mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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#NaPoWriMo #MeatlessMonday Made Easy

April 17, 2017 1 Comment

ripe tomatoes, ready to juice

ripe tomatoes, ready to juice

Find the freshest, most attractive produce in the aisle
Cook it as little as possible in order to create a masterpiece
To satisfy all your senses, to tempt your tastebuds in style
Consider presentation, flavor balance, and prep with ease
Jars of layered salads, wraps, burritos, and quinoa bowls
Bring out the healthy chef within to take care of nutrition
Take gourmet living seriously by designing a diet for souls
To live in balance with nature is a healing prescription

#NaPoWriMo2017

#NaPoWriMo2017

#GloPoWriMo

#GloPoWriMo

This poetic invitation to vegetarians on Mondays is inspired by the #veggiepoetry people on twitter.  I stopped eating meat in 1969, and do not miss it, so this is a sincere recommendation. It is also my daily poem for National Poetry Writing Month.  Find more poetry at the #NaPoWriMo site.

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Yuletide Edition

December 24, 2016 8 Comments

 Inn of Gingerbread

Inn of Gingerbread

Arizona Inn Dining Room

Arizona Inn Dining Room

If we were having coffee today I would invite you to quench your thirst with  some fresh grapefruit juice. Our ruby-red grapefruit tree is yielding fruit that we will harvest from now until March. It is bright red in the spirit of Christmas, and delightfully tart.  Citrus season is generous, bright and cheerful.  We have a calamondin tree which bears heavily all winter too.  It is a very tart lime flavored small fruit.  I am going to town by scenting the air with mandarin and lime oils in the gingerbread house diffuser.  I am serving a selection hot teas and coffee for your drinking pleasure.  I am even on a citrus jag with tea, loving the roiboos lemon cloud flavor.  It does make me feel like I am on a cloud for a few minutes when I drink it. Help yourself to your favorite beverage, and you can feel free to add a splash of alcohol if you are arriving at happy hour in your time zone.

Here in Tucson it is 7:45 am and 46 degrees F. It will be warm and sunny all day, so soak up some rays and the beauty of the desert before you leave.  We are going to the Arizona Inn, very close to home, for our Christmas Eve lunch.  Our 1:30 reservation for the main dining room is the perfect plan for this couple.  I am vegetarian and Bob is not. At home he has to keep kosher, which means no meat in the house.  When he dines out he likes to have super excellent carnivore cuts.  The Arizona Inn has fabulous selections for me, and outstanding dishes for him.  He might eat a duck today, and that is fine with me.  We are going there for the elegance, the service, and the superb cuisine.  They will prepare and serve our dinner in a highly sophisticated style we just can’t replicate at home in our condo.  We have no chef at home, and more importantly, no dishwashers.  They never disappoint.  They go over the top so we don’t have to make such an effort. I look forward to this traditional lazy holiday.

They will have a glorious flower arrangement in the center of the room, and a fire in the adobe fireplace.  The Inn has all the trimmings for a fancy over the top holiday experience. All we have to do is Uber on over and enjoy the day.  We take Uber when we want to cocktail, and we do plan to cocktail this afternoon. The car service adds an element of luxury our daily lives do not normally include, and that is fun too.  Our driver will deliver us to the front door of the Inn, where the doormen (plural) will welcome us. We will take our traditional photos next to the decorated  tree in the library before taking our table in the dining room. For me it is the best no fuss no muss way to celebrate this holiday weekend.

I have plenty of time this morning to hear about your holiday (or not) plans.  What kind of celebration will happen where you live?  Drop in on Diana to  share your comments or a post of your own.  Diana keeps the party going from New Orleans, but this is a world wide event.  Share coffee with some very cool writers from all over the world. Cheers, all!

 Inn of Gingerbread

Inn of Gingerbread

 

#MeatlessMonday For Everyone

November 28, 2016 2 Comments

The fad of #MeatlessMonday is a trend I happily embrace. My home is meatless every day, and folks sometimes ask me how to become a vegetarian. I always reply that by slowly converting, finding meatless meals that satisfy and please, anyone can eat less meat. I know that plenty of people view a meal without meat as a sacrifice. This is where the #MeatlessMonday fad shines brightly. The great display of recipes on display every Monday clearly demonstrates how tasty and appealing vegetarian diets can be.  #MeatFreeMonday is the UK version.  I have been trying vegetarian recipes in my kitchen since 1969, and every week these hashtags yield new ideas for my menu planning.  I appreciate the recipes from around the world and the new uses for ingredients I eat frequently.  This is my favorite living cookbook, appearing weekly on twitter.

