Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sprig & Vine Pure Vegetarian (i.e., vegan) in New Hope, PA

Here's the thing, we are city girls.  And by city, we mean NYC.  No offense, Philly, but we are New York girls through and through; your city is not our city.  We are huge fans of Horizons (the only place VM will willingly eat tempeh), but between Philly's congestion and parking issues, the trek never seems to make it high on our priority list.  Enter Sprig & Vine, a new, vegan, restaurant also in Pennsylvania, but situated in an area that is easy for us to drive to AND has uber-convenient parking: making it much more accessible to us.

We arrived hungry, of course, but also very thirsty and unaware that Sprig and Vine is without a liquor license.  Pining the absence of a fruity, alcoholic concoction was fleeting; we quickly recovered with the cool and refreshing Natural Brew draft root beer.  Finally, the root beer equivalent of China Cola!  Absolutely delicious & I even had two (I wasn't driving).

First order of food business: olives!  Or, to be more precise, marinated castelvetrano olives with aged black garlic, chile, and mustard seeds.  When there are olives on the menu you can be sure that they are in both of our minds, so we ordered these beauties without hesitation, even before having read any further on the menu than the second offering.

We thought that the black pieces were some kind of olive slivers and I tasted one first.  While I knew immediately it wasn't an olive, I could not put my finger on precisely what it was.  It turned out that was the aged black garlic: completely different, less potent, and significantly more enjoyable than a sliver of ordinary garlic.  I'm not sure if you're actually supposed to eat it or if it's just there for flavor, but I liked it and ate every bit.  VM, on the other hand, tasted it and passed; the texture was not for her.  The olives themselves were divine and plentiful, although we did wonder why they don't offer an assortment instead of a plateful of one variety.  Most excitingly, the pit bowls were a classy touch.  We've eaten bowls full of olives at many swanky establishments over the years, and neither of us can recollect ever having been presented with a stone receptacle of any kind.

Since all of the sandwiches come with the bonus of a small, refreshing, pleasantly dressed salad, we decided to augment our lunches with an order of kennebec potato fries, served with grain mustard aioli.  I misread the menu thinking that it was garlic aioli, and then waxed culinary, "expertly" deducting that the special secret ingredient was mustard seed.  Considering my culinary expertise is pretty much limited to a scale of yum, you'll forgive me the misread and subsequent "epiphany" and just believe me when I tell you unequivocally, the aioli is addictive.  The fries themselves are shoestring and lightly sprinkled with a mild-flavored, unidentified spice.  The single disappointment in this dish was that there were so many undippable, minuscule fries and fry crumbs: noticeable within every order that was served around us.  This certainly wouldn't prevent us from ordering this yummy side again, but it is curious.

Onto the sandwiches.  Before you do the math, I'll just come right out and say that we couldn't decide and ultimately ordered more sandwiches than mouths at the table.  We're not proud, and neither should you be when you are faced with too many choices of delicious, vegan grub.  Oh, the horror.

One selection was the sweet potato-black bean chile burrito with scallion cilantro rice and smoked paprika aioli.  Served warm, this was an extremely tasty, lightly spiced sandwich that relied upon all of the fresh tastes and textures working together: which they undoubtedly did.  Besides garnering a thumbs up from both of us (even tastier as leftovers!), I am happy to report that the cilantro was completely undetectable.

The next choice was the edamame falafel wrap with black sesame tahini and pickled vegetables on a whole wheat tortilla.  The falafel was completely non-greasy and had a superb, dreamy creamy texture.  Highlighted by the pickled red cabbage and cool lettuce, this was another double thumbs up.  VM is a big HUGE fan of falafel sandwiches and this was her absolute favorite bite of the day: quite a falafel achievement. 

Even though I knew I'd be tasting this one on my own, I couldn't pass up the caraway-crusted tempeh reuben with thousand island dressing, pickles, and sauerkraut on grilled pumpernickel.  Because of it's considerable crust, from the back this sandwich looked like it was going to be all bread.  This was not the case at all.  In fact, not only was it stacked with a sizable hunk of tempeh, an ideal amount of dressing, thick pickle slices, and generous kraut, but the misleading bread turned out to be the star of the show.  Besides boasting the deepest pumpernickel taste I've ever encountered, the significant crust practically formed a seal that prevented the contents of the sandwich from oozing out the back when I took a bite from the soft center; it was like magic!  Someone should seriously patent it for this purpose.  I'm going to be rich...

