Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lunch with the Hare Krishnas - Tucson, AZ

Along the Rillito Riverbed Trail

A few weeks back, friends introduced us to Govinda's, and I haven't stopped thinking about it.

I'm fine with Indian food, except that buffets make you pick around the chicken and the dairy, and then eye all the rest with suspicion. My experience has been that Indian buffets are not vegan-friendly. Govinda's is mostly vegan, except on Thursday when it's an All-Vegan Extravaganza!  

We went again yesterday and ate outside on the veranda. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, and the food was delicious. I was blissed out. I told Annie This is how it happens. You come for the delicious food; next thing you know you're all about the peace and love. SHE LAUGHED.

I went back and talked (listened) to Sean, who is a devotee. He said I started eating the food here and got really blissed-out. I wondered "what do they put in this stuff?"* Indeed, Sean. Indeed.
 *I encouraged him to talk to me. They don't push their spirituality if you just want a nice lunch.

Our friend, Lucy, came over this week. We took her on a tour of the neighborhood.

Desert apple?

Dude. You're eating a cactus.

Take a picture, it'll last longer. Oh, I see what you're doing there.

Look what I can do! Desert bovines are very athletic. Because of the cacti.

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Soaring Sun said...

That "desert apple" looks like a gourd that's sometimes called a coyote melon. The first time I saw them, I thought they were little watermelons. They have some interesting uses--you can roast the seeds and eat them. I've seen some made into very nice little decorative bowls.

The cattle are probably eating the "apple" of the chain fruit cholla. They love them, but they can get their mouths and faces hurt doing this. Some ranchers burn cholla to prevent the cattle from eating the fruit.

The Good Luck Duck said...

That makes sense. Yes, one had a cholla baby stuck to her face. Her horns were much closer to her face than I wanted to be, though. Coyote melon. Good to know! And, are you coming through Tucson anytime?

Soaring Sun said...

Yes, I'm heading to Why, AZ, in a couple of days. I'm going to hang out there for a while with Steve and then leave the cat with him while I backtrack to visit with you in the Tucson area. You think you'll still be there in a week or 10 days?

Soaring Sun said...

Or come back to Ajo--you know you want to.

The Good Luck Duck said...

I DO think we'll still be here then, and I DO want to go back to Ajo.

Soaring Sun said...

Great. We'll keep in touch. I can wander to wherever you are, once I spend time with my honey and offload the cat on him.

The Good Luck Duck said...


The Odd Essay said...

The best cooking class I ever took was given by the Hare Karishnas... 6 weeks of cooking... and nothing until the last class about their beliefs... and even that was just literature on the table. Ahhhhh... pakoras to die for! Wish I were with you.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sharon, what is this magic they weave with food?

Page said...

Jai shree Krishna. Hari om.

Anonymous said...

I have a sudden urge to don an orange robe and dance in the streets....

Lisa said...

LOVE this post! Thanks Roxi!

Danielle said...

Yum. I love Indian food. Now I want to go make curry.

I believe ranchers actually burn the spines off the cactus so the cattle can then eat the cactus without hurting themselves. Especially in drought years, they rely on cactus to feed their herds.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Page, you speak Sanskrit! You've done this before, haven't you?

Don't fight it, Nina.

Thanks, Lisa!

Nothing makes me want to MAKE curry. It does make me want to find my keys, though.

It makes sense that they wouldn't kill the cacti in that case.

Pam Wright said...

Love the photos but the captions are the best!!!

Phyllis said...

Okay, just how long were you standing around watching those Bovines????

Anonymous said...

A few feet beyond our property line, there is grazing land that is frequented by cows on a regular basis. There are just a few strands of barbed wire between them and a fair amount of cactus that grows on our side of the fence. Much to our surprise, they reach over the fence with their heads to get to the cactus. These are the type of cactus with the very long paddles (Lion's Tongue, or opuntia schickendantzii), and they are able to maneuver them with the ease of a sword swallower right down their gullets, spines notwithstanding.

They joined us last night - a herd of about 15 with several cute young 'uns, who were more interested in frolicking than eating. It was right at dusk. I got a few pictures, but darkness was upon me too quickly for decent portraits. I was chatting via email with a friend in Florida at the time, so was able to send her pictures of what I was seeing in nearly real-time!

Love computer technology!

Virtual hugs,


Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, the only place I've seen prickly pear cacti that huge is on Maui.

Sue said...

I think becuase it was a Vegan buffet is why you walked out with feelings of bliss !! No animals harmed in that buffet! I went to India 2 years ago on a tour with vegvoyages. Their tours are now all vegan. It was interresting. Alltho many Indians are vegitarian ,a lot of them do not understand vegan. They use a lot of cream and cheese, butter. In fact our tour guide (an Indian man named Singh ) would check everything coming out of the kitchen to make sure it was vegan in whatever restaurant we ate in. Sometimes, they say "yes, vegan! " but it was made with butter or cheese so he would have to explain to them.

Are those turtles near your capsite???
Nice photos!!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sue, that's got to be a big part of it! So delicious AND kind. The turtles living in a koi pond at Govinda's. Thanks!

Bleen, this was the hugest we've seen, by far.

Judie, do those paddles sort of come to a rounded point? I saw those on a hike and didn't recognize them. I can't believe that animals can eat those. Amazing. Lucy showed us how to recognize when a cactus has been eaten by a javelina instead of by a cow. She even knows when poop came from a bull!

Tee hee, Phyllis! Only a few seconds, I swear!

Thanks, Pam! :D

JO said...

Ok is that place the bomb or what. I haven 't been there for at least a year and I am wanting to go so bad.

Felling the love the cattle are feeling right in your face no less.hahaha

Going to try to make it out to see you 2 some time this week with Lucy

Roxanne said...

I love it, Jo. Delicious AND peaceful.

Cows have no couth.

Come on out! It's been snowing and sleeting here all day.