21 September, 2010

At A Loss

How does anyone go through the process of defining what’s important; where to hold on to the passions of youth and how to weed out the childish ones while leaving some to, hopefully, blossom?

As a sociology student I learned a lot about how bad the world can be. I rely on myself and on my loved ones to show me how good it can be.

I have a confession. I am an armchair activist. Yes, when you take a measure and follow bad back it seems to distill down to money but, for me, is that enough? So my shopping at thrift stores and not eating animals  shrinks my carbon footprint and reduces the demand for suffering in both the human and animal population (because when you buy with dollars you’re condoning the process) but I can’t help but feel like it’s not enough, that my knowledge is woefully inadequate to be able to make a good decision about what food, clothes, or whathaveyou to buy. I get this paralyzing sense of dread every time I go shopping that everything I touch is suspect. “How can I buy anything!?” The sad part is I know that this feeling is true. Everything is suspect.

And yet, I still buy things. Pushing myself to willful ignorance or blinded by shiny stuff (those who know me know about that) I buy things; things I need and things I don’t.

“So,” I thought to myself, “If you’re not happy get off your rear and get going!” I started thinking about what I’d like to do with my life and I decided that I’d like to make “making a living while making a difference” my motto.

I applied for a job at PETA hopefully but knowing I would probably not be hired because I haven’t volunteered in quite a while and, of course, that was the case. They were very gracious about it.

I then resolved to get my volunteer on. I sent messages to a number of organizations and, the ones I heard back from, the message was a little off-putting. One thanked me for my interest in volunteering and than asked me for money (if I wanted to give money I would have just clicked “donate”). The other asked me to drop my their events any time (I’m at work) or email for an office orientation. I sent an email right away and never got a reply. I found this rather discouraging. it also made me a little cranky. Here I am offering my time (which I value greatly) and you can’t do me the (barely a) courtesy of a reply. . not even a “thanks but no thanks” one?

Discouraged, I continued to explore my options, met a freegan, read some anarchist literature, and considered the words of The Buddha.

It’s not a big secret that I don’t like my job. it depresses me to go to work every day. The only thing that makes it bearable are the awesome people I work with. I don’t know whether to consider this a weakness or a sign.

“It is from desire that suffering arises.” This is true on a number of levels. On a macro scale, the desires of developed nations harm developing nations economically, environmentally, and a million other ways. On a micro scale, Most people don’t like their jobs (fairly mild but I still consider that suffering) this leads to stress, ill health, broken families. . . Even the reason why we get jobs in the first place. . . Why do we want that stuff; nice cars, big houses, electronics? Do we need it? Do we need it the distraction?

On the other hand, I do like getting paid. It takes the pressure off Mr. Crow to support my fruit and veg habit. Also, we’d like to have a house someday relatively soon and I’ve dreamed of making friends with my backyard chickens since I was 13. I want to have a house so I can be free, garden in my yard, feel a little more self sufficient. I need money for that. We need to be able to maintain our car, pay for vet and doctor bills when needed, and we like to go out to eat. None of this is possible (or, at least not as easy) without my having a job. Also, I like to be busy. I don’t want to not have a job. I find that equally depressing.

Sam had to go to the hospital this week. He had crystals in his urine that blocked his urinary tract. We were able to pay for all of his medical expenses and not even feel it. The last time this happened (he seems to be prone to this condition, poor guy) I didn’t have enough money and the hospital i took him to offered to kill him because it was cheaper. I don’t have words (except for bad ones) for that experience but . . . well, I think that's pretty clear. To sum it up, my making money is a good thing for everyone from the tallest to the smallest.

I feel like I need reconciliation. I’ve got this dichotomous war going on in my head. I don’t like my corporate job but I need money. I need money for things that I don’t want to want and yet do. I can’t decide if I need to shake of the veil of ignorance or draw it closer to my face so I can more easily see through it.

I’m not ready to be uncomfortable.

I Won The Quick Fire Challenge

I get immunity in the next round! Yeay!

Last night we decided to go to Jeni’s. We finished brewing beer around 9:45 and we thought we should eat dinner before heading out for dessert. I had less than an hour to make and eat dinner and get to Jeni’s early enough not to be that person.

