Friday, June 22, 2007

Unintentional Hiatus

Days and weeks just seem to slip by now that it's summer. Yes, I blame the lazy summer days for failure to, I didn't go on vacation- though Fcat & I are long overdue, but doubtful this year since we will have giant closing costs at the end of the year due to our lovely pre-construction condo purchase. We have both been so working hard yet, dreaming of cerulean blue waters, alas, not anytime soon. So we pretend...

At Mexican restaurants, over sangria & margaritas, we decide whether or not to stroll along the beach back to the hotel or take a taxi...hehehe...silly, I know.

A trio of delicious condiments, ranging from mild to slow-heat & fiery and it's actually the dark green one that can make you down a margarita to put out the fire.

Easy vegan dining on Mexican "vacations". Anything can be made without cheese, like yummy corn & epazote tacos with lime...
delectable pepper & onion taco...

Okay, back to the real world...the last couple of weeks have mostly been about figuring out what vegan meals to feed a picky, non-vegan young adult.

Tofu scramble with tempeh bacon & veg sausage patties-
Marinated tempeh, collard greens, mashed yukon potatoes-
Bbq Gardenburger riblets, spinach salad, corn & mashed potatoes-

Collard greens & apples juiced- not a huge hit with SKO-

Stuffed artichokes- delicious, but took forever to stuff, not sure if that will be repeated anytime soon.
Tofu Mcscramble with veg sausage pattie on pumpkin ciabatta-

Berry pancakes, interestingly enough, SKO will not eat regular pancakes, but did eat the veganized version-
Another meal at Gobo's, SKO's new favorite: Mango Protein- better than actual chicken!
My favorite meal at Dojo's- tofu hijiki burger platter with brown rice & the best carrot/soy dressing ever- a meal for one under $5. You can't beat it. They have tons of other good, but cheap eats- really popular with college students- located right next to NYU.

So far so good, my little omni sister likes her vegan meals. The craziest consequence of her eating all these vegan meals is that when she goes back to grandma's once a week, grandma makes sure she gets a plethora of meat at dinner. Her last dinner at grandma's consisted of three different dishes of pork, peking duck, a beef dish and another beef dish with vegetables. My grandmother has never made that much meat for dinner before, but she is on high alert to make sure SKO eats as much flesh as possible.

Speaking of flesh- last weekend, SKO, Fcat & I went to see Bodies, The Exhibition. It was completely & utterly fascinating. Everyone should see it if they can. The entire exhibition is comprised of real human cadavers- preserved through a special process that let's you see the entire human body. It's like nothing you've ever imagined. We saw muscles, tendons, organs still attached to the bodies, all the blood vessels in your chest suspended in clear gel minus the flesh, bones & organs, brains...simply amazing. A bit eerie at first & and if you are squeamish, take a deep breath, but once you get past the creepiness of the idea of bodies sliced & peeled open, it really gives you an appreciation for how magnificient our bodies are. How intricate, complex and beautiful we all are internally. It also reminded me to remind SKO & Fcat how human flesh looked just like any piece of ham or roast beef. I might have said that more than a few times, annoying I know, but I couldn't help it because seeing human flesh just reinforced that fact to me that flesh is flesh, no matter how you marinate or saute it.

Isn't SKO cute with her new sophisticated short hair cut? On a whim, she cut off all her gorgeous locks, which she will be donating to Locks for Love. And of course, in the picture with us, real cadavers in the background from the exhibit.

And Fcat & I in the flesh!

I also took SKO to LIC to see our new home & neighborhood to be!
Here are our new gosling neighbors:

Pre-haircut SKO with the Manhattan skyline...
Our new building to be...wish it was eco-construction & green...
On another note, I have been meaning to say how honored I am that Neva Vegan had listed me as an interesting blog oh so many moons ago when she was tagged to list a few interesting blogs. Her blog is always so thought-provoking & well-written that my little frivolous blog is honored to be noted!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Being The Change

"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

Last week we had a couple of days of summer swelter and yes, it portends to be a blistering summer at that. Never beginning my day without first consulting, I read about the air stagnation advisory that was in effect. Well, actually that fact was already quite evident by the lack of any breeze coming through the window and pure heat; it was only 10am.

