Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Encouragement to vegans and vegetarians

From Peter Singer's book 'Animal Liberation'.

"Of course, it is possible that you will encounter people who consider you a crank. This is much less likely now that it was a few years ago, because there are so many more vegetarians. But if it should happen, remember that you are in good company. All the best reformers - those who first opposed the slave trade, nationalistic wars, and the exploitation of children working a fourteen-hour day in the factories of the Industrial Revolution - were first derided as cranks by those who had an interest in the abuses they were opposing."

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pot Noodles and Fat Cats

Why is it that the Beef and Tomato flavour Pot Noodles are vegan but the generic Curry flavour ones aren't? I discovered this highly interesting fact in the interval at last Saturday's gig, where the entire band spent about 20 minutes driving round in search of a chippy, finding at least two closed ones and eventually going back to the local Co-op for some junk food for tea. Not that chips aren't junk food.

Went to the Fat Cat pub for lunch (well, breakfast for us, lunch for them) with the FIL and SMIL last Sunday. Think they might have been having an off day as they appeared to have run out of food by 1pm, there had been a beer festival on Thursday-Saturday, which might explain it. They had three vegan options and four meat options on the menu, plus three desserts which didn't look like they would be vegan. We were going to go for the potato and spinach pie and the leek and mushroom dumplings, but apparently they'd run out so we had bean casserole. It was acceptable as bean casseroles go, but personally when I go out for food I like to have something that wouldn't take me less than 20 minutes to make at home, or ideally something I wouldn't normally bother making at home. Annoyingly enough, after we'd got our food they put the dumplings back on the menu. I did get my bottle of Kriek though, so it wasn't all bad.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Recently I have been mostly eating...

Tofu, spinach, ginger and coconut curry. It's a Thai-style curry: paste of red onions, garlic, fresh ginger, red chillies, lemongrass and tomatoes all fried in sesame oil, then add tofu, coconut milk, a bit of water and spinach and simmer for a few minutes then serve with rice. So tasty! I got it from a recipe book I was supposed to be covering at work but it was Friday afternoon and nearly hometime so was pretending not to read it instead (see, there are some advantages to working in a library!).

Stuffed crust "ham" and pineapple pizza. Underestimated the amount of Cheezly required to make it Pizza Hut style (should have used two blocks instead of one) but still, proper vegan junk food :-). Kind of put an end to my healthy day, after I'd had 10 hours' sleep, gone swimming and in the sauna and had a massive vegetable, cashew nut and pumpkin seed stir fry for lunch, but it's all in the name of research. Recipe appearing on the website any day now!

More world corrupting (well, corrupting my colleagues, anyway)

Made some progess in work just before Christmas. I'd made a cheesecake for a Christmas party but then ended up not being able to go to the party because it was the day before my coursework was due in and hadn't finished it, and after staring at the huge cheesecake sitting in the fridge for a day or so I took it to work for my colleagues to dispose of it for me. It helps that they like food at our place and there's lots of people to eat it, we even have a specific food table in the staffroom for when anyone brings food in to share.

So they helped themselves to cheesecake at various points during lunch/tea breaks, I came in a bit late for my tea break and a group of colleagues were just finishing off the last bits, told me how delicious it was and asked what was in it... "silken what? Tofu? What's that then? What do you mean dairy-free cream cheese?" and so on. But they'd already eaten it and told me how great it was, so no backtracking on their opinions :-).

Then they all started firing questions at me about vegetarianism/veganism, but in a good way, because they were curious and wanted to know stuff. Fortunately another vegetarian colleague was there and she helped field some of the questions. A couple of days after, one of them asked where I got my vegetarian shoes from because her daughter was interested in getting some.

The other one was that we were asked to bring food in for Christmas eve, I brought in a recent invention, savoury tartlets with red onions, red and yellow peppers and cashew nut sauce, and I had lots of positive comments about how nice they were. We'd all brought way too much food and there was loads left over, but mine all disappeared :-). A lot of my colleagues probably freak out at the concept of veganism, but if I can introduce them to the food first and then the concept afterwards they might not be quite so shocked, given that most people's first reaction is to assume you must live on twigs and stuff... More cheesecake anyone?

Survived Christmas!

Well, we had a mostly vegan Christmas and didn't fall out with any relatives, or get interrogated about when we're going to buy a house/have children/get a proper job (answer: not for as long as possible/probably never/f**k knows, but I've got until I'm 70 to work it out so what's the hurry?, in that order).

Christmas eve we had a cottage pie with chestnuts as the main ingredient. Christmas day I was glad to find that FIL's family had got their carcass-eating over with the previous day so we had a vegan Christmas dinner - although a little disappointed when we walked in and FIL announced "we had our Christmas Dinner yesterday", as if it's not the big meal on Christmas day with all your family that counts, it's the one with the dead body as the centrepiece of the meal. But at least they didn't make us look at it, which was considerate of them. Boxing day we had pasta and lentil bolognese and warm baguettes and ate far too much of it. Day after at the MIL's was mushroom stroganoff and chocolate cake - both recipes from my website, so interesting to see how they turn out when someone other than me makes them.