I had dinner on the table by 10:02. oh yeah.

more tomato!

Brown rice pasta springs with golden garlic chickpeas, home made tomato sauce and sundried tomatoes. it was delicious!

As far as the past two weeks and the goings-on therein, i must turn to the pictures I’d taken to jog my memory. Who can remember so far back in time?!

So, Let’s see. . . First is last week’s farm share. I got overzealous and took the picture minus the carrots. . . but I DID get carrots too.

apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, sweet and regular potatoes, and corn

We’ve taken to going to Knead after picking up out fruit and veg. check out what we ate:

roasted golden beet salad with toast and olive tapenade

Some kind of fritatta that Joel ate

We do so enjoy our Saturday mornings.

At some point during last week I got overwhelmed by the amount of plums I still had in my fridge. So, upon deciding to make plum sauce to feed my obsession with fried Chinese stuff I washed 4 pounds of plums. see:


I now have 4 pints of plum sauce! yeay! Now all I need to do is make a MASSIVE amount of eggrolls.

Also part of the plum-fest was this plum kuchen. Here’s the top":

Mr. Crow made this cake!

And here it is flipped over:


It would have been better but I used gluten free APF and it turned out chewier than we’d like. Ahh well. win some lose some.

Let’s see. . .what’s next. . .

Mr. Crow Made these too


watermelon, apples, corn, peppers, potatoes, haricotes verts

Here’s out most recent pick up. We’re planning to use the peppers tomorrow: stay tuned.

We went to Knead again, too:

French toast wityh spiced apples that smelled for all the world like apple pie.

vegan sloppy joe and lentil salad. This meal totally rocked. 

Here’s a carrot and red lentil soup with some spicy Indian flavor that we made on Sunday for lunch. We stirred in some sour cream to mellow it out and it was really nice.

This was great.

And, for those of you who were paying attention, here’s some pictures of our beer making adventure:

Tonight, Mr. Crow made some new kind of Pho it was spicy and had ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon and stuff in the broth.


I’m never leaving the blog this long again. Sheesh.

06 September, 2010

White Light, White Heat :: White Carrots, White Green Beans

So, yeah, I made dinner tonight and the veggies were white and the rice was green. Weird, hu?

rice so creamy and veggies so sweet and spicy! Yeay!

I wasn’t feeling very well tonight so I just kind of threw some stuff in a pan and called it dinner. I had an avocado, carrots from last week and beans that needed to be eaten and I had no idea what to do with such a strange mixture of ingredients. so I looked at a bunch of recipes. . .

String Beans with Garlic

garlic green beans

spicy garlic green beans

. . . And while I was browsing I saw a recipe for Green Goddess Rice which I thought was a good idea. Then I found a recipe for Asian glazed Carrots that I thought sounded good but I don’t have a grill and I didn’t want to wait for them to marinate for 30 minutes since the rice was already done cooking. (obviously not my most “together” night in the kitchen)

So i used the “marinade” for the carrots and, after blanching the carrots and beans for about 5 minutes, I sautéed them in the sauce until  they were caramelized and delicious. Oh, and I was inspired to add some red pepper flake from the spicy garlic green bean recipe.

Also, last night I had Mr. & Mrs. Mc over and we ate KITSUNE UDON!

I must be a fox 'cause I like fried tofu!


vegan dashi

kitsune udon

Make it. It’s good.

05 September, 2010

What Have I Been Up To?

Well, let’s see. I’ve taken up running for starters. I’ve just completed week 2 (and a half) of this schedule from Runner’s world magazine. Yes, for now I am on the treadmill but with the keeping track of time the way they want me to it’s just easier. . . .plus my running costumes are essentially pajamas and I don’t want to go outside like that. However, I don’t want to buy “real” workout clothes until I can actually determine that I’m sticking with this. That will be my 8 week reward. For now, though, every day I sweat my butt of (mostly because it’s hot and I’m indoors) I wish it were only this easy:

What a bum!