You wouldn't think we could, but we did (for the record, we did bring home lots of meal leftovers).  While there were many interesting dessert options, we tend to err on the traditional, chocolaty side: this day being no exception.  So, even though it wouldn't ordinarily have been our first pick, we selected the chocolate mousse cake with coffee ice cream and creme anglaise.  This turned out to be an unexpected success.  Neither of us are mousse fans, but this was thick, dense, and fudgy: unlike any mousse either of us has ever had.  Layered upon a rich, dark chocolate, cookie crust and sprinkled with chocolate shavings... chocolate x 3?  Yes, please.   Even though VM avoids coffee ice cream, she enjoyed this one as much as I; I suspect this was because it tasted a bit coconutty.  I presume it was made with coconut milk, but I was surprised that it melted rather quickly into a watery puddle.  Don't fret; we simply ate it more quickly!  Finally, I was a little afraid of the creme anglaise because 1) it sounded so eggy and 2) I'd never seen or eaten it before-- vegan or non-- and it initially struck me as being a little gelatinous.  Not only did it turn out to be smooth and creamy, but it too had a delightful and unexpected (I don't recall it being mentioned in the menu description) coconut flavoring.  A successful end to a delicious meal.

After this incredible, vegan feast I can only lament that the solitary omission of the Sprig & Vine experience was the demonstration of a distinct personality.  The visual and audible touches lend themselves to a warm and beautiful atmosphere, the food is outstanding, but there is an overall and glaring welcome deficiency.  Both the host and hostess were faultlessly pleasant and efficient, but seemed only to be going through the motions.  The two people in the kitchen who met our eyes as we were leaving barely cracked a smile, let alone offered an acknowledgment or shared a word.  It takes immense effort, time, and money to start any business, let alone a restaurant (vegan, no less!), so we really wished that the charm and essence had presented in a manner equivalent to how the food and atmosphere shone.  The lacking identity is simply the difference between Sprig & Vine being a terrific restaurant and an extraordinary one.  Highly recommend.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vegan Treats All Day Feast

A day's visit to the Vegan Treats shoppe in Bethlehem, PA is always an event.  On this day, it was an eating marathon.

Since we usually go for the mammoth caramel pecan roll, this time we chose an old favorite: the equally humongous coconut roll.  I think I had actually forgotten how delicious it was, filled throughout with moist, yummy coconut.  I know you can't get a sense of how huge it really is, but you'll get the idea when you see below how many donuts fit on the same size plate.

Yes, there were donuts... plenty of donuts.  In the back is their classic Boston creme.  I've been raving about this donut for years, but I think that they changed the recipe for the chocolate topping and I definitely prefer the old style (just in case anyone is listening).  On the right is a new coffee cake donut: a vanilla cake donut covered in cream cheese frosting and some sort of crumbs.  Well, not really crumbs.  I get crumb cakes and coffee cakes confused and I'm always disappointed with coffee cakes because they don't have crumbs; it's a flaw in my wiring.  In any event, I thought I spied an oat within the crumbs and therefore couldn't eat it.  My vegetarian companion claims she saw no such oat, but I couldn't take the chance of crossing healthiness with dessert.  On the left is the oft-lauded chocolate coated angel food cake donut, a veganized version of the non-vegan Entenmann's.  This divine donut is surpassed only by it's devil's food cake counterpart.

Okay, so there were more donuts.  On the left is the very first Vegan Treats' treat I ever had: the glazed vanilla donut with rainbow sprinkles.  On the right was NOT my favorite marshmallow cream filled donut as I was told (grrr), but instead some imposter filled with something other than marshmallow cream.  Boo, hiss.

The take-home booty was fierce, but alas sealed against traveling infiltration.  No matter, because THE ICE CREAM MACHINE IS BACK (!) and I had a cup of peanut butter soft serve with rainbow sprinkles for the road.  Ok, I had two but who's counting?  There was a moment of slight panic when we arrived and I realized that the machine was being serviced, but all work was completed while we enjoyed our "breakfast" and it was back in business in time for our departure.  It would have been rude not to have adequately shown my appreciation to the man who was kind enough to be fixing it on a Saturday-- especially when there was peanut butter to be had.  Thank you again, kind sir.

