Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Help Wanted

When the revolution began, we didn't expect it would grow so much so fast.

We're incredibly grateful it has become what it has, and this means an exponential increase in time, work, and money. At this rate, we'll be welcoming many more people every brunch, and that will require some extra stuff, comrades.

For brunches to continue, we ask for your help with several things:

  • Brunch price will be raised from $5 to $8. Although no one profits financially from this, we believe it's important to cover our costs rather than pay out-of-pocket each time.

  • The next brunch will be Sunday, June 25th. Since we need to purchase the right amount of food to avoid a shortage/surplus, it's important to know how many people are expected. We kindly ask that you R.S.V.P. to brunchrevolution@yahoo.com by the evening of Wednesday, June 21 with the total number of your party.

  • We need extra hands to make this work. Read The Manifesto, and do consider helping if it resonates with you. Those who volunteer will meet fellow revolutionaries, pay $5 for brunch instead of $8, and get free cocktails on the Friday night shift! Please sign up for one of the following positions (send an email to brunchrevolution@yahoo.com, or leave your info in the comments section):

  • Friday Night Food Prep: Chop. Mix. Bake. 7:00-9:00 p.m. (5+ people)

  • Set Up Crew: Create the brunch vibe. Sunday, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (2 people)

  • Sunday Morning Crew A: Refill, clean, etc. for the first hour. 10:00-11:00 a.m. (2 people)

  • Sunday Morning Crew B: Refill, clean, etc. for the second hour. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (2 people)

  • Take Down/Cleanup Crew: Tear down and dish duty. Sunday, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (2 people)

  • Donation Station A: Take money for brunch entrance for the first hour. 10:00-11:00 a.m. (1 person)

  • Donation Station B: Take money for brunch entrance for the second hour. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (1 person)

  • If enough people are signed up to fill these slots by Sunday, June 18, we can go forward with the brunch. Many, many thanks for being part of this.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Second Brunch

    This brunch, attended by over 50 people, was really smashing, in every sense. No matter how intense the planning and prep, the lovliness of people makes everything okay. And I love when people gush over food.

    Dessert first. Throughout Latin America, you'll find vendors selling gelatinas. Shimmering and jewel-colored, they're often studded with a mosaic of fruits. I replicated this using agar as a thickener, and almond milk, strawberry puree, and organic kumquats (from my Mom's backyard garden in Los Angeles!) to flavor the layers. I ran low on agar when doing the strawberry, so it slushed out rather than standing firm. But I doubt most Coloradans have a deep love for gelatina, so it's okay.

    Debora made loads of Cocoa Mole Waffles, subtly flavored with cinnamon and chili. We served them with Pan-Fried Bananas and rich Chocolate Sauce, both of which I really should have made more of.

    And my favorite: Caramel Almond Bread Pudding. It's superflous, but great with Coconut Caramel. Soyatoo would have gilded it, but a lady can't remember everything.

    Because we vegans don't skimp on protein, we served Isa's Scrambled Tofu with plenty of tortillas, salsa, rice, and Frijoles Mezclados. This simple mixture of kidney, pinto, and black beans tossed with cilantro, corn, onion, garlic, and jalapeno is high in fiber and wonderfully cost-effective.

    Chipotle Roasted Potatoes, smoky and simple, were kept warm in a crock pot. I also made three large platters piled high with water-rich tropical fruits. Thanks to climate change, we can enjoy these a bit earlier every year! And I made Horchata, the rice-flavored agua fresca, from scratch. And en masse at that! I'm not sure how authentic it tasted, but pulverizing soaked rice into sweet, chalky liquid convinced me it was.

    We're so grateful to you comrades who gave your time, from the fundraising table to the kitchen. We'll need much more of that for the revolution to continue, so please contact us at brunchrevolution@yahoo.com if you're interested.

    Special thanks to author Mark Warren Reinhardt, who brunched with us and donated a copy of his down-to-earth and very useful book "The Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater's Guide to Vegetarianism"

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Brunch 2 - June 4, 2006

    Viva la revolucion!

    Our 2nd brunch was a great success, and it grew amazingly from 20 people at our first, to around 50 for our second! This was, as you can imagine, an amazing amount of work, but it seemed worth it, exhausting as it was.

