About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

Click on Products to browse hand-crafted scarves, bags, and jewelry from India for sale.

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)

 

 

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

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Entries in baking (4)

Sunday
Oct062013

Because violence is unnecessary

Up until today, which was cold and overcast, the weather has been sunny and warm here in New England. Yesterday, I was able to wear this vintage dress I just found at Boomerang. It's lightweight rayon but in fall colors, so it feeds two birds with one scone.* With the cap sleeves and 'ugly' floral print in gold, turquoise and brown, what'dya think? 1975-76?

1970s Ragtime dress, thrifted, Boomerang. 1970s necklace, thrifted, Goodwill. Bangles given to me in India. Tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill.

The label is one I hadn't seen before -- "Ragtime." Not a whole lot to say about this, except that I'm linking to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

With cooler weather, my thoughts have turned to baking.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that my veg box always contains bananas. So, in addition to my frozen dessert and smoothies, I make a lot of banana muffins (if I come over for tea I will probably bring banana muffins--you've been warned). They're very quick to make, with just a few ingredients that you likely have in your pantry, and can be modified all sorts of ways (I sometimes add walnuts, raisins, or shredded coconut—or all three).

I've adapted a recipe on VegWeb.com.

Joyatri's Banana Muffins (dairy and egg-free)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour ('fine wholemeal' flour in the U.K.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed (sometimes I use 3 and add a little more apple sauce)
1/4 cup cane sugar (the original recipe calls for ¾ cup--too sweet for me)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tablespoons canola/rapeseed oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins or ¼ cup of each

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 10 muffin cups with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, applesauce and oil.
4. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in walnuts or raisins, if desired.

5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
Oatmeal raisin scone I have made oatmeal scones every week for the past 30 years. It started with a recipe in a booklet received by mailing in two Quaker Oats box-tops. Since then I've veganized the recipe by using soy, rice, oat or almond dairy milk and ground flax seed in water instead of an egg. I also made them lower in fat by substituting applesauce for half the fat (I use canola oil). I never tire of them and, like the muffins, modify them to use whatever's on hand.

Oatmeal strawberry-almond scones

from veganstreet.com. This is handy for remembering egg substitutes when baking.

I freeze the muffins and scones pull one (or two for the muffins) out before I go to bed to have in the morning.

I discovered that applesauce is not as readily availablel in the U.K. as it is in the States. Natural foods stores have it as “apple puree” (of course, you can make your own). I buy the kind without preservatives, which can get moldy quickly, even in the refrigerator, fairly quickly. So I freeze 1/2-cup amounts. Between the scones and the muffins, I go through lots of applesauce. And jam. 

My kitchen cabinet with lots of applesauce and jam jars as storage for grains, beans, legumes and nuts. I want to try making this. At an Armenian market in the next town, where I stock up on all my fig needs (fig jam, fresh figs, dried figs), I discovered that traditional Armenian tahini bread is vegan. It's like a cinnamon roll--it's just a yeast dough made with olive oil and spread with tahini, sugar, and cinnamon, rolled up and baked. I found a recipe here.

*from veganstreet.com

Sunday
Dec302012

Reading, baking and sewing

I’ve been hunkered down the past couple weeks, catching up on household chores, baking lots, and being crafty.

Even though temps have been below freezing this week and we’ve just come through a snowstorm, I made a pair of summer trousers with Indian striped cotton I got on sale ($6) and a pattern purchased in London (49p). Other than mistakenly putting the lapped zipper on the right side instead of the left (I really do need better lighting in my apartment), they came out pretty well.

Striped Indian cotton trousers, made by me. 1970s Indian calico peasant blouse, thrifted. Black tank top, purchased retail many years ago. 1970s braid and brass belt, thrifted. Indian brass disc earrings, I’ve owned for decades. Masai bean necklaces, purchased at Cultural Survival Bazaar. Bangles from India. Non-leather embroidered shoes by Chinese Laundry, purchased on sale 5 years ago.I purchased the two Masai necklaces made of beans at the Cultural Survival bazaar, where I had a booth with Indian wares a couple weekends ago. The Cultural Survival bazaars have been going on for decades and have a dedicated following. Most of the attendees are interested in supporting the mission of the organizing nonprofit, which works for the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. It seems as though every other person I spoke to had been in the Peace Corps, and most had traveled extensively. So, between the other vendors and the members of the public, there’s a non-stop parade of fascinating people to talk to.

Where I bought my necklaces. Jewelry sold to support The Warriors Organization, which helps Tanzania’s tribal communities. My vending neighbors were a Masai warrior from Tanzania and a man selling Ecuadorean folk paintings and silver jewelry. The latter vendor served in the Peace Corps in India in the 1970s, and prior to that witnessed the burgeoning hippie scene in London in 1966.

