Sunday, 28 June 2015

Two Liebster Awards

Last year when I did Vegan MoFo I was given two Liebster awards by Danielle Joy and Jasmine at Self Sufficiency Cafe.  These are awards that bloggers share to encourage us to learn about and connect with new bloggers.  I am all for fostering community in the blogosphere but it has taken me many months to get around to answering the questions that come with this award.

As the award was doing the round in Vegan MoFo when there is a flurry of vegan blogging, the awards had quite a few questions about being vegan.  Umm ... I am vegetarian rather than vegan.  So I have slightly changed a few questions to reflect this and I have also combined a few questions from both Danielle and Jasmine into the first one before going onto their separate questions.

Why did you become vegan or vegetarian and how has it changed your life?
I have written about becoming vegetarian at length in my post on being vegetarian.

Questions from Danielle Joy

Smith and Deli - Home Alone sandwich
What vegan place would you recommend in your area?
Smith and Deli in Fitzroy is the vegan place I have to recommend on my side of Melbourne.  It only opened a couple of weeks ago and on the occasions I have visited the queues have been crazy but the sandwich selection is amazing.  Above is the Home Alone sandwich with mashed potato, vegan turkey, vegan stuffing, brussells sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce.

What food could I wake you up with in the middle of the night for?
Grubs.  No not witchety grubs.  'Grubs' is the term for one of my favourite childhood snacks made with cocoa, condensed milk, biscuits and coconut, and I still love them with a passion.  When I think food in the middle of the night I think of midnight feasts with grubs that we had as a child.  Now I have my own child I appreciate the midnight feasts don't always happen at midnight but they are still exciting.

Why did you start blogging?
Briefly, I wanted to have a space to share my recipes and notes.  I have written more about why I started blogging.
What’s the best vegan meal you’ve ever made? (link, please!)
Oh that is a hard question.  So many great meals to choose from.  One of my favourite meals is a roast dinner with nut roast.  So while I am not sure what is the 'best' meal I have ever made, I can nominate my favourite meal I have made to be the one where a friend and I made a roast with a vegetarian hog's head.  It was fun and amazing and delicious.  (NB the nut roast was vegetarian but could be made vegan easily.)

Vegetarian hog's head
What’s your favorite vegan dessert?
Chocolate pudding.  It is a childhood favourite and I still love it.  For those who need clarification, my chocolate pudding is a warm self saucing chocolate pudding. 

What do you eat when having a savory snack attack?
Roast chickpeas!  I mean to make lots of savoury snacks but often just end up with little packets of crunchy salted roast chickpeas that I often carry in my bag for emergencies.

What do you eat when having a sweet tooth craving?
This really depends what is in the house but sweet tooth cravings often involve chocolate.  We usually have chocolate in the house so sometimes it is just a square of the stuff and other times if I have been baking it might be cake, slices or porridgies

Liz O'Brien's sausage rolls
What do you serve non-vegans when they come over for dinner?
I am not the sort of cook with standard recipes I always make.  If I really wanted to impress a veg-shy meat eater I might make some sausage rolls but mostly I try something new.

Questions from Jasmine at Self Sufficiency Cafe

What food item could you not do without?
My first instinct was to say chocolate.  Then I thought perhaps it should be something healthier like chickpeas or good bread.  Honestly my list of kitchen staples is quite long so I am not sure I would do well to narrow it down to one item.

Celia's overnight sourdough bread
What would be your last supper (you can have 3 courses)?
Nut roast with lots of crispy roast vegies, cauliflower cheese, green vegies and gravy.  Then a rich dense chocolate cake with lots ganache (perhaps this zucchini brownie with ganache and smoked walnuts)  And to finish, a fruit platter with lots of stone fruit, pineapple, berries, apple and dates stuffed with cashew cheese

What is your favourite TV show?
Call the Midwife.  The photography is so beautiful, the plots give such poignant insight into post war Britain and the characters are so complex, compassionate and awkward.

Who is your favourite comedian?
I don't have a stand-out favourite.  Though perhaps Dave O'Neil who is a local legend.  Or it could be Danny Kaye because first loves hold a special place in the heart and The Court Jester is one of the first films I loved.  I don't feel the same way about another childhood love, Jerry Lewis, but I still find The Goodies and Fawlty Towers hilarious.

What is your favourite junk food?
Chocolate - any sort will do - but my favourite guilty pleasure is possibly the chokito

What ingredient had you never heard of until you went vegan or vegetarian?
I was already doing quite a lot of vegetarian cooking when I went vegetarian many years ago.  However my favourite discovery in vegan cooking is probably nutritional yeast flakes.  I love cheese and these flakes have made it possible for me to eat lots of yummy vegan cheese sauces and less dairy cheese.

Street art - Fitzroy pool
What is your favourite smell?
Oh smells are so evocative.  I love fresh-baked bread, chlorine at the pool, and jasmine in spring.

What is a typical Sunday like for you?
I met someone who went to the same cafe every Sunday and was quite amazed.  I don't have a typical Sunday.  Sylvia loves to have pancakes on Sunday morning which we do if there is time.  We often might watch some telly in the evening.  However Sundays might be just lazy days to sit in front of a movie, or a meal at my mum's or a day out in the city. 


  1. what a lovely post, i really enjoyed reading it xx

  2. It's always nice reading more about you behind the scenes, and I like your answers to these questions. Midnight feasts and lazy Sundays are my kind of things and I love the look of those cocoa rhapsody blocks too!

    1. Thanks Kari - midnight feasts are so enid blyton that I love that sylvia still embraces them at sleepovers though if I catch her up at midnight I would be most disapproving. And we do have our fair share of lazy Sundays

  3. An interesting post Johanna! And that "hogs" head looks really interesting and quite similar to a real one!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - yes the hog's head was almost uncomfortably similar to a real one but I probably felt better about it because making it helped to see it as nut roast covered in pastry rather than flesh

  4. A fun post Johanna! I adore the vegetarian hogs head - so cute.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I wish I had the energy to make vegetarian hog's heads more often :-)

  5. I love this post, I quite like getting to know you =)
    My favourite thing about this post, is the amount of times you mention chocolate. I agree completely - it really is amazing stuff, I've tried giving it up before, but I give in to it. It's too good not to have.
    Would you believe I still haven't roasted chickpeas? I really need to do that.
    I also giggled about grubs. All I can picture them as are little bugs ;p Your recipe for them sounds delicious though.


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