Friday, September 18, 2015

Of Peppers and Pretzels

Argh! I had such hopes and I was really excited for Vegan MoFo this year, but back to school laid me flat!. Yes I have more time for writing (the novel takes precedence over the Blog), however there are things I did not count on: The first week of school everybody went a half day, and there was the new sleep schedule to adjust to. I now get up at 6:00am to get the Bumper out the door by 7:45am. Then there are the parental volunteer commitments. I don't mind, I just did not expect to have so may late night meetings to attend. The Bumper also started soccer with practice on Wednesday and games on Saturday.
I am still game to finish out the month and I like the prompts so much that I will be using the ones I miss throughout the coming year.
 Yesterday's prompt was to  make or eat a local dish. I live on Maryland's Easter Shore and the local dishes are not vegan friendly. We are talking scrapple, also called head cheese, which is made from various pig parts, crab cakes, raw oysters, and steamed crabs. So no thank you. There is one Eastern Shore local dish that is vegan: Pepper Relish (I can't eat pepper relish because it makes me break out in hives) and one that can be easily veganized: Pretzel Salad.
The Pepper Relish Recipe is courtsey of my friend Beverly L a life long resident of the Eastern Shore. It is her grandmother's recipe.

Pepper Relish

14 red peppers
10 green peppers
12 onions
3 cups vinegar
2 T salt
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
Clean onions and peppers, removing seeds and  white pulp from peppers.
Grind in food processor to fine consistancy
Put in large pot or basin and pour boiling water over. Let sit five minutes.
Drain in colander and pick out large chunks.
Prepare syrup in large pot. Add pepper mix and boil 25 minutes. Can in
hot jars and seal. Makes 6-7 pints

Pretzel Salad

Pretzel Salad is made with crushed pretzels, cream cheese, sugar, frozen strawberries, and strawberry jello.
I subbed the dairy cheese for Tofutti brand and omitted the strawberry jello since I couldn't find vegan gelatin.

2 cups pretzels crushed
1 tub non-dairy cream cheese of choice
2Tbs of lemon juice
3/4 cups vegan margarine
1 package of frozen strawberries
3TBS + 1Cup sugar (divided)
Preheat oven to 400F

Crush pretzels and combine with margarine and the 3Tbs sugar. Line the bottom of a greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake at 400F for 8-10 min until set. (pretzels should be brown but not burnt)
Take out frozen frozen strawberries and put in bowl. Stir in lemon juice and 1/4cup sugar. Let sit for 10-15 min or until there is a layer of strawberry juice syrup at the bottom of the bowl.
Mix together softened cream cheese, and 1 1/2 cup of sugar, spread over crust, top with strawberries and refrigerate until chilled through.
This version does not have the traditional jello-like top layer but it is still delicious. If you have access to vegan gelatin by all means use it. Just prepare according to package directions and pour over the frozen strawberries before putting it in the refrigerator.

Happy Eating!
p.s. Most versions use a layer of whipped cream too, but I don't like it that way.

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