I lowered down my super-effcient honey-comb blinds to block out the heat, made some iced coffee & turned on the table fan. Booboo lay on top of her kitty condo as I lay a damp wash cloth over her. I am considering taking her for a lion cut & she may be getting daily baths to keep cool as needed to avoid heatstroke which pets can be susceptible to, especially a furry kitty like Booboo. This is how we are going to try to beat the heat and avoid using the air conditioner completely if possible. As the summers become more & more unbearable because of greenhouse gas emissions, we respond in kind by turning up the air conditioner which in turns causes more emissions- it's an ugly and dangerous catch-22 and it's got to stop.

That's not to say that I can't appreciate the nice frosty air for the first 5 seconds when I walk into a store on a hot summer day, however, it never ceases to amaze me how the store will blast the air conditioning & leave the doors wide open or the air is on so cold that everyone has a sweater on. It shouldn't surprise me at all because we are a culture of conspicuous consumption & waste. I know most will be turning up the air conditioners this summer, please make sure it is energy-efficient. You can also still keep cool without having to turn air to the coolest temp; the temp at 68F will still be comfortable because the outside air will be hotter than that...

Last week was also a full week of photo shoots which are always catered with an over-abundance of food. There is always a vegetable of some sort and I am always able to put something together. Breakfast is always limited because it's normally eggs, bacon, yogurt & pastries, but I find a way...hash browns, tomatoes & fruit!

I make my own salad with mixed greens, grilled veggies & some strawberries. I have to beware the balsamic dressing though because the caterer loves to put in strips of parmesan which I thought at first was ginger...

On this day, I made lunch mostly from the snack platter- hummus, pita chips, stuffed grape leaves, cornichon, with salad & rice...
And on this day, I watched as Fcat worked really hard blowing bubbles at pretty girls...those were candy bubbles & I tried one- yuck- tasted chemically sweet & soapy- but it was vegan!

Here's are some props for the shoot and mostly vegan too if one wanted to partake in high fructose corn syrup & chemicals.

Just recently heard that a friend's wife is considering going vegetarian! The fact that she's even thinking about it is exciting. I'd like to think that I planted a seed when we had a brief conversation about my veganism over a year ago when we were all out for drinks after a shoot, but I'm sure though the real reason for considering going veggie are the two cats that they rescued off the street. Those two little creatures that bring pure love into their home are powerful motivators!

And last but not least on the exciting news front, my sister of the Anony-mouse blogger comments heretoforth known as SKO is here for the summer! Yay! She has spent every summer with me in NYC since she was 7 years old. Um, yes, there is an age difference- we are 18yrs apart and yes, she is my full biological sister. She is of the meat- eating variety, but she has taken to vegan eating quite well in the week that she has arrived.

We celebrated her arrival with a dinner at Gobo, a yummy asian fusion vegan restaurant on the Upper East Side. SKO was only open to going there because I told her that the Roti Canai dish there was as good as at Penang, a nearby non-vegan indonesian establishment and I added that I could partake in that curry/roti goodness only at Gobo. She acquiesced only because we walked twenty- something blocks in the heat and we saw Gobo's before Penang.

She loved it all and declared that we must come back. Whew! At times, she is an extremely picky, hard to please teen- you know she likes tomatoes, but not cooked tomatoes, no onions only if they are well-hidden & blended into food, no bell peppers, no scallions...

We start at Gobo's with their delicious cranberry walnut bread & pumpkin buttery spread.
Then onto the delicious Roti Canai...
My favorite, the Pine Nut Medley Lettuce Wraps...
And then we split the Sweet & Sour Sesame Protein- which SKO announced was much better than the chicken version. Ah be still my beating heart...she might have some vegan conciousness running through those veins.
And here she is SKO, using Daddy & sister sanctioned emergency credit card to take her sister out for dinner for the first time ever!

My sister wants to go back to Gobo's and have the yummy Mango Protein (like mango chicken, but better). She also tells me that as of late, steak does not taste as good as it used to and she enjoys it less and less. Hope springs eternal and I continue to be the change as much as I can.
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