Planet of the Scapes

by Pearl Pirie

Summer is waning, but the pain of scrambling to get ourselves to 2018 has begun. Slow cookers and leftovers are a life saver for the rush hours. We get the nutrition and flavour in when we can. I’d like to give a shout out to Karen Jennings’ series Help! There’s a Vegan Coming for Dinner! Indian Style. She also has books of Japanese and Canadian general dishes. This squash dish was a spin-off from her coconut dhal and is now my new favourite way to eat veggies. It’s good with a side of anything, but papadum adds a good contrast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAcorn Squash Divine
Put in loose and pick out laterm or put in a sachet or tea ball:
sprinkle hot pepper flakes (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
4 dried kefir lime leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 juniper berries
3 whole cardamom pods

Add the spices and above and the rest below the slow cooker:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 can of low fat coconut mill
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into cubes

The acorn squash can be raw for a long slow-cooking or raw and cook in the spices over the day.
Mix all and cook for 2 hours on high or longer if you add the squash raw.
Served with basmati rice, cooked with currants, saffron, boullion cube, topped with more currants and almond sliced, fried in goat butter until lightly browned.

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Chocolate Layer Cake

I have had layer cakes but this takes the cake. It is based out of a chocolate peppermint cake from the 1934 Hershey’s Cookbook: I thinned down the sweetness and upped the chocolate. (Shhh, don’t tell them I used local Cocoa Camino.)

2/3 c margarine
1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c white sugar
3 eggs

Combine the dries:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add the wet to the rest little by little.
1 1/3 c almond milk
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs until the egg beater has made the batter fluffy. Alternately add the dries and wets.

Take a slice of angelfood cake and cut it into cubes and sprinkle on the batter or stir in.
1 box of chocolate mousse
8 or 10 maraschino cherries, chopped and dried.
Before the cake cooks or while it bakes mix Dr. Oetker chocolate mousse and refrigerate.
Pour the cake batter into a non-stick springform pan. Bake at 350 for up to 45 minutes, checking when a toothpick in the centre comes out clean. Let it cool an hour. Slice thru its height with a breadknife when cool. Spread the mousse. Add the cherries. Place the top on and plate on a platter. You could ice or sprinkle with icing sugar.