I bought a vintage Indian necklace at this booth. One of the dangling bits was missing so I found the brass tree pendant in my pile of stray jewelry bits and added it in the center.Fair-trade chocolate to sample and buy. I did both. A vendor selling Bolivian sweaters and hats also had this bizarre carnival-mask-inspired balaklava. I was told that they sold a number of them over the course of the weekend. I’ve also been reading. In the past couple years, in my never-ending -- and mostly Sisyphean -- effort to de-clutter, I’ve been doing my best to read books I own instead of popping over to the public library. Once I read a book, I pass it on if I don’t want it for reference or can’t imagine re-reading it.

In that vein, I just finished Only My Dreams: An English Girlhood by Hilda Ann Salusbury, published in 1990. It’s a memoir of a girl growing up in a Norfolk village and later, as a young woman, going out into the world, spanning the years 1913 to 1930. Written in a very matter-of-fact voice in spite of hardship (the author’s mother deserted her, her father, and 3 younger siblings early on) and disappointments (being forced to take care of the household instead of furthering her education).

I found the account of daily life of a working- class girl-- what she ate, how she did household chores, what she wore – fascinating. Later, when the author is training to be a nurse in London, she gives a vivid account of East London slums:

“One thing I discovered early in my course was that East Enders were allergic to soap and hot water. Their attitude to cleanliness was appalling; their knowledge of hygiene non-existent.”

Her romantic relationships with men aren’t too different from what you’d find in contemporary chick lit as most of them turn out to be cads (except for one, of course).

I’m lending the book to a friend, but will get it back and offer it as a give-away here at some point.

I’m off to read some blogs now with a cup of tea and an orange-walnut biscotti (or two). Recipe from Holy Cow!: A Vegan Recipe Blog.

Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's last Visible Monday of 2013.

Friday
Nov022012

Happy Birthday, A.

Yesterday was A.’s birthday. I made a cake.

Although it was a recipe I had made several times before (here,  but veganized by using almond milk and vegan margarine), baking with different ingredients and different equipment meant that the birthday cake was more like a large birthday cookie. No matter, it still tasted pretty good.

Instead of adding garam masala with the cocoa, I just used some cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I stayed with the orange vanilla icing with a garnish of toasted coconut.

We went to dinner at Carnavale, a Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant nearby. We shared our starters: ‘Quinoa, Wild Mushroom, Spinach and Chilli Cakes with Apricot and Ginger Chutney’ and ‘Young Artichokes stuffed with Walnuts, Lemon and Parsley on a bed of Caramelised Red Onions’ which were both outstanding but my photos didn’t make them look very good.

Phyllo Purse stuffed with Rosemary and Wild Mushrooms served with Pumpkin, Leek, Cannelini Beans and Basil Casserole topped with Pumpkin Seeds. The entrée was somewhat bland, but looks good in a photo. 

Even though we had just had cake at tea-time, we got dessert – ‘Chocolate Roulade, filled with Raspberries, Earl Grey Truffles and Vanilla Soya Cream.’ It looks rather unappetizing here, but it was delicious. Really.

At Carnevale.

ISDA & Co. gray velour dress, thrifted. 1970s waistcoat (which has a matching
dress to be shown in a later post). Antique Indian and stone pendant strung
on a cord (had as long as I can remember). Bangles from India. Purple tights, |
Sainsbury’s. Shoes thrifted and painted by me.

I know that the blogging platform I use is not the most user-friendly. So, I’m about to embark on the daunting task of transferring my blog to Blogger. This blog was originally on Blogger and, in 2006, I became dissatisfied with its limited customization abilities and abandoned it. Which means, luckily, I still have the Joyatri Blogspot URL. But, I need to figure out how to transfer 7 years of content without losing it all as well as transfer my domain name. After that, there will be a lot of re-configuring, re-doing tags, and fixing links. So, please bear with me, and, hopefully, the result will be a blog that is easier to find, follow, navigate, and comment on.

Sunday
Oct152006

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

German_chocolate_cupcakes.JPGIn New York last week, I made a pilgrimage to Moo Shoes, where I bought to pairs of vegan shoes. While there I picked up a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Baking has always been my forte, but my vegan baked goods have not been particularly successful. With the exception of banana bread, every other recipe I've tried has resulted in rubbery cornbread, rubbery cake or rubbery muffins. After having the most amazing sticky buns and cake from Vegan Treats and Sticky Fingers at the AR conference this summer, I knew that it is possible to make vegan baked goods and pastries that aren't rubbery.

So, I was counting on Vegan Cupcakes. Well, I wasn't disappointed. I just made the German Chocolate Cupcakes (Coconut Pecan Fudge Frosting p. 147 on Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake p. 37) and they came out light, with a fine crumb. Never would have guessed that they did not contain dairy or eggs. I am hoping that the cupcakes made from this book help convince whoever I serve them to that being vegan isn't a hardship.