Hollywood Bowl Picnic – Curried Tempeh Mango Salad Sandwich
This past weekend, we went to see “Planet Earth Live” at the Hollywood Bowl with our good friends Tim and Ildy. I always love a night out at the bowl, complete with tasty food and wine, good friends and live music, all whilst tucked away in the Hollywood hills. It’s definitely one of my favorites things about LA, and having been big fans of the “Planet Earth” series, Ryan and I were really excited to see this show, which featured the LA Philharmonic playing along to images from the BBC documentary.
Watching the “Planet Earth” visuals with a crowd turned out to be a very different experience from watching it in our front room, and kind of gave me a different view of the series. If you’ve seen the show you’re familiar with how incredible the images are, but also how stressful some of the sequences can be, especially the predator and prey relationships. There were certain scenes I couldn’t even watch (partly because I’d seen them on the show and once was enough!), and people had audible responses to both the touching and violent moments on the screen.
I was really struck by this very strong reaction from the crowd. People loved watching the polar bear cubs play with their mom, but they seemed to have a really hard time seeing the fox catch the fluffy little bunny, or the Bambi-esque deer being pursued by the snow leopard. And the irony was not lost on me. Here the audience was freaking out about animals being killed and eaten, and yet I’d be willing to wager that most of them had done the same thing just minutes earlier without giving it a second thought while enjoying their meat-laden picnics. There was a sequence where a snow fox was trying to steal an egg from a flock of geese, and it was an epic battle with the geese all chasing him off and trying to defend the nest. When the fox finally got an egg, I kid you not, people were literally yelling at the screen. Yet how many of these same people eat eggs everyday… (or chickens or cows or pigs, etc)? Unlike the geese in the film that live out their lives in their natural habitat, factory farmed animals experience a tortuous life in the most horrendous and unnatural conditions from the moment they’re born. We live in a society that apparently feels more empathy for the animals on the screen than the ones we put into our bodies, and I just find this disconnect pretty fascinating, if not a little disheartening…
Okay, thanks for indulging me, I’ll get off my soap box now so we can move onto the food! Of course my favorite part of the night is the picnic, and for our main dish I made Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad Sammiches from “Vegan with a Vengeance”. I can’t believe I hadn’t made these before! They were the perfect blend of savory and sweet flavors, and were really simple to make. I’ll definitely be making these again! I also rarely use pita bread, and it was a nice change from the standard sandwich.
Stay tuned for the rest of the food we enjoyed including homemade roasted red pepper hummus and brown sugar kiwi tarts. In the meantime I’ll leave you with some photos of Ildy, Tim, Ryan and me having a ‘stach-tastic time!