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What do vegans put on bread?

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As I’ve been kind of fumbling toward veganism (my vague goal right now seems to be “almost vegan,” which to me means vegan but for eggs from my own chickens, once they start making them), I keep having questions. It’s actually really fun, as long as I look at quasi-veganism as an amazing culinary adventure where I will discover new worlds of flavor, rather than focusing on the things I don’t want to eat any more. And it’s not hard to focus on the vegan positive. The internet is an amazing place when you’re learning about veganism.

But sometimes you don’t need the internet. Tonight’s question was: What do vegans put on bread? I googled it and got stupid answers, like “vegan butter” and was like no, I don’t want to go out and buy vegan butter. I want to make something good to put on my bread using ingredients I already have in the house. So I used common sense, which actually worked. I’m sure vegans have been making something like this since the dawn of veganism, but for me it was new:

olive oil, nutritional yeast, Sicilian seasoning, salt.

That’s it! And it was good. So good, in fact, that I didn’t miss butter or olive oil with parmesan cheese and Ben even liked it.

Yum!!

FYI, my vegan ranch dressing recipe is a work in progress. My first attempt was decent but too runny and too sweet. I might have to make my own soy milk.

Written by Tracy

April 27th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Posted in and life,Food

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Photo Friday: Life in the Hood

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life in the hood

Written by Tracy

April 26th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Posted in and life,Photos

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All Around the Watchtower

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Holy shit.

Written by Tracy

April 24th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Posted in and life,Music

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Redefining Wealth

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Reposting something I wrote in December 2011, because I need to be reminded:

I’ve realized I need to take a more radical approach than just a spending fast (although that is itself kind of radical, at least to me). Hippie alert: I have to attempt to completely reject consumer culture. What I mean is that — it’s hard to say but I’ll try to start. In some ways, I was raised to think it’s good to have money and a nice house and nice things. It’s not that I was taught to be blatantly materialistic, but in subtle ways, things were ingrained in me, like: money is good, money is important, shopping is fun. I think those might be lessons many of us learn directly or indirectly from our parents who maybe were children of immigrants and made lives for themselves and their families that were “better than” what they had, with “better than” being equal to “richer.”

Trying to reject better than = richer and having more and/or better things might be one of the big struggles of Generation X. For me (and I’m still working on it) this involves completely redefining my understanding of wealth.

Here’s the thing. I often fall into the trap of comparing myself to other people. Usually, those other people are more well-off financially than I am. So I get bummed out because I don’t have a super-cool place in a super-cool neighborhood and I don’t take exciting, exotic vacations and I don’t go out to dinner all the time and I don’t have every new Apple product the day it’s released. It took me a long time to get over that feeling of being “less than” and realize I have other things, things that aren’t as easy to, well, show off. I have time, lots of time, because I don’t work long hours. I have a husband who doesn’t work long hours. We have low-stress jobs we generally enjoy. We have a good enough house with a low mortgage payment in a good enough neighborhood that’s close to everything we do. We have a good amount of time and a good amount of positive, non-stressed-out energy to spend with our kid and each other.

I’ve always valued time more than money, which is why I never went to work for a big law firm. I am absolutely unwilling to work long hours or be overly stressed about my work. What I’m getting at here (finally!) is that for me and my family, “wealth” doesn’t mean money — it means time. And I know there are some very lucky people who have both, but more often than not, I think most of us get one or the other. I’d rather be on the poor side than work 60 hours a week (or more!) or have a husband who’s always at the office. Time isn’t really something you can put on Pinterest and have people gush over how beautiful it is, but for me, it’s what really matters. And realizing that makes me realize it’s time to stop spending money on, well, anything that isn’t necessary or at least very important. Necessary or important might be new glasses or an iPhone every two or three years, but it’s probably never another handbag or a sequined shirt or pair of fancy heels.

I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a smug hippie, or that if it does, it’s understandable because it’s been hard enough for me to realize I need to change my way of thinking about wealth and it’s going to be even harder to really put it into practice in everyday life when I’d really like to buy some more shit from Etsy. Money doesn’t buy happiness and things don’t equal happiness. Duh. Did I really need this many years to figure that out?

Written by Tracy

April 23rd, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Posted in and life

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Dogs & Cats & Ice Cream Idea

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"The dog will be the teacher."

Today Soren busted out my Fisher Price schoolhouse from the 70s. He set up the dog like so and declared, “The dog will be the teacher.” I’m pretty sure that’s the best idea anybody has had in a while.

Later, I took a nap with someone I will argue is the prettiest cat ever.

UntitledUntitledArguably, this is the prettiest cat ever.

As you might infer from the (lack of) content here lately, I’m in a funk. I’ve been grumpy and kind of sad and short-tempered for a few weeks now. My theory is that it’s because of the goddamn shittastic weather we’ve been having and that when the weather gets better, which it’s bound to do any time now because there’s only so many 20-something-degree, snowy days you can really have in April, things will start looking up. I hope, anyway.

Oh, one other thing! I made tofu satay with peanut sauce for dinner again tonight and I realized something. As I’ve been sort of fumbling toward quasi-veganism (the quasi being because at this point, I think it might be realistic for me to become vegan but I don’t see the point of not eating the eggs from my own chickens because that’s just silly), one of my biggest concerns has been peanut butter ice cream, which is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I tried making vegan chocolate ice cream once and didn’t like it, mostly because of the coconut milk factor. I like coconut milk in spicy Thai food, but not in dessert items (for the record, I am firmly anti-Samoas and think they are a crime against cookies). So I was down on vegan ice cream until I realized that coconut milk actually works with peanut butter and, in fact, I’d like to make vegan ice cream that tastes exactly like a sweeter version of the peanut sauce that goes with tofu satay, red curry and lemon juice and all. Someone has probably already done this but I don’t even care. It’s my next dessert mission. I guess the fact that I have a dessert mission means I can’t be in all that much of a funk after all.

Written by Tracy

April 23rd, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Posted in and life,Animals

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A New Tree

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Our new tree!

I didn’t get to really enjoy the nice weather this weekend because I’ve been sick. It’s a horrible cold, although the good news is I haven’t (yet) had the hacking up-all-night cough Ben experienced. The worst part for me has been the awful cold/hot extremes at the same time. All day Saturday, my head felt hot and my body was freezing so much I was constantly covered in goosebumps and the feel of clothes on my skin was painful. By far the most enjoyable portion of the weekend was the time spent eating spicy red curry. The sitting-on-my-ass portion wasn’t too bad, either.

In cheerier news, we got a new tree (to replace the one destroyed when the neighbors’ tree fell on it last summer). I tried to make it look as majestic as possible in the photo but it’s teeny tiny. It’s an Autumn Gold Ginkgo. Ginkgo trees are the shit, even though I try to spell “Ginkgo” wrong every time I write it. They remind me of Oak Park.

Also, it’s snowing right now. Snowing! Again! And it’s gloomy as hell outside. This winter weather in late April can bite me!

Written by Tracy

April 22nd, 2013 at 11:58 am

Posted in and life,Yard & Garden

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Glass

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Soren calls this the “woof woof song” and is politely requesting that I play it over and over and over. There are definitely worse things.

Written by Tracy

April 18th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Posted in and life,Music

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