This past weekend, we experienced our first Luxembourg National Day. Though the date is the Grand Duke’s official birthday, it is not technically anyone’s actual birthday. The date for the celebration has actually changed several times since the 19th Century, with the current date of 23 June set in stone in 1961. The only frame of reference for this celebration I have as an American is our own Fourth of July, but that isn’t entirely accurate. While both holidays share country pride and fireworks in common, there was an entirely different feel to this weekend’s party.
There is a lot of potential here for quick, last minute side trips; we deciced to take advantage of that and the great weather this past weekend. We went with friends to experience the Moselle Wine Festival, which involves several towns along the Moselle River in both Germany and Luxembourg. Though the experience was not precisely what we had expected, we definitely had a great adventure, drank some excellent wine and cremant, and even made some new friends!
This one is a bit decadent, given it contains one of the few ingredients that the ever-feuding Paleos and Vegans both tend to agree is evil: white pasta. It can be made even healthier with whole wheat pasta, but everyone needs a treat now and then, okay? If a plant-based diet were nothing but nuts, sprouts, and self-denial, no one would do it. We talk a good game of caring about animal cruelty, sustainable food, and being healthy, but–if we couldn’t indulge once in a while in things like white pasta, fried food, and baked goods–fewer people would be as open to indoctrination by us.
This one will definitely appease omnivores, as the recipe was modified from an older one I used to make with chicken and cream. The chicken is here replaced with a veggie mixture (the fiber for which makes up for the fact that you’re eating processed carbs), and the cream with soy yogurt, so if you’re stubborn you can alter it back to suit your flesh-eating desires. Contrarian.
The Bock in Luxembourg City is the former site of the Castle of Lucilinburhu (built in 963), and what eventually became Luxembourg City sprouted up around it. The Bock casemates are composed of a vast latticework of tunnels built into the rock itself, and were built gradually over a century (1644 to 1746). Used as a fortress by the Spanish, the French, and then the Austrians (everyone in Europe it seems at one point had a claim on this bit of land), the caves were also used as a bomb shelter during the second world war.
It seems like I’m constantly having to apologize for eating a mostly vegan diet, and I seem to be including a lot of “I swear it’s good!” affirmations with these recipes. This is sort of pathetic of me, really, but here I am doing it again. I really, really mean it this time. This is an extremely hearty, savoury dish with a lot of umami–just like you would get from a beef gravy (and it’s a simple recipe secret that does not involve any tofu or weird, fake meat). All in an animal-friendly, lower fat, cholesterol-free package. If meat-eaters can’t enjoy this one, I’ll stop trying to convince you. It’s easy (and cheap!) as well, so you may as well give it a try. You’ve nothing to lose!
Time for more Mr. Simon Kitty.