The Foodie Blogroll

Being new to the blogosphere, and a newbie Foodie to boot, I felt a bit lost as I was first roaming about the net, looking to make a connection with other Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Foodies out there. Lurking around the web, I found this great Foodie site: The Leftover Queen – WOW!

Jenn is one busy lady- she’s got this great food blog which isn’t veg, but believes we can all blog in harmony, she organizes lots of great foodie events, has forums and has created The Foodie Blogroll which is a great way to visit other Foodie blogs, meet other Foodies, and help other Foodies to find you! It’s free, and Jenn is very helpful, so give her a click and get on the blogroll!

Carniverous Poney Riders or Veeling Very Lonley in Veganland

Mr. Fish and I got in a bit of a row the other evening while dining with some friends chez eux. Ok, not really a row, but I felt a bit attacked, and singled out, and it made me feel rather glum.

We’d had a really lovely outing with our friends and their two little girls and earlier in the day. Pony rides for everyone! Seriously, pony rides, and being someone who did most of her growing up in rural Michigan where there are cows and horses growing on trees, or at least grazing under many of them, one would think this to be rather un-exciting, but I was a ‘city kid’ (oh my dog what a laugh that is!) and I only ever rode a horse twice in my life. The ponies were for the kids, but we got to groom them before our hour-long promenade through the forest and it was all very exciting, especially for the Guppy who is still just a wee lass of 32 months.

After our Mutual of Omaha adventure, we went back to our friends’ place for the ritual apéo & dinner, and this is when I began to feel a bit, well, different.

I decided to become a vegetarian when I was 16 years-old. Half my life ago. The decision was made for several reasons which I just won’t take the time to delve into now, though I’d like to send a special thank-you to the sheep farmers who were striking at Bastille in the late summer of 1990 and the terrifying industrial-agriculture practices complete with growth hormones and environmental damage (rivaling Hummers and Third-World chemical factories) in the U.S. I’ve had my less proud vegetarian moments (the leather jacket, a gift, worn many times and still collecting dust in my closet), but generally I fight my war with integrity and as much dignity as I can muster. I have also learned over the years to pick my battles as they say. Many of the people I love are carnivores, and while it saddens me for many reasons (like, uh, for their cholesterol & their colons) I don’t preach at them like some ranting religious fanatic trying to convert the damned.

The dinner was a French raclette, a sort of inside-out fondue for the un-initiated. There are little dishes on a sort of hot-plate where you place slices of cheese to melt, and on top there is a sort of skillet where you can sear veggies, and more often meat. The dish is most usually served with boiled potatoes. This isn’t a vegan-hostile meal because you could bring along some vegan cheese, have fresh veggies (which my hostess did have beautifully displayed on a platter for me), and bring along a bottle of organic wine.

I was the D.D., so I didn’t bring any wine, but because every one else was indulging, the conversation because more and more lively, and inevitably the question of ‘so, why are you a total freak and shun meat and dairy products?’ came up between mouthfuls of ham and cured meats completely hidden by artery-clogging cheese.  As I said before, I pick my battles, so recognizing that I was totally out numbered, and about to embark upon reasoning with three wine-infused carnivores who were orgasmic on their heart-stopping feast, well, I tried to play it cool.

I gave the most basic points, then quickly said, ‘you know, I prefer to have these sorts of conversations either before or after dining, because much of what I have to say isn’t terribly appetizing’ (well, it was in French, but you get the picture). I tried to get them to see the connection between the cute, adorable, not for dinner-ponies we’d been sharing company with earlier in the day and the intelligent and affectionate pigs they were eating, but they just refused to see that it was the same thing. “Would you eat a dog or a horse?” “Of course not, how barbaric!” “Well, pigs are just as intelligent…cultural norms…blah, blah…” Yeah, that sunk in. They continued to push the subject, and what really made me bitter was Mr. Fish was the most annoying of them all. Now, yes, he was enjoying the wine because he knew I was sober and so in charge of the Guppy and driving and all that, but it’s no excuse.

As is often the case, when wooing me, Mr. Fish was all about animal rights, tolling the dangers of unleashed carnivorous practices on the environment and our individual health, extolling the virtues of how we would raise our child vegetarian. Uh-huh. Yeah, that lasted about as long as a big mac in the hands of the deranged. He’d never known a vegan or vegetarian before meeting me, but gave up meat illico presto once we were together. Sadly, like many- dare I say backsliders – his sinning is worse now than before. While he doesn’t eat red-meat here at the house, he does eat fish & dairy, and has become more and more aggressive about it over the past few months. I wish I could join a support group for vegan wives & mothers who feel nutritionally-separated from the ones they love.

HAPPY REINDEER!

The Guppy is, of course, the cutest thing in existence, and when I told her to say ‘Happy New Year’ she called out to everyone ‘Happy Reindeer!’ and I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. (Sorry, I’m having a gushing-mom moment, please be patient). Over the course of our New Year’s festivities chez Mr. Fish’s niece, the Guppy also called out ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Happy Halloween’ and ‘Merry Christmas’- in addition to their French equivalents.

The dinner was a bit difficult for me, not because I don’t like my in-laws, but rather because of the menu. I give snaps to my belle-famille because they try to understand me and why on earth I don’t eat meat, and I know that my dietary decisions are cause for much eyebrow-raising and eye-rolling, but they do try. Mostly. Sometimes. Our New Year’s dinner was catered, and was far from even being a little vegetarian, but they thought they were doing well because there was no red meat involved. Well, there was red meat involved, at least the duck livers they were eating looked red to me, but I digress…

There is an excellent t-shirt on the Peta Store web site that says ‘Fish are not vegetables’. I really need to get that t-shirt.

In their defense I’m not complaining about the non-vegan wine or champagne which I did consume (in moderately large volume, helps make the in-laws seem less like out-laws), so there.

I’m excited about 2008. I love starting over, making fresh-starts and re-dedicating myself to past projects left to the wayside. I feel like I have so many things to do. I was born three weeks early, and once you get to know me it just seems to have been a logical thing. See, I was in such a darn hurry to get out here and get stuff done, I just had to arrive before the bell.

While I still feel very, very driven (to do a zillion things at once) I think my biggest task for 2008 is to be more gentle with myself, and not get so upset when I don’t get it all done. Perfectly. Before everyone else. And still have time to start three new projects. I think this year might be *The* marathon year, and I would really like to learn to knit & crochet. I think those are some good goals. I would also like to get a better handle on our little camera to add some pizazz to my little blog.

So a very happy new year to everyone, bonne année, bonne santé, & une bonne dose de prospérité to boot.

Not so sure…

Okay, that could be the title of my life much of the time… no, that’s not fair, there are many things of which I am more than certain: the love of my family, the selfish nature of most capitalists, the twinkle in Baby-fish’s eyes when she laughs… these things I do not doubt. The actual trajectory of my life, however, has often left me wondering just what exactly am I doing?, or more often, in which order do I want to do them?

I digress.

What I am not so sure of is the purpose of this blog. I initially wanted to create a groovy mostly-vegan food blog to swap recipes & ideas with other like-minded folks out there. I also thought it would be great to eventually swap stories & ideas with other vegan parents & vegan athletes (or trying hard to be athletes). Now I’m finding that I am having a difficult time organizing my life so that I can get things up and running as I’d hoped (before the beginning of 2008, I mean, can you believe it is going to be 2008?). I think we’ll just take things as they come and take stock in a few months to better decide what this blog is really about.