Canadian versus American linguistics have always been kind of interesting to me. Pop versus Soda. Running Shoes versus Sneakers. Waiting In Line versus waiting On Line. Although, to be fair, these are less an example of Canadian/American divisions than they are examples of regional differences (I think most northern folks, regardless of what side of the border they are, refer to it as Pop - no?).
I'm railing on about this because recently I appear to have inadvertantly started using the term "Cookout" in place of the typical around-these-parts term used for this type of event - the "Barbeque/BBQ". Twice now I've said "Cookout" and caused a couple people to stare at me questioningly, knowing what it is I mean by the term but wondering why on earth I'm employing it in southern Ontario.
I think this dabbling into American terminology stems from the fact that I spend an inappropriate amount of time reading vegan food blogs and cookbooks from the States. Or are there some Canadians out there who call them Cookouts, too?
While I can never imagine myself using the word "Soda" to refer to anything (mostly because I don't drink what it refers to, but also because "Pop" just makes sense to me) I've grown attached to the word Cookout. It is a more sementically accurate term for what the event actually is, especially from a vegan perspective, because "barbeque" usually refers to the act of using a flame to cook meat, right?
While I try and collect the portions of my brain that have melted off as a result of thinking too hard about this, I am going to share with you what I think is the greatest thing to hit the Cookout circuit in a long time (or Barbeque circuit, if you will - I don't want the authorities to read this and take my Canadian citizenship away).
Instead of bringing baked beans to your next outdoor party, how about baked black eyed peas?
While they require a little forethought (by means of soaking the black eyed peas the night before) and a couple hours in the oven, actual hands-on kitchen time is minimal and they are served at room temperature so you can make them early and focus your efforts on more pressing issues, such as drinking your face off in the backyard.
I love soaking beans overnight. It makes me feel like I'm being proactive about a big, time consuming thing without having to actually to do a big, time consuming thing.
Forget the trichinosis and use crumbled tempeh instead of pork when making baked beans/black eyed peas.
Homemade BBQ sauce does the trick!
And into the oven they go, for several hours (if you're worried about filling your already sweltering house with even more heat in the middle of July, wrap 'em in foil and do them up on the BBQ).
Tell me that this won't be a Summer 2011 backyard hit.
The recipe for these magical little black eyed peas comes from a book that I am rapidly becoming obsessed with, called Vegan Soul Kitchen. The recipe is here on Emeril's site (as an aside, how awesome is it that Emeril has made vegan food on his cooking show? Wasn't he the dude that was obsessed with pork fat in the 90s?).
Also from Vegan Soul Kitchen, these are the the Sweet Coconut Biscuits I made to go with the black eyed peas. They are so delicious and come together in all of fifteen minutes, but unfortunately there is no online recipe for them - I guess you'll just have to buy the book!
We're currently at the height of Cookout/Barbeque season and just like every year, I'm sure it will go by very quickly. Make sure you take advantage and celebrate the summer with good food, good drinks and good friends.