I use Pinterest to store recipes and keep them in order.  Although I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I have a board that is vegan because we go lightly on the dairy and eggs.  Most of the food we eat is vegan, but we still include the dairy and eggs for variety.  My partner eats meat when he is outside the home, which does not bother me.  His consumption of meat is extremely low, and has no ill effects on my health or happiness.  His meat eating situation is between him and the animals he eats.  He is happy to take a vegetarian lunch with him to work every day from home.  I know sometimes he brags to his work colleagues about how they would never know his chili, or lasagna, or other dish contains no meat, and he makes them try it.  His coworkers share the meat dishes in their lunch boxes with him , so I guess it all work out in the end.

What is your favorite vegetarian dish, gentle reader?  I could not possibly choose just one.

raw taco salad

raw taco salad

Folk Medicine Friday-Ginger

July 10, 2015 2 Comments

Each week I will talk about some history of medicine and folklore. Today I am featuring ginger.

Being Vegetarian

May 27, 2015 5 Comments

Fiddler's Convention

Fiddler’s Convention

I became a vegetarian at Union Grove, North Carolina in March of 1970.  I had travelled with a group of friends to camp over Easter weekend at my first fiddler’s convention.  I cooked and baked for the occasion, very excited to be camping out right next to the music. I did not know what to expect, nor did I have any idea what others might bring.  I made hot crossed buns and brought a really giant (about 15 pounds) country ham, and made plenty of biscuits.  I can’t remember the rest of the spread but do know everyone brought way too much food.    We ate, drank, and gave the food to our fellow merry makers so we would not need to take it back home with us.  The ham was super savory, chosen very carefully for Easter on the go.  Country hams are salt cured and require no cooking.  I was 19 years old with a big appetite and plenty of energy to dance late into the night. The party was memorable, wonderful, and very delicious.  A fun time was had by all.

When I arrived home in Durham Sunday night something just clicked in my mind.  I had a friend who had recently become a vegetarian because she witnessed a bird hang itself.  This did not strike me as a good reason not to eat meat, but the idea of being a vegetarian sprouted in my mind because of her.  She worked with me, and on Monday at the office I started talking to her about her two week old vegetarian practice.  I decided to try it.  There was no particular issue or reason at the time.  I ate way too much ham, and was having some kind of rebound from it.  In North Carolina in 1970 people did not take kindly to being questioned about meat in the restaurant dishes.  Vegetarianism was an extreme fringe belief system with few believers.  The Seventh Day Adventists were the core.  They sometimes had little health food stores with Worthington fake meat in cans, but there was not much catering to vegetarians in the 70’s.

Now being vegan is all the rage.  The vegetarian lifestyle services and product lines are mind boggling.  My diet went through a metamorphic change over time.  First I stopped eating meat, but had few cooking skills.  I learned to make tasty food, but had never heard of vegetarian diet for health, so I was heavy on the butter and whipped cream, etc.  Any food can be made to taste great with enough cream and butter.  In about 1972 I met a woman from California who was not only a vegetarian, but did not eat white flour or sugar.  We thought her odd in our Austin household of hippies and did not know what to feed her. We cooked from scratch but put sugar and white flour in almost everything.  We also drank Dr. Pepper like it was going out of style. She did leave an impression, however.  By learning to cook and expand the healthy ingredients in my cuisine I eventually gave up all sugar and white flour myself.

Today I am still a lacto-ovo vegetarian.  I like to make vegan food, and tend to eat much of my food raw.  I am not interested in full on veganism although I think it can be a very healthy choice.  I still enjoy dairy and eggs, so I buy organic products and use them as a minor part of the menu.  A little cheese goes a long way, and my butter habit is well under control now too.  I eat a bit of sugar these days too, but keep that at a minimum.  Common sense and savoring each bite are the keys to happy relating with sugar.  Why I am telling you this story, gentle reader?  I want you to know that being a vegetarian since 1970 has shown me a lot of different attitudes toward the idea.  I am often asked how to become a vegetarian by those who want to make a change.  I think the way to go is find one new vegetarian dish you like each week and start to switch out that for some of your beefier meals.  Experiment and try recipes your mother never served you.  Check out some ethnic restaurants with exotic vegetable preparations, and make them at home. Don’t restrict yourself or feel deprived.  Just branch out and do it.  If and when you succeed, don’t give us a bad name by telling other people what they should eat.  Badgering will never become popular.

 

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