Not long ago a dearly loved family member passed away. For the following 7 weeks (49 days) we honored her with weekly remembrances and temple offerings. On the 49th day we officially let her go onto her next journey and transitioned her mourning table to a remembrance table.
One of the uniquely buddhist traditions is to annually remember our loved ones with a meal consisting of foods they loved. This got us all thinking about what foods we would want to have at our remembrance meal.
However, during the mourning period only traditional vegan food is prepared and served, and if you have ever had a temple meal, the food can be delicious.
Traditional temple food is vegan and typically does not include onions or garlic. Mom managed to turn out several terrific dishes the monks and guests all enjoyed, starting with stir-fries.
Dad even chipped in a peppered tofu and seitan dish.
Mom decided to make our dear grandmother's own recipe kiem, a silky, starchy soup with sheets of tofu and yams.
A close family friend contributed the best vegetarian eggrolls we have ever had. Crunchy, savory and light, you betcha we wrote down the list of 8 ingredients!
To satisfy the sweet side a coconut and sweet bean sticky rice and a che dessert of sweet rice and black eyed peas cooked in coconut milk was served.
In combination these dishes perfectly complimented one another. The only taste missing was spicy, which honestly allowed the subtle and soothing elements of the meal to shine.
It was a very memorable meal and one cooked to help ease everyone on with life.