Vegan Action #78

    Growing up in the suburbs of DC was more than I could ask for in the eighties, especially when it came to going to shows.  A lot of the shows were in churches which didn’t seem odd and it was quite clear that it was the older kids in the community that were running those shows.  I definitely looked forward to the church shows especially because almost everyone there was really nice to the young kids.  Aside from meeting kids that actually lived in DC (not Northern Virginia) and seeing great shows, I was first introduced to pro-choice and animal rights information at these shows.  I remember sitting around watching political videos and some of the older kids talking to the group of us high schoolers sitting on the floor listening intently.  Sometimes I was into it and sometimes I was rolling my eyes, just wanting the music to start - I was 16.  These were venues that were so crucial to the punk and hardcore scene and we didn’t even know it. This brings me to Gilman in Berkeley.  A place that I tabled at for Vegan Action, attended meetings and went to shows almost every week for the two years I lived in the Bay Area.  This is one of my favorite places of all time.  Folks love the venue but can not let go of the fact that there is no drinking allowed.  I can’t even count how many times Gilman would be threatened to be shut down because of kids drinking inside and outside.  No matter how many signs were put up and the many volunteers that would ask people, folks would not stop bringing the alcohol.  1987, I remember sneaking drinks into the churches sometimes getting caught and the older kids being pissed off.  I didn’t understand why they would get so mad.  Until I was involved with Gilman.  I cannot understand why it is that some people do not realize how important it is to keep the community-run places going and not risk them being shut down.  I’ve now been in both shoes and I’m trying to figure it out.  This brings me to the present.  In Richmond, Virginia despite the large music scene presence, we don’t have very many venues for punk/hardcore/indie shows.  Other than house shows or Betsy’s Coffee Shop, there are two to three clubs and then the Pace Center.  The Pace Center is actually a college campus church in the middle of Richmond and easily accessible.  Folks just started having shows there in the last two years and I have been going to table for Vegan Action and help run some of the shows.   We only have to pay a little bit of money for using electricity and the rest can go back to the bands for gas or towards a benefit.  It’s a fairly decent sized space and a has a kitchen too.  There is no smoking or drinking inside.  And there is a lot of grumbling about it.  We have seen folks drinking inside and we explain why it is a risk at losing the space.  I am trying to be patient and understanding.  More recently a couple of out of town bands played at the Pace Center and someone tagged a phrase on the building right behind the space during the show.  The cops came soon after and stopped a kid outside of the show asking if he was the one that did the graffiti and what was going on inside.  He told the cop he had no idea who did it and explained that there was some music going on inside the space.  The cop did not come in only because it is a church I’m assuming.  It was really unintentionally thoughtless and selfish of whoever did the graffiti as it really put our space in jeopardy.  It reminds me of the saying — don’t shit where you eat!.  Better yet, don’t fuck with community spaces especially if you are from out of town because you don’t have to deal with the repercussions like the folks from the town do. I’m not against the graffiti but they could have done it a block away and maybe later at night or something.  Just a reminder to think about how your actions are affecting others.  Thanks for reading.  xoxo- krissi p.o. box 4288 richmond, va 23220.  krissi@vegan.org.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies
1/2 bag of dairy-free chocolate chips
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 stick of margarine
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
    Mix together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa powder.
    In a second bowel, blend butter and grated ginger with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Blend in the brown sugar and then blend in the molasses.
    Dissolve the baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water in a small bowel and add to the wet mix.  Beat in half of the dry mixture until combined and then beat in the other half until all is well combined.  Hand mix in the chocolate chips.
    Pat this all down flat on wax paper and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
    Heat oven to 325°.  Hand roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the 1/4 cup granulated sugar to coat.  Place on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the surface cracks.  Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Apple Potato Curry Winter Soup
3 tablespoons chopped ginger
5 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
5 cubed potatoes
3 chopped carrots
1 cup dry red lentils
about 1 to 2 cups liquid vegetable stock
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 peeled and chopped apples
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    Sauté chopped ginger, garlic, onion and mustard seeds for 3-5 minutes.
    Add the potatoes, carrots and lentils into the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes.
    Add enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and simmer until soft.
    Puree in a blender adding water or vegetable stock until thick and soupy.
    Blend in the dry spices and sweetener.
    Add apple chunks and fresh cilantro and serve hot!