The McManual

Blogging my little heart out in poetry and prose.

Tag: being vegan

13/30 NaBloPoMo09 Planning for Vacation


Jay and I were supposed to be gone already for vacation, but I guess I mixed up the dates and everyone thought we were going tomorrow.  It’s nice, because it gave me a little time to get some things tidied up here at home, and it gave me some time to do some research (aka dink around on the internet) about what to do up there by my parent’s place.

I might actually end up posting some pictures for a change, but I’m really not ready to make a committment to that.  Our plan so far is to leave tonight, (for all of you worried about our pets – no worries!  Allie (she of the canine persuasion) is coming with us, and Jay’s sister is staying at our house for the week to watch over the cats.  (Athena, Trot, Luci, Arun, and Phyll.)  Oh, and the fish (Quincy) should be fine, too.  🙂

Bill is happily off at Camp Courage for the umpteenth time.  He started going when he was 21, missed only one year, so this is his 45th year, I guess.  Dang. That’s a long time.  And he absolutely loves it. His only complaint is that it used to be 2 weeks, and now it’s 5 days.  And since he has 5 days, we have 5 days.  🙂

Sawyer MN, where my parents live, is near Cloquet, which is near Duluth.  Our plan so far consists of going to Jay Cooke State Park tomorrow for a program about what to do if you are lost in the woods.  We are bringing my mom and the dogs.  It should be fun.  We might also go up to Duluth to explore the Enger tower and the gardens.

On Saturday, we are going to buy these Explore Duluth passes from the Vista Cruise company.  It’s only $24, and we get to go on a 1 1/2 hour cruise, a 2 hour train ride, and we get to go to the aquarium.  We will also be having dinner (not included) at Pizza Luce, the official favorite pizza of our branch of the McMahon family.

Sunday, I guess we are pontooning and swimming at Mom and Dad’s.  Hopefully we will also get to see some of my relatives.  Other than that, we are pretty open.  Jay wants to rent bikes, which you can do at Canal Park, I like to go to Park Point, and we will explore Duluth on foot, too.

One other thing I’d like to try is this Superior White Water rafting on the St. Louis River, part of Jay Cooke State park – or just north of it? – they have white water rafting for $40 each, or we can rent a 2 person kayak for $10 an hour and explore the calm lake… I have to see what Jay wants to do.

I’ll be reporting back on whatever we find interesting.  My only fear is finding enough vegan food on vacation, but we are bringing a cooler with fake hotdogs and sausages, lots of spinach, some pasta stuff, soy milk and so on, so I’m sure we won’t starve.

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5/30 – NaBloPoMo09 – On being Vegan


Hi. I have noticed that a few of my readers have gotten to my page by searching for vegan information. I don’t remember how much I have talked about being vegan, but it’s been a long road to get here.

Both my husband and I are practicing vegans. I say practicing, because we are not perfect at it. 🙂 He’s better at it than I am. I don’t try to cheat on being vegan, but sometimes it happens. In September we will have been vegan for two years. We were lacto-ovo vegetarians for about 5 years before that. During the first few months of being vegetarian, we were vegan for a couple of months, but it was too hard at the time – we didn’t know anything about vegetarian cooking, muchless vegan cooking, and so often we felt like we just didn’t know what to eat, and that led us to eating whatever we could find and feeling guilty, so we gave it up until we were called to it again.

Usually when people ask us about being vegan, the first question we get is why. I don’t really like to answer this question if I’m talking to someone who still eats meat. Most of my reasons involve words like ‘gross’ and ‘disgusting,’ ‘unsanitary’ and ‘murder,’ and I don’t think people like to hear that about things they eating…

What pushed me over the edge into complete veganism was reading about what happens to the little male ‘layer’ chicks that are born with no usefulness – they are destroyed. Some places destroy them by tossing them into a wood chipper. Alive.

I also don’t like the thought that cheese is coagulated by an enzyme that is only found in the 4th stomach of a calf. I mean really. I don’t even want to know how they know it’s only in the 4th stomach.

I could go on and on, yet I do sometimes crave cheese or meat. I also have a hard time saying ‘no thank you’ if someone has been nice enough to make me food.

Well, I am running out of time, so I guess that’s all I’ll be talking about veganism today. If you want to get a discussion going or have questions, please feel free to leave a comment!
Sheila

Vegan Plans


I’m not sure why they call it surfing and not drowning…  I started off about 45 minutes ago thinking that I would write a quick post and then go do some cooking.  Well, I forgot my password, and that could have been simple enough to rectify, I filled out a form and was sent an email with my new password, but then I got distracted by the other emails in my inbox.  I figure this process is exactly why I don’t write more often.

So, pointless little rant that I’ll most likely erase later out of the way,  I am writing today. Yaye.

I was thinking that I should write about vegan cooking, since I’m doing some of it today.  I got a tasty little cookbook from my lifepartner, it’s called Veganomicon brought to you by the same folks who wrote Vegan With a Vengeance.  I have had cookies made from a recipe out of vwav, but do not own a copy.  I’ll be making  scones and foccacia in a bit here, then I’ll (hopefully) report back on the results.

meantime, why don’t you go cook something, and then tell me all about it? Sheila

Is Vegan a Brand?


