Monday, December 5, 2011

The Summer of Transition

Sausage Party
The summer of 2010 was spent acquiring my new food habits, getting rid of the terrible food and becoming familiar with what my brain was capable of, at that time.
We had a lot of animal meat and secretions in our home. We had the remaining bits of half a cow we bought from Troy's uncles.
"Half a cow" sounds horrifying to me now!
Plus lots of sausages and hot dogs, and even some moose! We ate up(or rather, Troy did) most of the meat that was in our freezer. The rest we gave to Troy's parents to use. I wanted to use our freezer space for frozen veggies or fruit or baking, etc.
Troy and I decided to have a sausage party with friends to use the sausages in the freezer! We used all of our eggs, butter, milk, yogurt, and ice cream. We  made the moose's ground meat into burgers using ground flax seed, rather than egg. We had already used all our eggs up, and like hell, I was ever buying them again! I will say that moose's meat is probably the best animal meat I've ever had! In the fall of 2010, I was okay with hunting. My thought was: the animals are free, then the hunters kill them. And that's that. I had a bigger problem with factory farming. At least the moose aren't in factory farms! I never considered animals 'walking' away with injuries. I just assumed, once hit, the animal dies. Often, that is not the case! Left to languish for days, till they die, or somebody else(another human or non-human) kills them. Either way, not a pleasant experience!
I have since changed my stance on hunting. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau helped me see things differently. On her podcast, Vegetarian Food For Thought, in a specific episode, How To Talk To Hunters(or anyone with whom you disagree), she talks about those hunted animals and their families. I never thought about non-human animals having families in the wild...but why wouldn't they have families?! I always just thought of wild animals as loners. Even if they live in large groups. I don't know why I thought these conditioning? Maybe it's something I had to believe to deal with friends and family hunting every weekend?
Now, when I look into the wilderness, I can't help but think of those hunted animals and their families!
That summer was also my sister's vow renewal(July 23), and I remember(!!) at the end of the night, Troy and I, along with our camping/hiking/canoeing/snowboarding-trip adventure friends, Shannon and Scott took a meat and cheese platter back to our house and we all ate it.
I think that was the last time I ate processed animal's meat. Which, has turned out to be a really smart and good thing! The American Institute for Cancer Research and The World Cancer Research Fund say that bacon and other processed meats clearly cause colorectal cancer. They should never be eaten and never given to children.
I see people approaching diets and dieting kind of wrong. They don't replace what they once ate, with something better.
Eggs was surprisingly easy. Fortunately there are numerous ways to replace eggs when baking. The Joy of Vegan Baking gets into how replace eggs, milk, buttermilk and butter with plant food! But there are many websites that give you information on this. Just Google 'vegan baking replacing eggs'. It's pretty easy.
Troy never cared for eating chicken's eggs. I did. I liked egg salad, eggs scrambled, in omelets, sunnyside-up, hard-boiled. I wasn't fussy! Thankfully, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau does have recipes for 'egg' salad and scrambled 'eggs', both in The Vegan Table and in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge!
My favourite was taking an egg(sunnyside-up) and putting it on buttered toast, eating all around the yolk, then stuffing the entire yolk, with the little piece of toast left, in my mouth! It was messy, and tasted good. I haven't found a vegan version, but I've also not looked because I haven't had a craving for it.
I did have a vegan omelet when my friend, Holly and I flew to Edmonton to see Ani Difranco(we love her!) in the summer of 2011! Holly was is so gracious and nice! We went to restaurants we knew were vegan-friendly(thank you iPhone!), and it was so good! We went to Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant, all vegan, so good! I'll save that trip for another post!
Milk was a simple solution. There are a lot of plant milks out there! Soy, almond, rice, coconut, hazelnut, hemp, peanut, oat, cashew, etc. I know there's more! We really like almond milk. Rice milk is also good, but not ideal for baking(little too watery), and coconut milk is perfect for making thick fruit smoothies or curries. Those are the milks I have tried. They also differ brand to brand.
Non-dairy ice creams are fantastic! We make a lot of our own almond milk ice cream, using our KitchenAid!
Store-bought, non-dairy ice creams(especially made with coconut milk!) are a ridiculously rich and delicious treat!

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