Tag Archives: veganmofo3

OMG VEGAN SURVEY LOLZ

That’s my best teenager impression right there. Isn’t that how they talk these days?

Because I am too lazy for a real post today, here are my answers to the Vegan Mofo Survey for 2009! Geeky! Interesting? Maybe! Probably not!

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Soy but I’m starting to mess with almond milk and I like it.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

Butternut squash lasagna, Creamy Sweet Potato Bake, Bagels

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Nothing, really. Salt?

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

Ahhh, yes. The disastrous avocado risotto. THAT was disgusting. And it looked like baby shit.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Duh – bread and butter pickles. I just realized a couple of months ago that there are bread and butter pickles made without high fructose corn syrup. This was a wonderful discovery.

6. How do you organize your recipes?

I have a binder with recipes that I’ve torn out from magazines, photocopies, etc. And I have all of my most-used cookbooks in a handy spot on the counter. Everything else is tucked away above the fridge (books like “Easy Sushi” — which is not easy to make at all).

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Sourdough bread, cherry tomatoes, blueberries

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My fondest memory is my earliest memory, too: eating pancakes with my Dad on a rainy morning, listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version of “Proud Mary.” Food and music — they basically are my life.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Pure Decadence’s Cherry Nirvana. Nom nom nom.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Kitchen-Aid mixer. I find an excuse to use it almost every day. Which I shouldn’t. Because that means I’m eating a lot of bread-y products.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Gosh, death seems strong for an herb or spice. Maybe … basil?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I have a lot of cookbooks that were given to me at one time or another, but the one that I use the most often and have had the longest is Sarah Kramer’s “La Dolce Vegan.”

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

Strawberry.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Usually something with peanut sauce… or tofu scramble. Or orange seitan (think Panda Express, but vegan). I don’t serve food to many friends. 😦

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Seitan. Mmmmm.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Dinner.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Potatoes. Sweet Potatoes. Chewable children’s vitamins.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Tofu. Frozen corn. Bread.

20. What’s on your grocery list?
Soy milk. Bananas. Dried fruit. Veggies. Tofu.

21. Favorite grocery store?
In Spokane: Rocket Market (yes, I support them even though they have fired half of my friends at one time or another and even though they poisoned me with their quiche years ago). Of all time: New Seasons in Portland.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet
Manicotti.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Rouxbe.com, Manifest Vegan, GoVegan.net

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
I’m sure most of the candy I like is not vegan.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Apple butter. Needed it for a recipe and was SHOCKED that none of the apple butter I could find at the grocery store was made in Washington. It’s only the apple state. Dumb. It was $9.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Again, scared seems like a strong word… I’m reluctant to work with most white foods. Because it grosses me out when I watch people eating them.

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Hello, Mofo!

3930562108_f07c8dec17It’s the first day of Vegan Mofo III, the annual daily blog-a-thon of bloggers around our little globe through the month of October. I signed up this year — well, if you could call it that. I just added this little fromage-free page to the list, it wasn’t like I got accepted or anything.

I’ll kick off our month of vegan blog-a-logging with a minor amount of bitching/prosthelytizing. If you don’t want to read it, you can look at this picture of my cat and then move along.

I'm a cat and I don't like cheese either!

I'm a cat and I don't like cheese either!

I must have had some kind of unconscious ESP when I started this blog — it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Joe had lost his job early in the summer, and we’ve been ducking in and out of a tailspin ever since. When things look up, they careen down again — and just when they get really bad, something good happens. It’s an exhausting cycle, but one that I feel like I’ve distracted myself pretty well from by cooking.

This isn’t the first time in our relationship that we’ve struggled to make ends meet. But it’s by far been the toughest, I think, because we truly are working the hardest we ever have. Each period when we’ve gone through rocky spots with cash, I turn to cooking. It distracts me from thinking too much. For a couple of hours, I forget about money and landlords and jobs and futures and collections agencies. I have a pretty good track record too. Some great vegetarian food has emerged from my misery. Since my tastes have long been more attracted to vegan ones than to the more lavish end of things, it’s become pretty easy for us to whip up really tasty food on the cheap.

Until recently. Our cash flow has been so minimal and so sparse, we’re having to get really creative. We’re stretching 50 cent cans of food and watering down soy milk. Hell, the other day I made an entire soup from a head of broccoli and that watered down milk. Our days of running to the store for a quick $30 bag of groceries are in hibernation. When we’re out of something, we’re just out.

Today I forgot my lunch. And that sucked. I had a little brown rice to eat, but no apple and no snack (which I rely on pretty heavily, and we don’t have the cash for easy grab-n-go snacks right now). A nonexistent cash flow made it so I couldn’t leave work for a quick snack. I bummed a rice cake off a co-worker. But I finished the day off frazzled and famished.

As we drove home, I realized something: Being hungry is exhausting. Having to constantly scrounge for food is tiring. Joe and I are lucky that we know how to cook — but as I was looking out the window of our car, my hunger made my mind turn to our problems. Where’s rent going to come from? Why can’t we get a break? How can we find more? How did this happen? When will it end? How much more can we take? I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, and I realized they were starting in my stomach. My hunger was making my mind spin out of control, leaving me feeling hopeless.

I’m lucky I have a rational husband that understand when I snap. I’m lucky I got a paycheck yesterday that will cover the rent. But for those people that don’t have those things, it made me realize how difficult it truly is to be hungry. It’s all consuming. Don’t get me wrong: I am fully aware that hunger is much, much, much more intense than what we are experiencing, but what I am gaining a glimpse of is this: when you’re hungry, it’s hard to think about anything else. You can’t think about changing the system that keeps you hungry. Or digging yourself out of a deep hole of debt. You just think about getting that next meal — and that’s it.

I’ve always scoffed at people who dog on panhandlers. Or those people who look down on the poor, homeless and hungry, dismissing them by saying “why don’t they get a JOB?” Or those people who look skeptically from their cars at the line of clients who come to the CK Community Dinner (a meal I try to help out at once a week). Because I think those people have never truly understood what hunger is. When you’ve got an empty pit eating away at your stomach, it’s hard to launch a revolution against the institutions that keeps you hungry.

Now how does this relate to being vegan? Lately, that’s the only way I’ve been eating — and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because we’re poor. Cheese is a luxury — one that I sneak if I get the chance. But I’m learning that it’s not key to my survival. Now, I didn’t think I’d die without cheese — hellooo, not that dumb. But I didn’t realize that in this time of sparse-living, my diet would become focused on other things: where my protein was coming from, where I’d get some whole grains today or if I could score some free grub from work.

Being poor and exploring veganism has taught me a lot these days. About what I want. What I value. What kind of lifestyle I want to live. What’s necessary to my survival. And a lot of that is coming from how I’m eating. My mind centers itself at the table — and if I can’t sit at a table to consider my life’s options because of financial strain, then food becomes my new goal. Furthermore, I can pave out my goals by determining how I want to eat. Do I want to be able to afford fresh produce, or do I want to be able to eat on the fly for the rest of my life — a pizza here, a burger there. I’m realizing that my life is so much more fulfilled when it comes from my own kitchen. We may not have a pot to piss in, but I can look at the food I make each evening and say, “damn, this girl knows how to stretch a buck.”