Monday 30 September 2013

Reflections on Vegan MoFo 2013

Today marks the end of Vegan MoFo for 2013.  I am sad, tired and a little relieved.  It has been fun, inspiring and busy.  Here is my reflections on my month of television related cooking.

It was my third year of Vegan MoFo and my first having a theme: TV Dinners.   Writing to a theme was fun and really made me approach my posts in a different way.  More structure, more discipline.  I started planning months ago and was glad of it.  The theme demanded a lot of time, research and thought (ie lots of surfing the net and reading out choice information to E). 

Futile Vegan MoFo shopping.  My pasta purchases while searching for pasta for a post I didn't do!
I find Vegan MoFo to be a time of great inspiration.  So many great ideas flying around the blogosphere.  I was really excited by some of the recipes I tried, while a few were work in progress.  My favourite would have to be Stargazy Pie because it was my own creation and based on a fascinating pie with a great history.   It was also a fun challenge to veganise a fish pie with fish heads poking out of the pastry.

Vegan stargazy pie with eggplant used instead of fish heads.
September was a particularly busy month.  My family has many birthdays and anniversaries in this month, we went on holiday for a week and we also did Christmas shopping for family in Scotland to meet the seamail deadline.  It was the month of our federal election, the Melbourne Show and the AFL Grand Final.  And I hosted another blog event this month - Pasta Please.

I made an effort not to make new dishes to blog unless they were for Vegan MoFo.  My blog backlog still grew with our holiday and the Show, which I plan to write about.  I wish I could have visited more Vegan MoFo blogs - it was easier that previous two years with Google Reader.

Yet I still discovered some great new blogs and have bookmarked heaps of recipes I want to try.  And hope to repeat some of my own Vegan MoFo recipes.  I have already remade the vegan doughnuts with more success on a jam filling.

Jam-filled mini vegan doughnuts.
One of the challenges with my TV Dinners theme was choosing the television shows.  Some presented themselves naturally with a classic food scene (such as Waldorf Salad in Fawlty Towers) while matching recipes with some shows sometimes felt like fitting a round peg into a square hole.  Planning ahead meant I noted a few scenes in current favourite shows.  In the end despite missing some of my favourite shows, I had more posts than days.

Before I tell you about what recipes I didn't have time for, I will give you a list of some of my favourite tv shows that I just coudn't find the food link.  Sometimes Google lets me down!  Henderson Kids, Magic Roundabout, Follow your Dreams, Life on Mars, Mr Ed, The Killing, Foyle's War, The Bill, MDA, Yes Minister, Hill Street Blues. A Country Practice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game On, Grange Hill, Northern Exposure.  (Must stop or I will list every show I have ever watched.)

You can see what shows I chose at my list of Vegan MoFo posts.  This theme has made me reflect on the sort of telly I watch.  I love intelligent drama, crime (the less blood the better), comedy and I have even come to love some of the kids shows I watch with Sylvia.   - love comedy, kids shows with sylvia, intelligent drama, crime shows - british and Australian - much of it on ABC our equivalent of BBC because it doesn't have adverts and it is qyality stuffDid you notice that I really love British tv, especially when on the ABC rather than the commercial channels?

Yummy stuff coming up - halva, orange chocolates and sweet potato muffins
Twelve recipes that didn't make the list (because there are only 24 hours in the day):
  • Seven Little Australians - Corned beef seitan - stolen by Bunty when Judy ran away from school and hid in the ground of their house.
  • Count Duckula - Broccoli chowder - because broccoli is his favourite food
  • Get Smart - Potato salad with horseradish - my favourite scene is when Max kills a threatening tarantula with a jar of horseradish
  • The Young Ones - Parsnip Risotto - after Vyvian's claim that dinner is not snow, it's risotto!
  • Twin Peaks - Cherry Pie - FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper's favourite food.
  • Eastenders - Alphabet Spaghetti - remembering that Billy proposed to Little Mo using this dish.
  • Sex and the City - Cupcakes - just one of the foods that this show made trendy
  • The Muppets - Swedish Meatballs - what else would the Swedish Chef make?
  • The Goodies - Scones with jam and cream - the classic bunfight at the OK tearooms
  • Downton Abbey - Treacle Tart- one of Mrs Padmore's grand desserts
  • Posh Nosh - Paella 
  • This Morning with Richard Not Judy - Sweet Potato and Orange Chocolates - inspired by The Curious Orange

I have considered doing more TV Dinners posts but I miss my usual rambling style.  I still have a few recipes yet to be blogged from the series and a few others I would love to make.  Who knows, there might be a life for the theme beyond Vegan MoFo

Random picture from the Melbourne Show
It is always a pleasure when putting a lot of effort into my posts to see them being enjoyed by others.  Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my posts.  In particularly thanks to Veganise This, the Green Cuisine, the Spade and Spoon, Candida Diet Plan and the Vegan MoFo Blog for including me in round ups.  And thank you to the Vegan MoFo team for an amazing effort in organising the event.  I also was excited to have my second Food Gawker photo up - Vegan Sushi Stacks.  Makes me think maybe I need to submit a few more photos.

