - totally healthy.

This was way (way!) better! Quinoa with fresh oregano, vegan caesar salad, and a beautiful hearty bean and vegetable stew, with beets, wakame, squash and barley.

Most colourfullest breakfast EVER, and it tasted even better than it looked! Tahini-dressed salad, quinoa with star anise and clove, apple chutney, pickled carrots, fruit salad with papaya, pineapple, watermelon, pear, orange and honeydew, and one of those awesome E-Balls.

Maybe my favourite lunch, too - miso soup with gorgeous huge pieces of seaweed, whole juicy shitake mushrooms, roasted squash seeds and my new cracker obsession, rye Wasa.

And the last brekky - creamy rice pudding with apricots and sunflower seeds, sugarless (yet sweet) cocoa apple crumble/granola, a citrus-y salad, and a slice of dense rye with apple butter. Plus a view to totally die for...

More often than not, I skipped the smoky campfire scene and hiked a few minutes away to a secluded sunny rock with my meal to listen to mild ripples and rustling trees instead. You could have given me a half-eaten Boca burger in that setting and I would have been in foodie bliss anyway... but really, in conclusion, I got totally inspired by the spices and innovation that I saw at Om, and the dedication that the kitchen organizers had to keeping 500+ people fed and nourished all day, every day, for a whole week! For one - I'm gonna start respecting the "mere" salad a heck of a lot more, play with grains and seeds more, put tahini in more stuff (because tahini = AWESOME), and basically just focus on health and colour instead of rigidly following silly things like recipes all the time. I've even put it into practice at home, but that'll have to wait for the next post. ;)

( Oh, and I wish I could have taken a picture of the meal that I helped prepare, it was my favourite of all the dinners (maybe I'm biased, but it WAS amazing). Just imagine saffron-coconut apple soup, fried bananas, truly spicy aloo gobi, and cardamom-almond rice. OMG. I weep for the lack of picture! :O )

20 comments:

kindkitchen said...

So glad you are back! I have been selfishly missing your posts :)

Well, it looks like you had a great time! I hope to go camping sometime this summer. I am sure I won't set up a tea booth, though! That's awesome.

I know what you mean about simplier foods and not relying on recipes as much. Summer is a great time this, I think.

VeggieGirl said...

Welcome back!! Looks like you definitely enjoyed yourself while you were gone.

I could go for some of those e-balls!! :0)

romina said...

What a beautiful and enlightening experience. =)

Hannah said...

Sounds like an amazing experience, between the food, people, and atmosphere. Still, I'm glad you're back and posting again. :)

Cyn said...

I am so jealous, it sounds like a totally amazing time! Also, tahini is the best thing ever.

Theresa said...

Welcome back, that looks like a great time. I'm in love with the tea tent, though all the food looks yummy and it sounds like the whole week was fab!

CeciLiA said...

Welcome back, I MISS YOU!! ;) I'm so glad you had such a great time - not to mention how happy your belly would be after all the yummy vegan food you ate!

The E-balls looks so yummy, did they get the recipe off the internet or is it a personal creation?! I want to try hempseeds NOW!! Fingers crossed in finding one here soon :0)

I have to agree with you ... I'm falling in love with rye-ANYTHING, I just LOVE the aftertaste of it ..

Mad About Udon said...

Sounds wonderful. I hope the weather was good to you. Looks like you sure ate well!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

This looks like SO MUCH fun! I'm jealous! I wish I could go to such an event!

And I totally agree: tahini= awesome!

trina said...

That is amazing!

vko said...

Wow- what a cool outing! The food looks tasty & we all know it's super healthy.

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Welcome back! Everything looks so tasty!

quarrygirl said...

that colorful breakfast looks awesome! glad you had so many great things to eat.

Jes said...

Can I say that Om looks like the most kick-ass vegan/earthy/good people time EVER?!?! Jealous. So jealous. I mean, we have cool things like this down south, but definitely not the rad natureness of Ontario. Seriously, super jealous here. I'm glad you had a rad (and tasty) time!

Carrie said...

Wow, that looks like such a wonderful experience! Loved all the pics...

Happy Herbivore! said...

how fun! love all the photos - thanks for sharing your day!

brook said...

welcome back! boy, it seems like it was a fabulous festival!! by the way, i moved my blog to http://stoniebrook.blogspot.com!

Erin said...

I can't even fathom the coordination and sheer amount of food to feed that many people for a whole week! And outside, nonetheless. Sounds like a really great time, and I love the tea tent.

Pink Theory said...

Welcome home. wowee...I'm so jealous! It looks like you had a spectacular time...and all that yummy food!

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