I don't know what prompted it, but apparently, there are people out there that enjoy my food so much that they want me to appear in person to talk about it. In person! So they're flying me out to Madison, Wisconsin for their Mad City Vegan Fest (this is their third year doing the 'fest). They want me to do a cooking demo. I'll get to stay with a local person who doesn't mind having me hang out there (I prefer to stay in a home versus a hotel, because something about a hotel feels so sterile and distant), for which I offered to cook in return. Hopefully my food makes the space I take up worth their while (I'm guessing that it will).
I'm speechless (not for the demo, just in general). Seriously. Being the weird kid at school, who brought smelly food (it smelled amazing to me, because it was redolent with spices, garlic, onion, and ginger, instead of that horrible meat smell that everyone else had from their tuna sandwiches or lunch meat on white bread), and sat alone at lunch will never prepare you for being that guy whose house people want to come visit, because he cooks so well. Puppy said the other day that he had a friend ask him, "So what would it take to wrangle an invite to your house for dinner?" I was pleasantly shocked.
I'm looking forward to going to a new city in a state that I've never visited before. This will be my first time in Wisconsin, and I look forward to it. From what I can see from the emails I've gotten from fans in Wisconsin, as well as the emails from the organisers for Mad City Vegan Fest, the people are really friendly (I guess that's why they call it America's heartland, right Greg Proops?) and welcoming. If anyone's going to be in the area, I'd encourage you to check out the festival. It looks like lots of fun!
Most of all, I'm looking forward to getting the word out there that vegan food can be interesting without fake meats and the like. It relies on fresh produce, whole grains, seeds, nuts, spices, herbs, and lots of lovely colour and taste. Even if I don't get anyone on board completely, I do hope to encourage people to try something a little different.
Now. The most important question. What should I make?