Alas, it is a long drive home and sometimes ice cream requires companion- ship.  Luckily, cowboy cookies escape the confines of the bakery box and are taken to-go in an extremely accessible wax bag.  Behold the generous bounty of coconut, pecans, and chippage.  Then take a moment to admire the "cookie on the road".

Eventually I made it home, a few minutes passed considerable time passed, and it was time for dinner, i.e., busting into the box.  First up, a summer favorite: coconut cream pie.  While not generally a fan of pie, I really like this one because it's filled with, um, coconut cream.  Just sweet enough and flecked with lots of coconut shreds; I don't think I've ever passed this one up when I've spied it in the case. 

Bonus: I think that Vegan Treats has a new trick that they use to "adhere" the pie to the golden, cardboard disc to prevent unfortunate slippage and ultimate loss of pie: a squirt of white chocolate.  I have not verified this practice, but can think of no other reason why, when I cut into the pie, a luscious, creamy disc of white chocolate inexplicably appeared and jumped into my mouth before I could question where it came from.  Further investigation of the contents of the pie revealed no further evidence of white chocolate; but, just as seemingly invisible apparitions sometimes present themselves in celluloid, so too did the white chocolate bonus that would have otherwise been a secret between me and my tastebuds.  Once again, in case anyone is listening, since the pairing is so pleasant (see the donut hole/truffle success), I would implore VT to line the entire pie crust with said white chocolate before filling with coconut cream, thus increasing the yum quotient tenfold.

Next is the caramel apple crumb cheesecake, my surprising favorite flavor of all of the traditional cheesecake varieties at Vegan Treats.  You've got your traditional graham crust, plain cheesecake perfection (I don't like when the actual cheescake is flavored and/or filled with bits of any kind), and topped with caramel, apple, and crumb goodness.  Granted, I could do without the actual apples and I usually pick them out, but everything else comes together so well that I forgive their inclusion.

Although I eschew most "fancy" cheesecakes, the pumpkin variety makes the cut in the fall and so too does the s'mores cheesecake anytime.  Start with the same graham crust, but pair it with rich, dark chocolate cheesecake.  Then top with chocolate ganache, graham crumbs, marshmallow cream/fluff, more graham crumbs, and chocolate shavings; that, my friends, is the Vegan Treats s'mores cheesecake.

Lastly, I give you the Hostess cupcake inspired cake: one of my all-time favorites.  There are many reasons to covet this cake; for me, it's because it contains so many of my preferred elements of various VT creations.  There's the devil's food cake from the favored donut with the chocolate shell, the marshmallow cream from the center of my favorite donut, and the chocolate ganache coating from my first ever VT cake: death by chocolate.  Plus, it's extremely Hostess-y! 

Okay, I'm full just looking at this post.  I hope you are too because I've got nothing left for you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Bread

A while back I guilted VM into making me some veganized Chi-Chi's cheese and onion enchiladas.  You might remember the post, in which I implored my vast, worldwide audience to find me the recipe for Chi-Chi's sweet corn cake to accompany such delicious enchiladas.  Well, thanks for nothing followers; not one of you complied.  Lucky for you I have found the secret and am sharing it with you now.

Some recipes call for a long list of hard to find ingredients, considerable preparation time, and pages of cooking instructions.  After hours of effort you are then rewarded with goodness. 

This is not one of those recipes. 

This is a simple mix that rewards you with goodness almost immediately!

Yes, you heard me.  Chi-Chi's restaurants may be a thing of the past, but check the "ethnic" aisle of your local supermarket and you just might find this envelope for under $2.  Get yourself a half a stick of butter, some water, and a can of creamed corn, and you'll be scooping yourself some authentic, Chi-Chi's, sweet, corn cake in no time.

One packet's recipe fills a loaf pan about 2 1/2 inches high; do not expect this to rise.  I am not usually successfully at baking loaves, as the edges always burn crispify while the center remains gummy slightly undercooked.  I kept a close eye on the progress and chose to cook this twenty minutes longer than the 45 minutes expected.  Surprisingly, the entire resulting loaf was cooked to perfection. 

