Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hippy Thanksgiving!

Who's cooking?
I'm grateful that " all I have to do is to show up"
That would be tomorrow evening, at my sister's house.
I'm reading about food though and here's some of what I'm digging up-

UP FRONT: ON THE MAP; A Village That Travels on Its Stomach
Published: June 18, 1995
A kind of mobile village has grown around the Grateful Dead in its 30-year history. For several months of every year, devoted followers pile into hatchbacks, vans and buses, setting up camp in the parking lots at arenas and stadiums where the band plays. Over time, this village has developed its own customs, dress, language and even some Internet sites. And, as in every other culture, it has to eat.

Elizabeth Zipern, a 1993 Rutgers graduate who grew up in Scotch Plains, realized not long ago that the food for sale in the parking lots at every show offered a kind of window on life on the road. In "Cooking With the Dead," published last month by St. Martin's Paperbacks, she profiles the itinerant cooks who sell the scene's signature dish, veggie burritos, and much more, feeding hungry concertgoers and earning money for tickets. Ms. Zipern was in New Jersey recently for a book signing and two concerts, tonight and tomorrow at Giants Stadium. We talked to her about her travels.

Q. How long have you followed the Grateful Dead? A. For about five years. I only started in college. I'd estimate I've been to over 100 shows. I stopped counting at around 35 or 40. Q. Can you describe what it's like in the parking lot? A. As you come walking into it, you see people, and then more and more people, and then you come to a big avenue where there are no cars. That's called the shakedown, the main area where things are bought, sold, traded, where people hang out. It's the whole life and the center of the scene. I describe it as a combination of a Middle Eastern market and a flea market. It's the sounds and sights and smells of something very different than most people are used to. There are so many people from all around the country who come and sell things, and it really makes for a community because it's so diverse. Q. What got you started on the book? A. I realized that what I was eating and the things I was cooking came from Dead shows, and it occurred to me that it would be a cool idea to do a cookbook. About 10 seconds later, I got the idea to do the profiles, which excited me even more. The profiles grounded me. They helped me understand the recipes, and they showed more sides of the people I was writing about: not only what they were doing but what they were eating. Q. What do you like to eat before or after a show? A. I'm really big into vegan sushi. It's horrible I'm so addicted to it. It's seaweed wrapped with rice and vegetables. That and pancakes. I support alternative food stores because I think it's better food, not prepared and processed. I really believe in supporting organic farming. But it's hard to find organic pancakes. They were big at shows out west. They were everywhere. Banana-mango in Seattle. Buckwheat strawberry.

Q. It sounds pretty elaborate. A. People don't believe it. There are ovens, there are generators, there are propane tanks, refrigerators. It's really extensive, to the point where you can find from 15 to 20 different kinds of food. Dead shows are just a convention of culinary ideas. It's unreal.

And it's really good, kind, caring people. I think what's at the center of it is people making food because other people will love it. It's giving them a way to get to shows and money for tickets, but it's also a service, it's time and love. I learned so much from them.

What you find is different from the way we eat in mainstream society. People don't take care of what they put in their body. You should be really conscious of what you put inside, because that's what you'll put out. That's important. JEAN RUTTER

Shrimp Enchiladas
Enchiladas form a central part of Tex-Mex cuisine. The origin of the “shrimp enchilada” is unknown. 

The Armadillo World Headquarters (1970-1980) in Austin served up famous shrimp enchiladas. Robb Walsh reports (below) that Jan Beeman cooked up the dish for the Grateful Dead on Thanksgiving Day in 1972, but another source (below) credits Betsy Ricketts for the famous ‘Dillo shrimp enchiladas. 

“Shrimp enchiladas” is first cited in print in 1950 and recipes were printed in newspapers in the 1960s, so the Armadillo World Headquarters could not have invented the dish that it helped to popularize.
For the recipe go & clicky-clicky!