Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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“We find inspiration for photos and recipes all over the world. . . . Breathing the air on a different continent, our hands intertwined.” Susann and Yannic bring ideas home, then share beautifully styled vegetarian recipes from their Berlin kitchen. (In English and German.)
When I was 19 years old I lived in the suburbs of Durham, North Carolina. I shared a large house on 200 acres with two other women. We split the rent of $80 a month. Part of the house was built before the Civil War. It had been a grand estate, but was slated for development, so the owners did not want to do any repairs. It had been left empty for a few years. We found the estate agent, Dallas Branch, in Durham and convinced him to rent it to us. He had a thick southern accent and at first was opposed to three women living in the woods without a chaperone. He warned us that the owner might sell at any time, so there was a month to month agreement. That was the best rental deal I ever had in my life. We had wonderful parties with our friends there that created epic memories.
The house had a fireplace in the downstairs living room, in which we burned coal. There was no insulation, so this fireplace was not adequate to heat the house. We each had kerosene heaters in our bedrooms to stay warm at night. Our expenses were low, and one of the women had a mother who sent us all kinds of fabulous canned goods from her garden in South Carolina. Two of us worked at a small publishing company downtown Durham (I got a ride to work with my roommate since I owned no vehicle) and the other was in drama school in Chapel Hill at UNC. I can’t remember how she got to school. She did not have a car either.
At the publishing company I met a group of friends who attended Duke and lived in Durham. They invited me to go to the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention on Easter. A caravan of cars full of sleeping gear and tons of food traveled from Durham to the campground that surrounded the big performance tent. We pitched our tents and spent the weekend immersed in Bluegrass, beer, and food. I took an entire country ham and a lot of bread I had baked, including hot crossed buns. Everyone ate way too much, myself included.
On 29 March, 1970 I made a decision to be a vegetarian. I did not have a reason. I just did it because I was 19 years old and I ate too much ham on my weekend trip. There was no moral or health code attached to the decision. Many Mondays later I am still a vegetarian. It is much easier now to find products. Today vegan diets are promoted to save the planet as well as cure common ailments. I agree with that point of view, but do not push it on my friends. Sometimes PETA can be a little overkill (pun intended) with the methods they use to sell the idea to non believers.
Have you tried to cut down on meat, gentle reader? We have come a long way since 1970. If you are looking for ideas they are abundant, especially on Mondays. Follow the hashtag #MeatlessMonday any day for recipes and helpful hints.
I am excited about this excellent promotion to share compassionate meals. The idea of going vegan has spread like wildfire for many good reasons. I agree with all the reasons, including the animal cruelty problem, but I still eat some dairy and eggs. Many folks are trying it for weight loss and finding it to be effective for that purpose. Once they embark on a meatless diet they feel lighter and usually are cured of a few chronic healthy issues.
I personally know how very unpopular it is to tell other people what to eat. Nobody wants to hear someone else control their diet unless they have paid a nutritionalist to do so. It is my opinion that the best way to convert the meat eaters to my way of thinking is to introduce them to foods that are delicious and easy to prepare. If they like the way it tastes they will be motivated to make it and eat it frequently. If it does not suit their tastebuds it will be difficult to stay on any prescribed eating regime. I never try to change anyone’s food choices, but do work on expanding them. I relate because when I became a vegetarian at the age of 19 my own diet was “American teen” minus the meat. I ate fries, potato chips, Dr Pepper, biscuits, bread, hush puppies, and a few vegetables. I did like spinach, but my palette was very immature and limited. It was a nutritional nightmare, but I learned to prepare a wider variety of dishes, and my horizons expanded. I think we can all benefit from learning to make healthy foods, and try new ones available on the market. I like ethnic restaurants a lot for this purpose. If I find something good I knock it off at home.
I like this challenge out of all the bazillion challenges being thrown down at the end of the year because it is about sharing. The sharing is intended to convert, but it starts as sharing. When I invite friends out to eat I choose places with good vegetarian food that I really like, for obvious reasons. This often results in new discoveries for my dining companions whether they order a vegetarian meal or not. They see what I order and how much bang one gets for a buck compared to a meat based cuisine.
I plan to participate in this challenge often because I will also learn from the other participants. If you have any resolutions or aspirations to lean into a more vegan style of eating this is an excellent way to find out how to do it. It is probably easier and tastier than you might imagine. You can follow the action on twitter at CompassionateMeals or search using the hashtag #compassionatemeal to find out what others are eating and sharing. Like #MeatlessMonday, it will have an endless treat of good ideas and recipes, no doubt. Get behind this delicious campaign, gentle readers.
Recently reminded of the superb quality of the cuisine at Feast, we took the middle of the day on Saturday to enjoy it. I started with the violet flavor and mysterious look of the Cuyahoga cocktail, which improved as the ice melted. It was a new twist on lunch beverages that grew on me. In fact, I ordered another one to go with my salad. Bob wanted to try snails, so he ordered quail and snail, which he said was mostly mushroom in flavor, and he liked it. My first courses were delightful wild rice savory pancakes with sautéed vegetables, and a fried artichoke heart dish we both loved. I enjoyed the gnocchi salad, but was too full to finish. The use of pan fired gnocchi as croutons made this a filling dish I will have again today for lunch. Bob loved the banana and pork combo he ordered.
We passed on dessert in order to attend an event to support the Humane society of Tucson. A vegan bake sale, complete with adoptable dogs, was the perfect place to buy our take home tofu cheesecake and peanut butter brownies for the late afternoon snacking. We napped, we slowly chipped away at our dessert until nighttime. There was only one vegan peanut butter brownie left to split for breakfast.