What Do I Eat Now?
There are a million fad diets in the world. I’ve discussed some of them here and here. After writing those articles I swore off swearing off foods. Nothing would ever be off limits to me again, I thought.
But underneath the surface, something was brewing.
It started with climate change. Or, at least, my awakening to the causes of climate change. And then, an allergy. And at last, a trip to the store.
I’d been thinking of giving up meat for a long time. In fact, I tried it once before. Last Fall. But then I got caught up in the joy of learning to cook it, and like an addict I no longer wanted to give it up. I convinced myself that it was fine. After all, cooking was my art, and in art the ends justify the means. Always.
But once the high of that initial learning process faded, and the holiday hams were a distant memory, the dissatisfaction popped up again.
I knew, deep down, that big agribusiness for the meat industry contributes heavily to our nation’s climate problems. I also knew about the human rights violations in the slaughterhouses. But, like most millennials, the problem seemed too overwhelming for me to fix. I’m just not the activist type, but merely swearing off meat didn’t seem like enough.
And then, I was told that my lactose intolerance had not, much to my dismay, disappeared. I’ve had it since childhood, but a part of me thought that since I could eat cheese without feeling directly sick afterward, I’d somehow beat the system and gotten rid of it.
No such luck.
Apparently an allergy can manifest in more ways than stomach problems, an unfortunate fact that I experienced first hand. We all pay for ours sins eventually, and my time had come to face my dairy devil.
Like most things in life, I dove in headfirst at an incredibly inconvenient time. It was grocery shopping day, and we’d just moved into a new home, which meant that our poor fridge was flat empty. As I stood there, making the never-ending list of stuff we needed, inspiration struck.
If I could plan a wedding for a hundred people in eight weeks, then proceed to move to a new town two weeks later while working and traveling and writing my book and showering regularly, then surely I could throw one more hard task on top of all that. I crossed off every animal product on my list and started fresh.
Just like that, I became sorta-kinda-mostly vegan. Like being sorta-kinda-mostly Jewish or sorta-kinda-mostly straight, it allows you some wiggle room.
So what does that mean for Wreck The Home?
Well, as you may have noticed, I haven’t posted as consistently as I did over the winter. This is partly because of the wedding, the move, and the typical Alaskan summer “go go go” mentality. But more so than that, it’s because I’ve had to relearn how to cook.
You would think that vegan butter, fake eggs, and dairy-free cheese would all cook the same as their normal counterparts. I can inform you now that they do not. Making pie crusts with vegetable shortening is inherently different than making it with cold butter. Making vegan pizza is a whole new process.
In short, I had to go back to square one and throw a lot of my old recipes out the window.
It was disheartening at first. Some recipes that I’d been tweaking for weeks, or even months, had to be stopped short before they could go up on here. The things I knew deeply no longer applied.
But then, finally, I began to design new recipes. Through all the nerves and trepidation, I once again wrote down new ideas and blueprints for future meals. The excitement came back to my kitchen as I got comfortable with the new foods and the new layout.
It’ll take time, but soon the recipes will be coming back here with regular updates.
Until then, stay happy, healthy, and well-fed.