This seems like a funny place to start after everything I just said, but here we are.
Lent. The 2010 season of vegan.
I like to do lent, not because I'm Catholic or anything, but because I enjoy obstructions. Or, I think they're useful. (Exciting!) It's something I noticed first in my writing. If you challenge yourself to work within certain boundaries, you often end up coming up with things you never knew you had in you. Creative problem solving. Creative weaseling.
In this case, creative cooking.
Of course, I also think we can all stand a little doing-without in America. So this season I'm doing without animal products. I cut processed sugar two years ago, and it was actually astounding what had to go. That is, it's not so weird if you think about it, but who thinks about it? This is one way of forcing thinking about it.
I've already, in my normal semi-vegetarian life, noticed that there's only about two brands of yogurt (at Whole Foods, the farmer's market goat yogurt is a different story) that don't have gelatin in them. I mean seriously. Keep your horse hooves out of my yogurt! So now I'll find out what things have secret milk and eggs.
The biggest challenge for me is that I'm not a fan of fakery. Fake meat, fake cheese, fake butter. I don't care if it has 0 trans fats; vegetable oil does not taste like butter in any of its naturally occurring states. So isn't it a little gross when it does? What's making it taste like butter? What factory bits am I ingesting? Blech.
Actually, I went for years without really eating much butter at all. I just wasn't into it. I gave up on cows milk years ago. But I've been getting back into it all. Now that I can get farmer's market local butter, it goes on my sourdough. Full-fat local yogurt. Full-fat local choclate milke. Omg. It's good. Who knew? Do I just give that up for 40 days? Do I fake it?
We'll see. I'll keep you posted.
In the mean time, I'll do my best to keep up with the vegan recipes that work out best. I have a small back stock - my obsession with Asian noodles and also red lentil soups - and I've ordered myself the vegan cookbook I've been putting off for a while: How It All Vegan! by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. I've shared my life - through vegan roommates, friends and lovers - with these two ladies before and always respected what it is they do. Now we'll do it together.
For the next 40 days it will be the vegan unit of Snobetarianism.