Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vegan Mother's Day Extravaganza: Brad's Kale Chip Factory, Sprig & Vine, Vegan Treats, French Toast, and More...Not Necessarily In That Order

Phew; that was some weekend.

The planning started somewhere in the midst of my kale chip addiction when I did some googling and found out that Brad's kale chips were created in nearby Pennsylvania.  Now I'm no map wizard, but it seemed to me that its location was smack between Sprig & Vine and Vegan Treats, which got me to thinking.  I called them to see if they had a store and they told me that they were in the process of building a juice/kale chip bar adjacent to their factory and to stay tuned.  I did, and before I knew it I received my invitation to the Grand Opening, to take place Mother's Day weekend.  A plan was hatched.

Saturday started off with a visit to Sprig and Vine.

We both went for our staple: cauliflower Banh Mi(s)...

with a side of potato wedges.

Then it was off to the Grand Opening of The Chip Factory.

They were not kidding; a grand opening indeed.

The event, off a rural road in Pipersville, PA, was held both indoors...

and out, on a pleasant and sunny day.

There's Brad drinking some of his own water!

Yep, Brad's raw, vegan water:

There were a lot of things going on at the event.  A Vita-Mix demo...

with a raffle to win one.  We didn't, but that's ok; I still can't do the green stuff.  Besides, my loyalty lies elsewhere.  Power to the Bullet!!

They were giving out samples of banana whip, a la The Bent Spoon...

and also an assortment of Brad's kale buttons.

I even got a t-shirt to really show off my kale pride.

We were a little disappointed to find out that all of the kale chip packages containing the winning tickets to various available prizes had been claimed by noon- only an hour earlier, on this, the first day of the event.  Moreso when it was brought to our attention that there were no tickets- winning or otherwise, contained in the kale chip packages bought in cases.  Guess who bought a case?  Bummer!!  At least we "won" 12 boxes of naked leafy kale chips.

It sounds like a lot, but look how many we left behind:

They're really serious about the kale theme; even the lights were green!

In addition to the outdoor musicians,

there was a roster of health and wellness speakers presenting in the indoor event space.

Also outside: various notable vendors.  I really liked the upcycled, art clothes from Pantaluna.

I look forward to visiting their store in Frenchtown.

Then there was Renaissance Sausage, a sausage company with vegan options.

They used their better judgment and didn't include their meat variety in the day's offerings.

The vegan one was pretty darn meaty tasting in and of itself.

Oh, and did I forget to mention there was Brad's raw wine as well?

It's not all about the green juice, folks.

Of course the event wouldn't have been complete without an emergent dog situation.  On the way to The Chip Factory, we'd already brought a dog who'd wandered into the road back to his house (Stay safe, Arthur!!).  Then, midway through our time at the grand opening event, an announcement was made that someone had left a dog in their car in the hot parking lot; this when the iPhone was registering 80 degrees.  As we made our way to our car a half hour or so later, we found the poor pooch still sweltering in the hot car, pawing at an uncovered, half-full bottle of water in the cupholder- to no avail.  Another samaritan from the event joined us and we had no choice but to take matters into our own hands and call the police.  While we waited, the owners of the car returned- claiming to have only been gone five minutes and not to have heard the outdoor announcement from the confines of the indoor presentation space.  Halfway through their cavalcade of excuses and professions of undying love, it took another attendee- a stranger, to finally offer the panting and exhausted small dog some water.  VM and I left the jackass in good hands: being reamed out for her selfishness and foolishness by a more vocal compatriot.  Should you find yourself in the same situation, I implore you not to hesitate to do something: try to find the offender and, if all else fails, notify the authorities.  If you choose inaction, prepare to share the blame; creatures need all the advocates they can get in this world.

After that we headed over to Vegan Treats where the spread was even more impressive than usual, no doubt in honor of Mom's Day.

We started out with a seemingly innocuous chocolate truffle.

It was eye-poppingly good!

Can't go wrong with a rich, moist, chocolate, glazed donut.

Who can turn down the best vegan cannolis?

Throw in a gluten-free hostess cake for good measure.

I also couldn't resist a bowl of chocolate peanut butter twist ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

VM looked on, ice cream-less, staunchly supporting Team Lula's.

After that it was off to the casino to ring in Mother's Day playing Let it Ride, where VM kicked butt and I remained in the pity seat of the table for the duration of the night.  Ever wonder what losers buy in the casino gift shop at midnight with their comps?  Crazy ridiculous sunglasses, that's what.

When I got home in the wee hours, I remembered that I was bound and determined to make a nice, first, Mother's Day brunch in my new house.  I'd spent a ridiculous amount of time finding a vegan loaf of white bread (thanks to the Animal-Free app for cluing me in to animal-derived "datem" that seems to be in every commercial bread loaf), but forgotten that said loaf should ideally be stale in order to lend itself to authentic French Toast.  So, before going to bed I fought all urges to the contrary and left the fluffy, fresh slices unwrapped on the counter.  Yep, that's what I was doing at 2:04am.

Then I was up by 7:00 ready to make VM proud.  I'd thrown in a load of wash, cleaned the bathroom, and even done some dusting by 8:00.  The table was set and, by 11:00, I was ready to tackle brunch.  For the most traditional French Toast I could muster, I used  "Fronch Toast", courtesy of the PPK, as suggested by MVG.  I tripled the recipe for an entire loaf of sliced, white bread, and added cinnamon and nutmeg.

The ingredients came together ridiculously easy and before I knew it I had two slices of what looked and smelled just like the French Toast my mom used to make me!

I'm happy to report that it tasted the same too.

And, to show her appreciation, VM did not admonish me for eating the syrup off my plate with a spoon my syrup over-indulgence.  I can't help it; I love syrup.

As you might imagine, the rest of the day was spent in a food coma. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the special moms out there; they say motherhood is the hardest job in the world.  Or is that just for VM because I'm such a giant pain in the butt?  You be the judge.  No, wait; don't.


  1. A food coma - but what a food coma! Those desserts look PHENOMENAL!

  2. wow brads seems awesome! Did they give a "tour" of the factory? I can only imagine how insanely crowded this event would have been if it was in NYC!

  3. Joey, you have no idea!!

    BYOL- no tours this weekend; maybe in the future? Are you asking because you want to jump in a giant vat of raw kale? Oh, that's right; you prefer collards.

  4. Now that's what I call a Mother's Day celebration! I don't doubt you were in a food coma afterwards. And good for you for trying to help the poor dog. I've done the same myself, and berated a stupid person for nearly killing her dog.

  5. Incredible work. You and Vm seem an unbeatable team and it sounds like an awesome weekend. Can't believe you managed an invite to the Graaaand Graaaand Opening. Looks like every other stop was pulled, esp on that caluiflower banh mi and truffle! Wow.
    Nice work with the poor dog in the car, you'd expect better from people at a kale fest.

  6. Andrea- why does it happen so often, I wonder? Is it news that living beings shouldn't be left un-attended...especially in extreme weather?

    foodfeud- Thank you; we are and it was! Truth be told, I think anyone who "likes" Brad's raw chips on Facebook was invited; I'm certainly no member of the vegan glitteratti ;-)

    After the morons who left their dog in the car at Thanksliving, these situations cease to surprise me. I'm not exactly a people person, but I wish they'd stop giving me excuses to abhor the human race even more!


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