Good day to you.  I am hoping to get feedback on this question, because it just today occurred to me to ask it.  I was reading the new issue of Adbusters, issue 76, I think, and it’s all about brands.

I am against branding, and try to avoid branding myself where possible.  I do brand myself with antiauthoritarian tshirts sometimes and with my school logo, but I try to keep it to that. 

What about Vegan?  Is it a brand or not? 

One decent vegan meal to make


Hi.  I just improvised myself the best meal I’ve had in a while, so I thought I’d pause between bites and write down the recipe for all the world to enjoy.  Ha ha.  But at least I will know where the recipe is.

So I was making some lomein noodles, which I have never made before.  I followed the directions for one serving – easy enough, boil for about 8 minutes then rinse in cold water.  I did that, put it in a bowl, splashed on some liquid aminos, (healthy soy sauce) and started to eat.  Let’s say it wasn’t exactly tasty.  Good enough if I was really in a rush or really lazy, but that wasn’t the case today, thankfully. 

I had just been looking through a vegan cookbook earlier and saw notes I had taken on how to make pad thai or pad see yew a few years ago. 

My notes are really poor – in pencil, jottings, really… somewhat suspect.  When I saw that I had written down ‘4 cups of soy sauce’ i realized I’d better not follow along word for word.  But my notes did point me in the right direction.

I put some, maybe 2 tbsp, grapeseed oil in my frying pan, sliced 2 cloves of garlic – I like nice thick slices, like 1/8 inch or a little more, just so I can see the garlic in my food.  I think it looks nice.  So I sauteed the garlic, threw in a rock solid hunk of brown sugar, probably 1 or maybe 2 tbsp., then I did something fairly dumb, *don’t do this – it’s an example of being dumb* I poured vinegar right into the very hot oil – it splattered all over and I almost started a fire.  I pulled the pan off the stove and watched to make sure that I didn’t need my fire extinguisher, wiped off the bottom of the pan, and threw in the cold lomein noodles.  When I replaced the pan, it was fine.

Then I put in some more vinegar, probably 2 tbsp. and some ketchup, another 2 tbsp.  It sounds gross, but it worked.  Then I put in some liquid ginger from the ginger people, probably 1 tbsp., 2 more tbsp of liquid aminos, and stirred.  At this point, it smelled wonderful. 

I’m sure I could have stopped there and been fine, but being a vegan I’m always being told to make sure I get my protein.  So I opened a package of firm tofu, drained off the liquid, and chopped it up a bit and threw it in.  There wasn’t much liquid left, so I added more vinegar, Braggs aminos, and a splash more ketsup.  Stirred it around for a bit, but I wanted something green in there.  All I had was broccoli, which I’m tired of, a green pepper, which I’m saving for roasted vegetables later, and some mescaline mix.  I didn’t know how it would taste, but I thought what the hell, I’m experimenting.  I threw in about 5 handsful of the mescaline mix.  Waited until it was shrively and all the liquid was cooked off, and put it in a bowl.  I wished I had peanuts, but we don’t buy them that often.  There were about 1/4 c of walnuts left in the cupboard, though, so I crushed them a little bit and threw them in.  Viola.  Yum.

In the end, there was too much tofu, about 1/2 a package would have sufficed.  Live and learn.  Luckily we have cold storage.  Good luck if you decide to make this – remember, don’t throw the vinegar into the hot oil.  Sheila

Vegan Holiday


If you are the only vegan in your family, you will relate to this. My husband and I are vegan and we are the only vegans or vegetarians in either side of the family (at least the part that we see regularly).  Of course, you meet up a lot over the holidays for Christmas and New Years, and there is usually food involved.  What do you do to handle the differences that are so very apparent when it is time to eat together?

I have a hard time with telling people ‘no’ or with bringing up problems.  While we were lacto-ovo vegetarians, it was a lot easier for people to feed us.  Rather, it was easier to just avoid meat without having to ask awkward questions.  Is there butter in this… are there eggs?  Ergh.  I’d almost rather eat things that I don’t want in my body than have to ask my host these questions. 

It’s been about five months since we became vegan, though, and I for one have noticed that when I accidently ingest dairy I get mild, but uncomfortable, heartburn.  This is also accomplanied by, um, gastro-intestinal discomfort a few hours later.  I don’t like feeling crappy, so I have to ask the awkward questions.  It’s easier to ask them once you have done it a couple of times, but it still feels bad to me.  I don’t want anyone else to feel that they have done something wrong by not knowing my very picky needs.

What I’m saying is that if you feel the same as me, you may be discouraged from being vegan because of the social aspects.  Please still be vegan – if it really is ‘who you are’ you will find graceful ways to communicate your needs.  You may also find yourself doing what we did – we brought an entree to heat up and eat while everyone else had turkey.  It’s a bit awkward, but it saves your host a lot of work and then you’re certain that you are still maintaining your vegan diet.

And your friends and family will get it, eventually, that this is a lifestyle that you are choosing, not a commentary on the lifestyle that they are choosing.  Have a very vegan day!  Sheila

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