Lazy Sunday II

Just like I did last Sunday, today I’ll take a breather and answer some of the official MoFo blogging prompts. (I know, yesterday was nothing if not a breather… but a girl’s gotta rest up on the weekends!) So far today I’ve fed and walked Moria, had breakfast (tea, a grapefruit, and toast), and finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane (if you like Neil Gaiman at all, read it!). I’m currently trying to decide whether I’ll bother showering today, and soon I’ll mosey over to the kitchen to start prepping some food for the week. If I can work in some knitting later, this will be pretty darn close to my perfect lazy Sunday.

Anyway, enough about my slothdom. On to the questions!

What’s the best vegan meal you’ve ever eaten?

Here’s the thing. I am horrible—horrible!—at choosing a favorite anything. While I do have strong feelings about many topics (feminism, not texting while driving, the repellent nature of stray hairs), I’m often hard-pressed to choose favorites, especially when put on the spot. And with this question in particular, well, I’m lucky to have eaten many scrumptious vegan meals.

But.

One particular meal stands out.

nut-roll-at-hendersons_7988884834_o

Just over a year ago, between shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, S and I had dinner at Henderson’s, and the Nut Roll blew. my. mind. so much so that I still remember it every so often with a little sigh. You can read about the details here. Bottom line? It might very well be the best vegan meal I’ve had. My mouth is watering just remembering it.

But a meal is about more than just the food. It’s about the circumstances in which you ate it and the people with whom you shared it. I shared this meal with my steadfast, sweet S during a truly wonderful vacation together in a city (and country) I just adored. It would be difficult to top that. :)

What was your first vegan cookbook?

This one’s easier to answer! I received Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan with a Vengeance for Christmas in 2008. I’d been vegetarian for a while and, after slowly realizing that being vegetarian didn’t quite hold with my ethics, wanted to explore veganism. These cookbooks helped me feel comfortable cooking and eating vegan. I treasured them, thumbing through them over and over, learning about new-to-me ingredients, and delighting in my vegan enlightenment. I still cook from them.

Talk about your favorite place to buy vegetables.

My favorite place to buy vegetables is at the west-side Willy Street Co-op at around 8:00 PM, when the store is mostly empty and I can have the aisles nearly to myself. I feel like I ought to say the farmers’ market, but honestly? Crowds make me nervous, and my experiences with farmers’ markets are never fully positive because they are invariably crowded. Not so my beloved co-op. Plus, it always has a good selection of local vegetables and includes info about their sources on its price cards.

Alas—I now live exactly 696 miles from my beloved co-op, and I’ve yet to find a worthy replacement. We can walk to a Giant in five minutes, but their produce is your typical big-box grocery store fair. Trader Joe’s is a seven-minute drive away, and they do stock a small amount of local fruit and veg, but the selection varies and is not often organic. Whole Foods is about a 15-minute drive away, but it’s not cheekily called “Whole Paycheck” for nothin’! So, all that’s to say that I’m still searching for a new favorite place to get my veggie fix. I think I’ll participate in a CSA next year, because I’ve had very good luck with them in the past… and there are no crowds. ;)

What’re your answers to any/all of these questions? What are you doing on this Sunday?

Karma Chameleon’s Gonna Get You

…see what I did there? Yeah, pretty lame, I know. Moving on.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the idea of good energy, good vibes, karma and the like. To an extent, I do believe that if you surround yourself with positivity, you will be healthier and happier than a peer who views the world through poo-colored glasses and slips into Debbie Downer* mode 500 times a day. But I’m not so sure about the next level of karma, the idea that if you send out positivity and good vibes, they’ll come back to you in some cosmic-scale recycling effort. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I do find it implausible. On the other hand, perhaps upbeat people surround themselves with similarly-tempered folks, so their interactions are generally more pleasant? Or perhaps they make others feel happy and centered and calm, and those others subconsciously return the favor? I just don’t know.

That said, I had what I can really only call a good karma experience recently. See, I have this friend (no, really!). Or, more specifically, I had this friend; he was an essential part of our core group of pals for most of college, and I was especially close to him. During senior year, however, he sort of grew apart from our group for various reasons. After we graduated, I harbored a fair amount of anger, underneath which was a large pool of hurt. For over a year, we barely spoke. And by barely, I mean I sent him a Christmas card, and he sent one back, and that was it.

A few months ago, though, I realized how stupid that was. Because when you’re close to someone, when you can talk about things that matter like life and feelings and not just shiny surface-issues, that’s a friendship worth preserving. So I let it go. I let go of the anger and the hurt and the need for an explanation for what transpired. It was liberating, and so much easier than I’d imagined. And then I reached out to him, and despite my fears, his reaction was nothing but positive. Now, I am so glad to have him back in my life. We always had great rapport, and I missed it. Even though he’s in New York and I’m in Wisconsin, it’s still great to Gmail chat every couple of nights and to catch up on the past year.

Now, you might be thinking, “Kelly, that is all warm and fuzzy, but where is the karma? I was promised karma chameleons and there is a distinct lack of it in this post.” Or, perhaps, “Kelly, I do not give a hoot about your college friends or your karmic musings. Where’s the damn food?!” To both of you I say, hold on to your hats! It’s coming (sort of)!

 

Look at him! He's like a tiny dinosaur saying, "Bitch, please. I've had it with the karma jokes!"

 

Image from here.

My friend is the bio-major type, and he currently has a couple of research positions working on various projects. Someone he works with is an ex-vegan (sad!), and when my friend found out that I’m vegan now, he told me that his ex-vegan friend was looking to get rid of some vegan cookbooks, and did I want them? Because he’d gladly send them to me!

Did I EVER want them! Today, I received this stack of fabulousness:

 

Kram-o-rama!

 

Basically, Sarah Kramer now has some serious real estate on my cookbook shelf.

Anyway, let’s recap the chain of events: I extend the olive branch to my friend. My friend reciprocates. I get free vegan cookbooks. The only possible explanation? Karma, baby!

I let go of negativity and consciously chose positivity, and I was rewarded with Sarah Kramer. Thanks, Mr. Chameleon, sir.

Do you believe in good energy and karma and the power of positivity? And on another note, what’s your favorite recipe from any of those cookbooks? :)

* Yes, I did watch every single Debbie Downer skit on Hulu to choose the best one to post here. It was research! BLOGGING’S HARD WORK, Y’ALL.