Yes, of course we can do that.

Just give me notice so it'll be even better.

I had someone call up, because her friend was in the hospital for some heart thing or another. She asked if I could do something without salt for her. "Of course we can" was the answer. Why? Because I had a bit of notice to sort something out. We made her hummus, lentil pate, a couple of vegetable dishes, some noodles, brown rice, and stuff to eat with all those things. She also was able to get a few desserts, because we do have desserts without salt or sugar. No problem at all.

Another time, someone came in, who had gluten and garlic allergies. The beans are safe, but she wanted something a bit more. That meant that the lentil pate was safe. Usually. Unfortunately, because my vendor ran out of sunflower seeds, I didn't have enough pate made, because I was waiting for the sunflower seeds to arrive. What a mess! The lady thought she'd have to get just steamed vegetables (which, though delicious, aren't "special" enough for an occasion like eating out with a friend). I explained to her the situation, that I have boiled lentils, and browned onions, and everything else for the pate ready and waiting for the sunflower seeds, and would she mind it terribly if I used almonds instead? Fortunately, she didn't have a tree nut allergy, and all was right with the world.

The other day, Boss Man said that he had a customer ask for something with no fat. This means no nuts, seeds, etc. Tempeh is fine, seitan made without fat is fine, and all vegetables and fruits are fine. He ran to the kitchen, and whipped up a steamed seitan dish (made in apple juice, and lots of different spices) with some steamed veggies and sent it up. It came out so delicious, because the juice cooking down formed this beautiful sauce that just made everything perfect.

We're chefs. We enjoy a challenge. If there's a food restriction that you have, let us know, and we'll make it. In fact, we can often whip up something on the spot, if it comes down to it. However, when we have prior notice, we can truly shine, and give you lots of different options. Let us shine for you! Tell us what you need, and let us sort it out before you arrive, so that you don't have to wait on your meal. We're happy to do it.


i'll never trust the snow again!

picked hux up at his friends, last pm, on east 39th and the river. man was it chilly cold walking down from grand central 2 lower east 39th! hux put his ds in2 his coat pocket and off we went. hux was like a ping pong ball in the snow. he was over-joyed w the powder, its softness and chill."It feels like switzerland!" he said giddily. i couldnt get him 2 stop. i was saying 2 myself, "just let the kid enjoy..." but it only goes so far when it's freezing! yet the power in letting a child feel so free is thrilling 2 see! when we got home, he cried out in pain, horror, and more pain: " the ds slipped out of my pocket!," and he started 2 cry uncontrollably. it was 8pm, i was feeling so foul: just wanted 2 take a bath and feel sorry 4 myself. nope, out we went to search, back and forth, back and forth: in vain however! he screamed and punched the sky. he cried out: " i'll never trust the snow again....ever!" he was banging the huge snow-drifts w both hands, sinking in, wailing so loudly... but never once about how cold it was! we came home ice cold and red and warmed up in a steaming hot tub. in the morning, hux wanted one more "college try." i said;" it's like trying 2 find a needle in a haystack type-of-chance!

in the am, i was hesitating bc i really wanted 2 get 2 chow early, new ideas percolating, so much 2 do, snow storm related stuff... and i said 2 myself: "helping hux look 4 his ds gives him an assurance of certainty, unconditional love, that some things u can count on. i want him 2 be able 2 give joyfully 2 others: and he will if u show him how." so out we went. still, there were big mountains of snow, however now, they were dirty-grey and wet. yet he climbed and fell down, climbed and fell down; back and forth, back and forth: We didnt find his ds. i said: "probably shoveled away till spring." letting go and just doing it 4 him, felt liberating, and he felt better 4 trying. he also rolled a big snow ball and placed it in the freezer, and excitedly said: "this one's a keeper!" i think he's beginning 2 trust the snow again.

consume sacred chow: the notion that all beings r here, on earth, in equal measure. vow 2 find the way, whatever the circumstance, 2 less violence. we r in life 2gether, many different forms readying ourselves 4 our flight in2 the edible unknown: all! protect urself, and those u love, or u'll be sucked down in2 the nothingness: the creeks of cholera. let us use sacredchow.blogspot.com as a channel 4 plant-based thinking & cooking: seeking & learning less violence in every step we take. peace and love, love and peace...


You kept cooking AFTER that?