A sneak peak of what is to come in my holiday posts.
And now for what will be coming up on my blog.  I'd love to take a break but I already have some posts mapped out for October.  I will post the Pasta Please round up soon, I will write about my Port Fairy holiday and The Melbourne Show, I may write up the last of my TV dinners posts that didn't make it this month, and I have an interview with Ricki Heller coming up as part of her virtual blog tour for Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free.  And maybe I will get along to World Vegan Day on 10 November this year.  Meanwhile, there is a howling wind outside and a warm bed awaits me.

I will finish with a question for you?  What is your favourite television food moment or plot featuring food?

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2013.  This year for Vegan MoFo I am cooking recipes inspired by some favourite tv shows - and veering off topic occasionally.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts.         


  1. I've been beyond impressed with all your posts this month Johanna. I know how much time and effort it's taken me and your theme definitely required even more of that! It's hard to pick a favourite but I think your recipe for corn chowder with tofu bacon wins for me. Congratulations on making it to the end!

    1. Thanks Emma - my theme took more time than I expected but I did enjoy reading about all the old tv shows - just wish I had more time to watch more for research. I loved the corn chowder too

  2. Hi Johanna,

    I'm sorry I missed some of your Vegan MoFo posts but the ones I saw were fabulous! I don't know how you do it:)

    I have a Northern Exposure cookbook if I can help you with that. I also have a small cookbook titled Treasured Recipes from Mrs. Bridges Upstairs Downstairs if it helps.

    Thank you so much for sharing, looking forward to your Pasta roundup as October is National Pasta Month here in the states.

    1. Thanks Louise - I am not surprised you missed some posts - I had trouble keeping up with other bloggers - I love the tv related cookbooks - loved your muppets cookbook too.

  3. I loved your TV theme, especially since most of them were shows I watched growing up on Aussie TV! I agree, the ABC is the best. One of my favourite food plots was in the cartoon Babar when Lord Retaxes stops all the pomegranates from being brought into Celesteville (random I know!) You cna add that one to your list of 'still to make' :)

    1. Thanks Kate - yes I love the ABC. That is a great foodie moment on tv - pomegranate seems very exotic for a kids show but I guess Barbar was a bit posh

  4. Congratulations on a third Vegan MoFo. I'm still a little sad to have missed it, but if I'm honest, also very relieved I didn't try! It's been great following your recipes though and I will have lots of things to try out when I'm back in my own kitchen.

    1. Thanks Kari - there will be other years for vegan mofo and am sure you will have lots of fun returning to your own kitchen

  5. Johanna this has been extraordinary! You are such an impressive blogger xxx

  6. Your theme was great this year and I really enjoyed reading. THE HENDERSON KIDS!!!!!!!!! "I really like you Tam. And I want you to be my girlfriend" :P But my favourite quote, which I still pathetically use with my understanding fellow dork friend, is "aww gee Tam, I don't reckon so" (in the first ep where Tamara goes and asks her friend Regina if she can crash at her place)

    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - Henderson Kids is a classic - we went to to see the protest against Wheeler being filmed so I just remember them chanting "Don't work for Wheeler" over and over again

  7. I've really enjoyed all your posts this month, so pleased to discover the blog. Lamingtons were definitely the favourite for me!

    1. Thanks Joey - glad you enjoyed visiting - have too really enjoyed your british posts

  8. Congrats on your MoFo effort for 2013 - I thought your theme and dedication to it was utterly brilliant.

    Extra kudos for sneaking in a bit of Lee and Herring. I was a mad keen TMWRNJ fan, back in the day.

    1. Thanks Eat to Live - was sad I didn't manage to squeeze in my Lee and Herring post - just ran out of time - but am wondering about doing it soon anyway - that was such a stupidly funny show

  9. Loved your theme Johanna and the stargazy pie was brilliant! Hope you continue the TV Dinner posts when you feel the urge to. :D

    I was relieved it when MoFo was over as it felt like a long month but now I'm feeling sad about it being finished.

    1. Thanks Mel - I loved the stargazy pie too and the theme so might squeeze a few more in.

      I too am sad about it being finished despite not being able to continue at that pace - and it is a relief not to get a post done and not to feel the same pressure to do it in Oct as I was feeling in September


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)