Tattoos & Food Demos

Posted: 08/03/2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, I went & got tattoos.


That’s two of them at the same time.  It’s either just because I can, or just because I wanted to get them out of the way.  I’ve been talking about getting them done for some time & have had them drawn up as well, just needed that final touch.

Now, there is a looming problem when you look at tattoos and you’re vegan.  Some of the black pigment in the inks is made from burnt up animal bone.  There is also the potential for the use of glycerin, derived from animal fats, in a tattoo artist’s tool belt.  Not all black pigment is animal bone, not all glycerin is animal-derived; don’t get worried yet.

The only thing you have to do is ask.  Ask the artist if they use these things or not, and sometimes you’ll be surprised.  You can also go to known vegan artists or artists that mix their own inks & have great knowledge of what is in them.  The problem with most commercial ink brands is that they aren’t necessarily required to list ingredients because they are typically regarded as a coloring agent similar to printer ink by the FDA.

The solution, once more, is to ask.  There are great brands out there that are quite popular & already out there with the tattoo community that have no animal products in them like Stable.

That all said, here”s a collage of the new ink:

My pup Cinder takes after me in her photobombing skills.

My pup Cinder takes after me in her photobombing skills.

Okay, so you might not know it, but you are reading a superstar’s blog right now.

Maybe a celebrity.

Alright, just a regular guy with a super sense of vegan food artistry that got pulled up on stage three times during the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show this past weekend.  I still rocked it out.

Well, at least one of those times.  The first one I was a bit nervous, the second I was assisting, the third, rock status was achieved.

And “rocked” might not be the best word.  I DESTROYED it.  Or just had fun, that’s the point.

Like a kid in a candy store!

Like a kid in a candy store!

We’ve been so busy with work that I had absolutely no practice time to try a preliminary recipe, so I threw things that sounded good together & went with it.  That turned out to be great, everyone loved it, and I had a great time.  I think it was a win-win situation.

Plus, this goes to show that throwing things together is a great way to get into cooking.  You can be missing a flavor and add it, you can have too much of something and counterbalance it with something else, or you can get it right the first time too.  No one is perfect.  Except my canine companions.  Sometimes me, but not often.

My personal trick is to smell it.  It’s that easy–smell, adjust, smell again.  I’m always tasting it, but smell is a huge part too.

It’s like when you were a kid & people told you to hold your nose when you ate brussel sprouts & you wouldn’t taste them.

That was just me?

Well, try it with any food.  You won’t taste it until you let go of your nose.  The two work together.

Though I still have yet to try smelling something while holding my tongue.

I digress.  Here’s the easy recipe:

Start with 5 cups of water on a boil & add 4 cups of rice.

Saute two yellow onions in a little olive oil until translucent, add four cloves of garlic(minced), 2 cups of broccoli chopped to dime size, 2 cans of drained & rinsed corn, 4 cups of diced tomatoes, and let that heat for a bit to a simmer.  The tomatoes should provide a saucy, juicy mix.

Next, throw 4 cups of chopped spinach in there, mix, & let sit for just a couple of minutes or until wilted.

Then the fun.

Mix in a cup of chopped fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons of cumin, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika, 3 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of pepper, half a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and a half a tablespoon of oregano.  Let that simmer for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors & put that in the pot of rice.  The rice should be a bit soupy as well for this next part.

Add a cup of nutritional yeast.

Mix all of that together & you have something that I have no name for except a southwest “hodgepodge”.  But it was great, and people loved it, even came back for more.  I don’t have any pics of this recipe because I was so busy handing it out to people, but this one is close to peeking over the edge of the pot:

They even gave me a headset so I could ramble incessantly at the crowd.

They even gave me a headset so I could ramble incessantly at the crowd.

Some of the spices above are a variation of a combination that is found in one of the spices that I use at work, but that is a close representation.  Here is what I did on stage if you have access to our online store or can even make it out to the farmer’s markets we work.  In either case, I hope you enjoy!!

Oh yeah, and as for the community garden pic that I promised, here is the beginning:

Just a little before & after pic.  I finished this in a couple days.

Just a little before & after pic. I finished this in a couple days.

Have a great couple of weeks!!

  1. Laura says:

    I got my first tattoo a week ago – and my artist was totally flummoxed by the vegan question, but she figured it out!

    • jona79 says:

      I’ve had that problem a couple of times, and I’m left wondering why the artist doesn’t know what they’re putting into a person’s skin. I’m glad that the questions made them wonder and I hope they researched it a bit. I’ve heard that a few tattoo artists make their own inks from scratch, and I think that that would be fun to try even though I don’t tattoo–I just love putting stuff together to make art:)

  2. […] I was invited by Kerry Speckman, also known by the fantastic moniker, the Specktator(find her blog here, I promise it won’t disappoint!), to guest chef a food demo on the Jacksonville Magazine stage at the Home & Patio Fall Show.  I had done demos for the spring show a couple of times(you can find details of that here). […]

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