Today, on my birthday, I was honored to be asked to volunteer in the kitchen of Atlanta's famous vegetarian/vegan "World Peace Cafe". I love this place! Great food, amazing people and peaceful and beautiful atmosphere. And a very interesting fact-this place is run entirely by volunteers. I will blog about World Peace Cafe in the near future. Stay tuned.
I am really grateful for this opportunity. I volunteered with them before, but not entirely in the kitchen. I waited tables, cleaned tables, cleaned the dishes, prepared some simple beverages, served desserts and did a little food prep. Today I was helping prepare food for next week. It was a very interesting experience. I have never prepared food for hundreds of people before, just for a family and friends. I learned a lot today. One of the funny things that I did not know before is that red (orange) lentils change their color with cooking so they are not red anymore, but rather green-brown. I had a great time today and got some new ideas for my own cooking.
If you told me last year that I would be making a gallon of vegan Russian dressing on my birthday I would think you were crazy :-) And here I was making dressings by gallons and other fun things. I was able to experience how a commercial kitchen works and see how much different it is than my home kitchen. I only wish it was not so hot in there, but with the grills and ovens working the whole time and the space being so small it would be impossible to keep the kitchen cool. My volunteering experience gave me a whole new level of appreciation for the hard work that chefs, cooks and waiters do.
Picture source World Peace Cafe (I did not bring my camera to World Peace Cafe today so I had to use a picture from their website)
I had this awesome veggie burger for lunch today. It is the Classic Peace burger that was made with organic oats, sunflower seeds and savory veggies. As a side I had roasted potato wedges. The burger was lovely, great texture, color and taste.
I was so happy when one of my fellow volunteers treated me to a vegan cake. My favorite vegan strawberry cake turned into my birthday cake. I could eat this cake everyday if I had a chance. I shared a piece with my husband at home. Next time I have to buy the whole cake :-)
Yesterday I went to Atlanta Vegan Drinks that were held at Nancy G's Cafe . Chef Khaliq Edwards had prepared a fall-inspired vegan menu that was beautiful, fun and delicious. I wanted to have everything on the menu. Over 50 people showed up. 10% of that evening's proceeds went to Ahimsa House (non-profit organization dedicated to helping the human and animal victims of domestic violence across Georgia reach safety together). We raised about $115 for this great cause :-) Thank you everyone for coming!
I decided to celebrate my birthday that evening even though my birthday is officially today. I had a great time and I was happy to see all my old vegan friends and meet new friends. I missed a few vegan friends that could not make it that evening. The atmosphere was very nice and it did not feel too crowded. Some people were sitting outside on a patio with their dog companions.
I wish my Czech and Hungarian family was here to help me celebrate my birthday, but other than that I could not ask fora better birthday.