    We served brunch downstairs on the patio off the "yoga room", overlooking the gorgeous lawn. In the entrance we had literature on one of the side tables, and then two tables set up next to the doors onto the patio - one for the brunch collection, the other for our SHAC7 fundraiser.

    Outside we had one long table set up rather than several small tables. Family style, we hoped it would encourage conversation and community between people who might not necessarily have met before, but who could easily have plenty to share with one another.

    About 20 of our revolutionaries were from a local Kung Fu school. The founders and their daughter are vegan, and this weekend happened to be a workshop weekend for them, and many instructors were here from out of town. Though we didn't realize beforehand, this brunch was a great way to spread the word outside of the Denver community as well!

    I learned during this brunch that many (or even most) styles of martial arts have strong buddhist roots. This surprised me, maybe because my 2 years of martial arts were in a style that came from the Japanese people/farmers who needed to learn a subversive fighting method out of self-protection. These other styles came from the temples, so the buddhist connection, upon reflection, made perfect sense. And from the buddhist philosophy of non-violence, it follows that many martial artists are vegetarian or vegan. The people at our brunch from the Kung Fu school were a mix; not all were vegan or vegetarian, but just a group of people who enjoy good food.

    And everyone enjoyed the location even more this time, I believe. It was cooler downstairs, and once people had eaten their fill, there was the lawn! This setup definitely contributed to most people hanging around for the full brunch, regardless of how early they arrived.

    People were wonderful about helping with cleanup. Not just for the self-busing cart we had set up (it is wonderful having access to an industrial kitchen!), but our comrades were more than willing to come back to the kitchen and put in some elbow grease on the dirty dishes. We greatly appreciate this, and hats off to all of you who helped!

    Not to mention the fundraiser! Wow, it was really great. We'd decided to do SHAC7 again, this time more organized, more announced, more obvious, more fun. Lynn and Sarah from Three Little Figs Market in Boulder agreed to help us by providing a selection of titles from their vegan market, and to offer them for sale. Any money above the wholesale cost would be donated. Between the booksales (yay! I bought The Milennium Cookbook, which I've been eyeing for about a year!) and the straight donations, we pulled in $142 for the SHAC7 defense fund! Brunch Revolutionaries rock! Awesome, hats off, and many thanks to all who participated.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Viva la revolucion!

    June 4 Brunch: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in the Cherry Creek area.
    Send email to brunchrevolution@yahoo.com for location information.

    This week's Latin-inspired menu includes:

    Chipotle Roasted Potatoes
    Scrambled Tofu with Salsa and Tortillas
    Frijoles Mezclados con Lechugas
    Cocoa Mole Waffles with Pan Fried Bananas
    Caramel Almond Bread Pudding with Joy's Coconut Caramel
    Kumquat-Almond-Strawberry Gelatina
    Fresh Fruit
    Organic Fair Trade Mexican Select Coffee

    We'll also be offering a cookbook fundraiser, generously sponsored by Three Little Figs. All proceeds go to The SHAC7.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Culinary Activism

    As the lovely Debora has posted on our subversive brunch activities, I'll simply remember my favorite things:

    The Spinach-Artichoke-Mushroom Strata, complete with supersonic orange soy cheese, turned out well. It's incredibly simple to make, and serves as a perfect lunch when paired with a green salad.

    Debora made Lemon Corn Waffles in advance. We encouraged brunchers to give them a quick dunk in the toaster before dousing them in dark sexy Blueberry Sauce.
    Rosemary Roasted Potatoes were kept warm in a rice cooker on the buffet table. We also served Seitan Bacon, a favorite of our comrades at the Olympia, Washington Guerilla Brunch.

    Wondering if we'd have enough food, I made a quick batch of Orange Glazed Scones from Vegan with a Vengeance. The masses soon descended on these, and gave rave reviews. I recommend making some and getting glazey and nibbly. Post haste!

    And--from Green Mountain Coffee, THE BEST COFFEE EVER. Organic and fair trade and wonderful, it was amazing stuff.

    Plenty of fresh fruit. This time: papaya, strawberries, bananas, oranges, pineapple, and cantaloupe, much of it organic.

