Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a bread war...

Happy Halloween!

So... I had every intention of dressing up last night and going Halloween-cray cray with friends, but then plans fell through and I also just wasn't feelin' it this year. I think this past week has been a little draining, but in a good way. The art show (it goes up this Thursday!) and other creative projects happening on the side have been keeping me busy, but more than anything, I'm just really excited, ya know?

Oh, and here's some more happy art-related news! This past week, I finished designing my 2011 art calendar. I left it in the hands of the printer and will be getting the final hot-off-the-press copies tomorrow! I'm really excited. They will be on sale at the gallery reception on Friday night, so come get yours. I will be posting up photos of them once they arrive, so you can see what they look like!

Pain de Papa

Anyway, so the place that I found to print my art calendar is located by Garosu-gil, and I had to make a few trips to the printer's this week to check the paper quality and approve the calendar samples, etc. So while I was in the area, I figured I'd make a pitstop at one of my fave bakeries, Pain de Papa. Infact, it's entirely possible that I subconsciously chose to print my calendar at a printer by Garosu-gil because it just gives me another reason to pop into this bakery.

Pain de Papa

They got in the Halloween mood by displaying some cool carved pumpkins. It's nice to see a small Korean business showing some spooky spirit.

Pain de Papa

The vegan bread section. Real, rustic, nutty bread.

Pain de Papa
Pain de Papa

After some bread-ogling and sampling, I finally decided to go with a loaf of Turmeric Ciabatta bread (2000 won). In the above picture, it's the one in the middle. I stop by Pain de Papa almost every time I go to Garosu-gil and it's always a pleasure.

Le Alaska garosugil

After I left Pain de Papa, I walked around the corner, and to my surprise, I saw a huge new 'Le Alaska' bakery location! Holy Moly, when did this happen? It looks quite grand and impressive, and more 'upscale' than the Apgujeong location.

Le Alaska garosugil

Maybe I'm a masochist for going in there, knowing that practically none of it's vegan, but I just love admiring the different pastries, even if I'm not gonna buy any. They're so pretty!

Le Alaska garosugil
Le Alaska garosugil
Le Alaska garosugil
Le Alaska garosugil
Le Alaska garosugil

I think the only things that are vegan are their ciabatta breads. And maybe their baguettes.

Le Alaska garosugil

If there's one pastry that I really miss as a vegan, it's these chocolate croissant pastries (pain au chocolat). I look forward to the day I get to eat a vegan one!

While I'm happy for the success of Le Alaska, I gotta say that it kinda bugs my ass when some of my favorite, formerly little, unique, and quaint, eateries decide to expand and multiply. They already have 3 locations now. They've gone and created clones of themselves and as a result, by definition, they've lost some of their uniqueness and rustic, independent spirit, which is what I liked so much about them in the first place.

Le Alaska garosugil

And now that they've plopped themselves down right around the corner from Pain de Papa, it's like they've declared a bread war! Even though Le Alaska wins in the glamour department, I, however, will stay loyal to the homey, modest Papa. They have more vegan options, the service is more personal and friendly, and I'm all for supporting the little underdogs. Oh, and they have those Halloween pumpkins out front. Sold.

So anyway, wanna know how I enjoyed the turmeric ciabatta bread I bought at Pain de Papa? I'm sure it would've been best eaten straight away, but I already had dinner plans, so I exercised some restraint and saved it for lunch the next day... It definitely gave me a reason to look forward to lunchtime.

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Since the bread was infused with some turmeric, I thought it would pair well with some Indian style lentil curry~ The bread was yummy, even though it wasn't totally fresh. Loved the soft, slightly chewy texture, and also they way the dusted flour got on my fingers.

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This lentil curry was super easy and simplified. My cooking routine these days goes something like this: "throw into pot, bring to boil, stir, simmer, stir, done." I literally just threw about 1/2 a cup of red split lentils in a pot with water, chopped onions, minced garlic, 1/2 a red chili, sliced, and some finely chopped ginger. Then for the spices, I added some shakes of turmeric, garam masala powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. I brought it all to a boil, and then simmered it on lower heat until the lentils were mushy. I'm sure there are better, fancier ways of making lentil curry, but I tend to keep things simple with minimal steps. Easy peasy, rock 'n' roll.

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*Chomp*

PS. Vegan MoFo starts tomorrow! Last year's mofo was a ton of fun and I met my goal of blogging every weekday. However, in the end, I was definitely blogged-out. I think I'll keep things rather chill this year~ no lofty goals... I'm just gonna keep doing what I do~ I do have some recipes I wanna try out and some cooking/baking experiments in mind, so I'm excited for that. I'm also looking forward to seeing everyone else's posts through my google reader- it's gonna be a never-ending supply of delicious vegan food porn! Let's make this MoFo the best yet!