Also, Mr. Crow and I had a bit of an adventure. I requested to leave early from work on Wednesday and, generous as they are, they gave me the whole day off. Then, because I got the whole day, Mr. Crow also asked to be let out early and HE got the whole day too! So, with two days off in a row on our hands we decided to take a trip up to the Canton/Massillon area to visit family and friends HOORAY!

Here’s me, ready to go!

Think I've got enough stuff for 24 hours?

We saw Our good friends Mr. & Mrs. K and Mr P. was there too! What a cool surprise!Then, on Thursday morning we went to visit my mom and she took us to a great new bakery up in that area where I ate the most upscale PB&J I’ve ever eaten: cashew butter and fig jam. It was billed with Gruyere cheese but I got it with out, obvs.

For dinner The Ks and we went to Vegeterranean. No more words. Just pictures:

We all kind of felt this way. SOOOO GOOOD!!! That's Mr. K. and the invisible "rest of us" nomming salad, asparagus fries, and potato fries

my spinach pasta with mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and smoked gardine

The Ks shared a salad and this fabulous pasta

Mr. Crow's Gnocchi


Lemon ccake with raspberries inside

The shine still hasn’t worn off of this experience. Outside of being able to order ANYTHING off the menu that sounded good (and it all sounds good) the very best thing about going here was that I could eat dessert that i didn’t have to slave over. Even vege-friendly restaurants NEVER have vegan desserts. The video evidence that had me stating I would do a flip (and inevitably show my underwear) if all the deserts were vegan was lost in a mysterious fashion so I’m just going to abstain and mention again that I was really excited.

Then it was Friday. We bought a batard at Hazel and brought it over to share with Mr. and Mrs. M. We brought over olive oil and Italian seasoning and Mrs. M. soaked some sundried tomatoes in olive oil. mmmmmmm. I also brought some “cheese” I made form raw cashews. I made it pesto flavored and it was generally liked by all but Mr. M. I think I added too much water, though and it was more like cream cheese than chevre. It wasn’t much to look at but it tasted good on crackers. Here we are! Look how cool:

in this picture, note the jar of maribelle conserve we're foisted on them!

This brings us to last Saturday’s Pick-up:

corn, zucchini-zilla, white carrots, Italian Plums, peaches, baby cabbages, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers and 2 personal melons.

With the cabbage, carrots, and sweet peppers, we made a stir fry with tofu, onion, and peanut sauce:

Dry-fried tofu is "da bomb" as the children say.

Other things that made it to the table this week were:

Check out my cook "cheese" shaker!

Not much to say about simple spaghetti and meatballs except that this was us using our homemade sauce.

These were so good we ate them for breakfast the next day. Seriously.

These are some GREAT enchiladas. I don’t know if they’re like “real” enchiladas but I’d strongly suggest making them when you want a fast and delicious dinner with a nice spicy kick.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound gardein “chicken”
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon taco spice blend
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and minced
  • 10 8”tortillas
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • Shredded Daiya


Coat large saute pan with oil. Season gardein with salt and pepper. Brown gardein over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle gardein with cumin, garlic powder and taco spices before turning. Remove gardein to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in the same pan until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine Add beans and saute 1 minute.

Pull gardein apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded gardein to saute pan, combine with vegetables.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch pan with enchilada sauce. Spoon gardein mixture evenly into each tortilla. Fold over filling, place enchiladas in a pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and Daiya.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with sour cream before serving.

Yeay Recipe!

So this brings us to yesterday’s pick-up:

"Sugar Baby" watermelon, carrots, plums, coffee, pears, yellow beans, potatoes, a mix of sweet peppers, 2 jalapenos, corn

I always thought my favorite way to have watermelon was blasted into “juice” in the blender but I added a splash of lime juice yesterday and my eyes have been opened. Do it. And, supposedly, if you’re in a party mood, you can add some vodka.

Aaand, I got a new cookbook called Vegan Soul Kitchen. I had some tempeh in the fridge and a baby cabbage left so I made this:

Tangy and hot and oh-so-delicious.

This is tempeh “ribs” with carrot-cayenne coleslaw on cibatta. it was delicious. More to come from this book soon. There’s a Creole grits recipe that I’m dying to try.

And finally, some goofy stuff:


what a jerk.