    We were blessed with flatware and dishes, and Debora purchased some white tablecloths on the cheap. Ron and I grabbed our scooter keys, some shopping bags, and scissors, and soon the neighborhood had a few less blooms. I had just planted the terrace with all sorts of green and white plants: hydrangea, petunias, dahlias, zinnias, and some herby stuff. Everything was cute and matchy, the perfect backdrop for conversations about activism and anarchy.

    And scones.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Our first brunch - May 21, 2006

    Welcome to our first Brunch Revolution! We had a great turnout, right around 20 people, which is awesome for our very first brunch! Thanks to everyone who showed up and joined our little revolution.

    Our first arrivals were Allen and Jamie, and they were great sports about helping us finish the setting up. This goes hand in hand with being part of a revolution - we all own this brunch. Conveniently this means we gladly accept any help. Of course they also got to dig into the food first as well!

    It was perfect weather for our brunch on Joy and Ron's terrace. Sunny, slight breeze, and warmish, but not too warm.

    Most of the revolutionaries seemed to have heard about the brunch through RMAD's mailing list, though we had a few coworkers and friends of coworkers show up as well. So not everyone was from the vegan/vegetarian community, which is great. We want this to reach everyone.

    We didn't do a lot of advertisment for this first brunch. My ideas to reach more people are to post fliers in local coffee shops, community eateries, Three Little Figs, and other places that occur to us. If anyone has suggestions, please let us know!

    Notice the flowers on the table? Guerilla gardening! Ron and Joy snuck around the neighborhood the night before the brunch, gathering up some of these gorgeous flowers to use as our centerpieces on the tables. Guerilla gardening is apparently a growing movement in London, and perhaps other places, where people will sneak out and plant flowers in the medians and other public but unflowered places. Take charge of the world around us and make it more beautiful for everyone! Clearly that is the message. Oddly, this is something that Ron and Joy have done in the past, spreading a message of Love in Wash Park.

    This blog entry wouldn't be complete without a bit of explanation about Joy's kitchen, the former bathroom. The counter our lovely Food Goddess is working on is where the bathtub not only was, but actually still is. The countertop simply went over it. You can't actually see the toilet or the shower stall, but I promise they are there as well! Joy does not have an oven, proving with her delicious food that the impossibly tasty is possible even in impossible kitchen situations! The excellent music was provided, or at least chosen, by Ron. Not to mention a great deal of muscle provided in schlepping the tables, chairs, dishes, silverware, and glasses up from the Mansion's industrial kitchen downstairs.

    Ron is a law student at DU, which is how he and Joy got this apartment in such a sweet location. He works hard as a chancellor scholar law student (currently in his 2nd year), and they get to live surrounded by history and beauty for a couple years.

    The Tienzo terrace, with its views of the lawns, was a lovely spot for the brunch, but we are currently planning on having it downstairs off of the "yoga room" next time. The set up and break down was quite labor-intensive, and we need to avoid burnout as much as possible!

    We put a collection basket out for the SHAC7, but we weren't quite organized enough to properly communicate the issue and donation collection. We will choose our supplemental issue/cause and explain in advance next time so everyone will know ahead of time.

    Claire, the current only (fur)child of Ron and Joy, made an appearance in Ron's arms just as Class B dealers were being discussed - how appropriate for driving home that particular issue!

    The brunch was an apparent success. Everyone seemed pleased with the food, the conversation, the location, and the tour of the mansion! A big shout out to Ann and Peter for their enthusiastic help in cleaning up after the brunch. Greatly appreciated, as I'm sure they know!

    We are looking for volunteers to take 30 minute "host/hostess" shifts during the brunches. If you are interested, email us at brunchrevolution@yahoo.com and let's talk!

    We hope to see you at our next Brunch Revolution - June 4, 2006. Same time, same place. The menu will be posted soon!

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Shout out to Christine!

    I just have to thank Christine in advance. She is donating a bag of organic mixed greens to our brunch, so the green salad is now definitely on the menu, to be served with some sort of yummy and interesting vinagrette that Joy will whip up. Thank you Christine (and Peter)! Can't wait to see you all on Sunday!