For the sake of authenticity, serve the corn cake warm out of the pan using a medium/ standard size ice cream scoop.  I found that one packet yielded 8 "Lula" scoops (my family's code for generous, packed scoops).  Since it would be very easy to eat the entire, scrumptious smelling pan by yourself over-indulge, you might want to make more than one packet at a time if you're sharing.  Try them in a muffin pan for more crispy edge to moist center ratio, but don't cry because they're not scoopy; scoopy rules.

Note: I'd recommend baking this to order, as the leftovers aren't as moist and buttery as the first serving, whether re-heated in the oven or microwave.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Main Essentials in Nyack, NY

I've had it in my head to visit Main Essentials (based upon BRR's recommendation) and finally had the opportunity when I was recently in the vicinity.  After hearing it referred to as a juice bar serving vegetarian cuisine, I was surprised to find that it is actually a sizable, beautiful restaurant.  We stopped by an hour before closing on a Saturday night, and although the buffet offerings were dwindling, we were warmly welcomed by the gentleman who served as host and waiter.

The diner at the next table was raving about his selections from the buffet, but we decided to go with an assortment from the menu, which is varied.  Although Main Essentials tauts itself as Caribbean, the menu features an eclectic mix of American, Spanish, and Middle Eastern comfort foods: all vegan.

I'm usually a water girl, but for some reason I could not resist trying the China Cola.  I was a little wary that it would taste "weird" (i.e., healthy), but I thought I'd be daring.

As it turns out, it's not made in China, but instead contains an herbal infusion imported from China.  Blah, blah, blah, it tastes good.  Think all of the delicious notes of a traditional cola, but without the chemical taste.  I am definitely a new fan; now I just have to find an area market that carries it.

Of course I had to order the empanadas, which were crispy fried and tasty (is anything ever crispy fried and not tasty?).  I was surprised that they weren't spicy, but a few dashes of the cayenne on the table did the trick.

Yes, in addition to traditional salt and pepper, each table offers malt vinegar and pepper powder to doctor up your goods.  While I missed my hot sauce, it was nice to experiment with other ingredients for a change.

In keeping with my theme of the evening, I went with an order of half sweet plantains and half green.  I had an idea of what sweet plantains were, as I'd had them once before a long time ago.  Main Essentials' version were extremely sweet and tasty, almost carmelized on the outside and much better than I remembered.  The green plantains, on the other hand, I'd never tried; wow!  They were my favorite and I've officially eaten my last plantain chip; the green plantains are the real deal. I did feel that they needed a dipping sauce; is that very American of me?  Should have tried the malt vinegar!

VM went with a falafel sandwich because she can never pass up a falafel.  While a sandwich wasn't on the menu, they were happy to accommodate the special request.

The flavorful sandwich consisted of a fresh pita bursting with traditional falafel, tahini, lettuce, tomato, and onion. 

I actually don't know if they have dessert (!) because, at the time, I was too full of fried foods to wonder.  Hard to believe, but true.

The service at Main Essentials is extremely hospitable, the food fresh & tasty, and the prices extremely fair.  Definitely worth a stop when you're in town!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Karma Road Cafe

Another trip to Woodstock meant another stop at Karma Road.

Since we were attending the Jamboree and there was going to be food at the sanctuary, we didn't want to fill up.  So, we simply had a light breakfast and enjoyed the break in driving...given that we had a much shorter distance to travel than we'd already driven.

Unless it's filled up with all kinds of milk, sugar, syrup, etc., I'm not really a coffee drinker.  VM is and likes hers black; she says Karma's is always piping hot, fresh, and delicious.  While I didn't have one, as we were leaving I noticed what I think was a new addition to the smoothie menu: Wake Me Up.  If memory serves, it contains cocoa, banana, peanut butter, coffee, and your choice of milk: definitely on my list for next time. 

Onto the important stuff food:

I was considerably disappointed that the day's rotating goodies did not include my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cake, but I managed to make do.  With a trip to Vegan Treats impending I was trying to eschew chocolate, so I uncharacteristically chose a strawberry nut thumbprint cookie.  Though technically considered a "cookie", the strawberry made it through my no-fruit-as-dessert detector because I was eating it as breakfast.  Extremely crunchy and nutty with just the right amount of jelly, VM & I both enjoyed this selection.

