There’s been talk of post-VVC syndrome hitting various pockets of the blogosphere. This terrible affliction causes feelings of isolation, an inability to appreciate the vegan options available within ones proximity. and perpetual longing for vegan mini malls and hotels filled with friends.
Having dealt with similar post-vacation psychosomatic illness in the past, I’ve learned a few strategies I’d like to share.
1. On your flight, bus/car ride or train trip home start thinking about how much you love your bed/bath/coffeemaker/dog/cat/friend…etc. (If there is nothing, not one thing, you love about being home, start looking for moving companies). It may be because I don’t splurge for the most expensive hotels when I travel but the idea of crawling into my own bed always builds some sweet anticipation.
2. Take a piece of your trip home with you. I am not much of a shopper but when I travel I tend to pick up a new shirt, earrings, a cookbook, an accessory…etc. that I will enjoy at home. I bought a pair of pants on a trip to Italy almost 9 years ago that I still love to this day. Every time I wear them I think about rolling them up to trapse through Venice on one very rainy day.
3. Recreate the blissful moments of relaxation, exploration or elation, back at home. We do such nice things for ourselves on vacation. We go to the theatre, wander by the beach, spend time reading, catch up with friends and take ourselves out for leisurely meals. Blur those lines between vacation and real life. Enjoy little escapes to a coffee shop, to the water’s edge, to a friends place in your usual routine.
On my last night in Portland I had a perfect meal, the kind you wish to replay over and over. Now that I’m home, I can’t pop over to Blossoming Lotus, or grab a taxi with JL, Nicole and Genawhenever I like, but I can reinvent the flavour of a favourite dish and transport myself back to that delicious moment in time.
By dinner time on Sunday I had already fallen for Portland. I think many of the VVCers found themselves strolling the streets thinking, “this city gets me”. I know I like a place where fridges are packed with kombucha, the word “vegan” is a popular advertising tool, and the bike lanes are busier than the streets.
The visit to Blossoming Lotus just sealed the deal. I have been dreaming of sitting in their dining room since I first got a copy of Vegan World Fusion Cuisine (I have the original edition). However, my dreams were actually situated in the dining room on the island of Kauai but since that location has since closed, Portland was a reasonable alternative.
After a busy weekend full of inspiration and the celebration of new connections, spending a quiet, reflective evening with four friends provided the perfect balance.
Knowing that we needed to fuel some important conversation and repeat rounds of laughter we ordered the Creamy Pesto and White Bean Dip. An unassuming appetizer that really stole the show.
The creamy white beans and pungent pesto are served warm. This small deviation from the standard bean dip presentation made a world of difference. Our table was immediately enamoured and couldn’t stop complimenting the combination of the warm, rich dip with the crisp crudité.
The house dressing at Blossoming Lotus is sweet ginger – I should probably just move in, right?
For my entree, I wanted to try something that I wouldn’t make at home. The live pesto and portobello pizza was an ideal option. It paired a bright herbal pecan pesto with marinated mushrooms, micro greens and a soft, tomato and walnut crust.
Since I’ve been back in Toronto, I’ve definitely missed JL, Gena and Nicole (as well all the other incredibly people I spent time with in Portland). Instead of feeling sad that those experiences were behind me, I’ve focused on feeling grateful that I had the opportunity to be with people who make my life, and this world better.
I brought home a lot of new ideas from VVC and one recipe that needed to be recreated ASAP.
Heart Warming Hummus with garlic and basil
1 large garlic clove
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
approximately 1/3 cup of water
In a food processor pulse the garlic clove until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
The hummus should be warm from processing but can also be warmed in an oven safe dish or in a small saucepan on the stove. Serve it warm on top of a bed of greens or next to a pile of crudité.