I taught a private cooking class, and had to dash out at the end to get home and cook for the husband. I told the person as such, and got the reply "I cant believe you went home and cooked more!!!!!"

Believe it, dear student of mine.

When you find something that excites and entices you, it's best if you stick to it. I found this job just two weeks after moving to the city. I'm not sure what Boss Man was thinking when he hired me, but I'm endlessly thankful that he did. I love it here. He and I can talk food for hours without getting tired of it. We explore paths formerly untested. We revel in food. Why? Because we love every minute of it.

And, when I get home, I keep cooking for me and my husband.

Cooking for me isn't a job. It's not a chore. It's not something to get past. It's my lifeblood. It keeps me going. It makes me happy. And more than that, cooking for others is connecting with those people on a very intimate level. Something that I used my hands to create is being integrated into you. It's why we at Chow treat our food with such reverence: food matters.

It's so liberating to meet people who "get it".

That's why I love it here so much. Boss Man "gets" it. When I tell him about how much cooking is a passion, he understands with all his being, and shares in my sentiments. Then he promptly makes something earth-shatteringly good (pomegranate & chocolate pie, anyone?) like it's a simple thing.

The new year is fast approaching. I implore you to step back for a minute, and ask yourself if you're doing what you truly love. If you are, let me know what it is. I'd love to hear about it! If you're not, what are you waiting for? We have such precious little time on this planet. You deserve to be doing something that makes you feel fulfilled. Get out there and do it!

Warm wishes for the holidays from the Sacred Chow family!


When the lights turn on

When you're a restaurant, you need to report your total credit card, cash, and tax due on said items every day. So suppose that today, in credit card sales, I made $100 total, before tips. I then made another $100 in cash, before tips. So ostensibly, (as I used to in the past, like an idiot) you'd calculate $100 + $100 = $200. 200 with the additional 8.875% tax rate for New York city comes to $217.75, right?


The numbers written on the credit card batch on the slips every night are the total, including tax. This is the same with the amount of money written on the bottom of the cash tickets, which is what's added together at the end of the day, and recorded on the sales report for the day. So while I know how to calculate the additional taxes very easily [(Total cost * 8.875%) + (Total Cost)], and you're set. Fairly straightforward, and easy enough to throw into Excel, so that it does all the work for me.

But what about the other way around?

And there were crickets chirping in my brain. So I tried every combination I could think of, to no avail. How did I know my numbers were wrong? I have a calculator with a "minus tax" button, that does the calculation for me. So a quick button press, and I knew I was consistently coming up with the wrong answer. I finally did an Internet search on it, and found this lovely website here:


All of a sudden, it was like this huge lightbulb turned on in my head. I made a quick Excel formula, dragged it through the subsequent cells, and all the numbers added up! Backwards, forwards, upside-down. All of it was beautifully added to the totals, and the numbers just work. It's been a good long while since it's happened that nicely. Generally, when I'm wrangling numbers, I tend to get different answers if I don't have a perfect formula to work from. Instead, I end up getting the spread of data, from all over creation. Not a good thing when you're dealing with the tax man.

And the thing is, it could have all been solved with a quick Internet search. Why did it take so long for me to figure out the exact method that just works every time? I don't know, but I suspect that I wasn't quite ready for it yet. I've found that over time, if I'm not ready for something, it just won't come. I can try everything in my power to sort it out, but it just doesn't happen. I'll swear, I'll walk away and come back, and all those other techniques. But if it's just not the time for it, I'll still be stuck behind the wall, and unable to cross that barrier.

Today was different that way. It was a record cold day. Just by chance, before heading out for work, I did a quick check of the weather report, and saw that the temperature was below freezing, and we had a dusting of snow going down. Immediately, I threw on some tights, heavy jeans, heavy~ish shoes, t-shirt, zip up jacket, 2nd zip up jacket, and long trench coat (it keeps my legs and trunk warm). Just to be on the safe side, I packed my scarf into my bag.

I walk out, and it was the perfect set up. I was warm all the way into the subway. I got into work, and was informed that we're out of beans and hummus. Guess what? I'd boiled chickpeas /and/ beans yesterday. When things are going right, just follow the momentum, and go with it.

I attacked the financial stuff, and reached the familiar fumbling block. I decided to do an Internet search, on the off chance that someone else out there has wondered the same thing as I. And by sheer dumb luck, there it was. Now I feel like I can conquer anything.