I suspect because she was originally going to choose what I did, VM, in turn, uncharacteristically chose the brown rice crispy treat with nuts and chips.  As a super fan of Sweet and Sara's new version I didn't want to chance it, but begged agreed to share hers nonetheless.  As it turned out, this is not by any means intended to be a marshmallow square.  Instead, it proudly is what it is and what it is is a treat that's exceptionally good on it's own merit.  Thoroughly enjoyable, it's chock full of whole cashews & chocolate chips, sweetened with agave; it wasn't trying to be a marshmallow treat and didn't have to be.

Like all of the baked goods at Karma Road, our choices for the day were yummy, but undoubtedly healthy.   Two modest selections with minimal chocolate and we still left happy; what is the world coming to?

Monday, June 14, 2010

WFAS June Jamboree 2010

It was a bit of a rainy day for the 2010 Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary annual June Jamboree, but it made for a new experience with the animals.

When we arrived the rain had subsided a bit and, as far as the eye could see, there were goats a' grazin' (and sheep).  Soon after, though, a drizzle began, quickly turning into a sprinkle.  Everyone: goats, sheep, pigs, and people were hightailing it back to the barn.

I suspect that most of the human visitors were not disappointed by this turn of events, as it put them up close and personal in very close quarters with many more animals than are usually indoors at one time.

The animals, however, were very much looking forward to returning to the pasture, and anxiously waited for the rain to cease!

The rain seemed to make everyone a little skittish; many of the animals uncharacteristically moving entirely too fast for my super slow camera.  This new turkey was a pretty quick pacer (I suspect possibly under sunny circumstances as well), so unfortunately this was the best photo I could get of his colorfully, attractive self.

Even the friendly chickens were a wee bit out of sorts from the weather, staying close to (and under) home.  While not as open to pets as usual, they had no objections whatsoever to being admired.

Our normal visiting path was interrupted due to the rain; in favor of shelter I regret that we bypassed the white chickens and neglected to return.  So, you'll have to make due with another picture of the colorful birds until I can make up for my omission on the next visit.

You may also make due with this very white, snazzy rooster.  Such a beautiful headdress, and obviously very modest.

In addition to "the regulars", we were happy to have had the opportunity to meet the new arrival, Pete, an extremely handsome, svelte, auburn pig.  Like most pigs at the sanctuary, Pete was napping for the duration of our visit: not at all phased by the crowd, the weather, his roomie: the pacing turkey, or feline and rooster passers-through.

The food tent was perhaps even busier than usual because of the weather, and we enjoyed a few, tasty, picnic-suitable offerings from The Regal Vegan.  Dijon potato salad, a half sandwich of hummus and roasted vegetables (zucchini & onions), and a half sandwich of chipotle tempeh salad with capers (!).

The in-husk barbequed corn-on-the-cob slathered in chipotle lime butter was the favorite vittle of the day, but we were too sticky (and enamored) to photograph whilst eating.  In lieu of my own, for your consideration I submit this photo of fellow Lula's fans enjoying theirs cobs.

In addition to the main attraction: the animals, and the food (lunch, snacks, dessert), there was plenty of music to set the jamboree mood and obscure the drumming of the raindrops.  Even the turkeys were getting down with the grooves.

Rain or shine, I usually find my pig friends indoors in intimate napping piles; this day was no exception.  So comfortable, barely an eyelid flutter gave any indication that they were acknowledging your presence as you pet them during their slumber.  While the roosters are often trotting about, you'll notice that on this day they were boldly trotting upon.

One pig was unphased by the rain and was frolicking outside all by himself.  This one couldn't decide, and made the concession to be outside (under cover), but remained napping.  So sound asleep, he did not even blink when I pet him.  Then again, maybe he was ignoring me.

Finally, we got our first glimpse of the new, gigantic, duck pond.  Lots of ducks and geese...and Quincy all grown up from a fuzzy, yellow, chick-teen into a proper, white duck with many new friends!

I didn't catch his name, but this is another particularly attractive addition to the giant pond.  It was nice to see someone taking advantage of the architecture.

Can't forget the chocolate brown bunnies.  Is that the biggest paper towel roller you've ever seen, or what?

