Friday, May 12, 2006


Today, while puttering around in the potted plants, I decided to take the shears to the bee balm. I mean, 2 foot tall bee balm is just ... unnatural. Creepy. And smothering the dill, too. Anyway, I think that plant is possessed. I put the cut parts in water and within half an hour they were just as perky as they were on the plant. It's a little disconcerting. I've never even fertilized the dang thing!

Speaking of fertilizer, I've decided that's just what my baby apple tree needs. The poor thing has spider mites and looks kind of terrible. I'm going to make it some seaweed plant food and see if I can perk it up any.

That's right, I said 'make it some seaweed plant food.' I went online and looked up vegan organic fertilizers, and that's the quickest, least stinky one I found. See? I'm serious about this no animal business. And while I've had some unsuccessful cooking experiences this week, I am still feeling pretty good. The first day, I just focused on the fact that beer is vegan, nobody has ever made genetically engineered barley, and that hops prevent osteoporosis. Then I cheered up when I discovered that tofutti cream cheese is signicantly tastier than nonfat cow cream cheese. Then I tried my first 'cheese' sauce made from soy milk and nutritional yeast. Um, yuck. (Although I'm blaming the soymilk. 8th Continent = weird tasting) But today's pancakes totally rocked, and the vegan corn chowder I made for lunch was great, too.

While I'm really excited about this new cooking experience, I do want to make it clear that my family is not going straight-up vegan. John gets to eat eggs, and I'm not going to fuss about them too much, especially if they come from less-cruel sources. And we're still eating cheese, just not as often. And when we're out, nobody is going to flip out about non-obvious animal products (such as those in baked goods and dressings and the like). So the goal is about 95% vegan, which still isn't great, but is obviously way better than our mostly lacto-ovo-vegetarian-but-once-a-week-or-so-meat-eating past.

One side note about veganism: I have always found vegan cooking fascinating and attractive. To a food-nut like me, it's like the haiku of the culinary arts. You purposefully limit the possibilities to spur creativity. Now that's beautiful.

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