There is this newish thing in the vegan world called aquafaba. Aquafaba is the name for the viscous water that results after cooking beans. It comes from “aqua,” water and “faba,” bean — bean water! This miracle stuff can be used as a substitute for egg whites and you can make things like meringue and marshmallows and whipped cream out of it.

Don’t worry if you have never heard of it. It is a fairly recent genius development that came about in 2014 when a French chef began experimenting with it. Soon others in France began experimenting and not long after that an American software engineer and vegan took up the challenge (and created the word aquafaba). He discovered that aquafaba could completely replace egg whites and started a Facebook page in 2015 where he revealed that egg-free meringue can be made from the cooking liquid of chickpeas and sugar. And now there is a whole community experimenting and sharing their recipes in an amazing open source kind of way.

Word is that chickpeas make the best aquafaba. So with Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie to look forward to, I found a recipe for Bookman to make a kind of marshmallow cream whipped topping for the pie. Just the anticipation sent me over the moon. You see, we’ve never been able to make our own satisfactory whipped topping and we have tried coconut cream and a few other things. If you have ever looked at the ingredients of vegan whipped topping at the grocery store, you would be appalled at all of the fake, unpronounceable things in it. So we have satisfied ourselves with a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top of our pumpkin pie, which, really, is pretty darn good.

But a whipped topping made from chickpea water, some sugar and a little vanilla extract? Could this be real? Behold!

Pumpkin pie with whipped aquafaba topping

It is soooo good! It took a lot of blending to get it whipped up, but so worth it. And since it is made from bean water it is high in protein and low in fat — nutritious if you forget about the sugar. Heh.

Bookman is now tasked with learning more things to make with the stuff and I have dreams of lemon meringue pie someday. And marshmallows. We rarely have marshmallows because a bag of vegan ones costs close to $6. So making rocky road ice cream or s’mores is an expensive and uncommon undertaking in this house. That might be about to change!

The weather has gone from early cold to late warm. We set a record high temperature on Friday of 60F/15C! Mornings are still at or just below freezing though. This morning I caught Bookman making the Dashwoods some hot buckwheat groat porridge. When I walked into the kitchen he got a guilty look on his face because it is usually us eating the buckwheat groats and breakfast was long over. When he admitted they were for the Dashwoods I just laughed and laughed. When I first suggested we get chickens he was adamantly opposed to the whole idea and now here he is making them hot porridge on a cold morning! Yes, I tease him regularly about this, but he is a good sport.
Here are the Dashwoods enjoying their hot breakfast on the deck:

The only Black Friday shopping I did was online and will you be surprised that it was garden related? Pinetree, the place I get most of my seeds from, was having a 15% off the entire order sale. Since I had their 2018 catalog in the mail already a week ago and had gone through it and decided what I wanted I saw no reason to not take advantage of the discount.

We haven’t had much luck with tomatoes the last couple years so we will be trying a few different varieties. Same with peppers. We are going for small and spicy instead of big and sweet. And since I finally found the carrot that likes my garden, I decided to not give up on beets and got a variety I have not tried before in hopes that this might be the one. There was also lots of greens in the order — lettuces, spinach, mustard, kale and the like.

The only downside of ordering now is that I have so much longer to wait before I can even think about starting the seeds. At least when I order in January I get to start the tomato and pepper seeds in February. More time for daydreaming, right?