And, in closing, one of our favorite sanctuary inhabitants, Dylan, against the backdrop of  the misty, picturesque, New York surroundings.

Until next time, WFAS!

479 Popcorn: Review of Vegan Varieties

I am a HUGE fan of kettle corn.  Other than that, I have always been able to take or leave popcorn.  Then I discovered the delicious simplicity of Little Lad's herbal corn and it occurred to me that popcorn makes a fine dinner.  Fast forward to Foodie Blogroll recently highlighting an organic, gourmet line of popcorn in crazy delicious sounding flavors and I was ready to broaden my popcorn horizons. 

479 Popcorn has an appetizing, slick, and super-informative website.  I went right to the FAQ section for nutritional information and found the info I was looking for:
Do you have any vegan products?
The following 479° Popcorn flavors are vegan: Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, Vietnamese Cinnamon, Madras Coconut Curry + Cashews, and Pimentòn de La Vera.
I didn't even know what some of those words were, but I knew I wanted to try them...all.  But, their online options consist mainly of various collections and samplers, none of which are entirely made up of the vegan flavor offerings.  So, I immediately sent them an email suggesting it!  They wrote me right back to thank me and to let me know that I could call to place an order for individual flavors of my choosing, which I of course did immediately. 

I anxiously presented them to my omni dad as a gift for two reasons:
  • I generally figure the more vegan food I fill his belly with, the less room there will be for non-vegan food.
  • He doesn't like dark chocolate and has already been gifted (and enjoyed) countless "milk" Go Max Go Bars, so I thought the fancy popcorn would be a nice change of pace.
Per usual, he wasn't visibly impressed or excited by the gift, but everyone else was anxious to try the seemingly fancy flavors.

Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar
This, the first flavor we tried, made me immediately sorry that I had forked over gourmet bucks for popcorn-- even as a gift.  Although the description tauts Vietnamese Cinnamon as less tannic than common commercial varieties, I found the flavor simply bitter compared to run-of-the-mill cinnamon, which I like.  Eating this particular 479 offering was akin to the disappointment of accidentally putting plain cinnamon on buttered toast when you intended to use sweet cinnamon sugar.  There was nothing sweet about this variety (despite sugar in the title) and the cinnamon was more pungent than anything else.  Moreover, the kernals were were dusted with considerable disproportion, so a mouthful ranged from bitter to tasteless.  I was disappointed and my Dad was visibly unimpressed: strike 1.

Madras Coconut Curry + Cashews
After a short hiatus, we dove back into tasting the popcorn.  I was immediately bowled over by the extreme deliciousness of this flavor and completely forgot all about the previous disappointment.  The taste combination was pleasantly potent and the cashews impressively plentiful; VM and I were definitely fighting over the bowl.  My interest in the company was restored and my tummy satiated with some of my favorite flavors done extremely well.  This would wind up being my pick for best of the batch, by far, and I would highly recommend.

Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt
Soon after the previous success we wanted to try what we assumed would be the most "regular" flavor.  Light and fresh, this variety was subtley flavored with a smokiness that enhanced the delicate taste of salt and was anything but regular.  While I'm not a fan of smokiness in general, this was exactly the type of flavor you'd expect from a line of gourmet popcorn and had the high honor of being the gift recipient's favorite of the bunch.  So, on his behalf, another recommendation.

Pimentòn de La Vera
We were 2 for 3 and I really wanted to end the tasting on a high note.  I anxiously busted into the last box and was encouraged by what I saw: heavily seasoned kernels.  I'd recently bought a tin of this type of Spanish paprika boasting a sweet a smoky taste; the popcorn was exactly that.  Not too overpowering, but sufficiently flavored that you didn't need to eat too much.  One disappointment was the amount of seasoning left in the bottom of the bowl after the popcorn was finished; perhaps they could find a better adhesive, so as not to waste the expensive ingredient?  I'd recommend the flavor, as well as the seasoning for your panty.

Despite the unfortunate, original dissatisfaction, the bottom line is that 479 makes a pretty impressive product that is offered in flavors to fit all kinds of palates.  I sincerely appreciate the efforts of any company who caters to vegan customers and 479's assortment does not compromise in taste in order to do so.  The price is a bit prohibitive, but if you manage to choose flavors that you will enjoy, then it is worthwhile for a special occasion.