North Carolina

March 27, 2008 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m visiting family in North Carolina this week, and it’s great to see so many of my friends and relatives! I’m having such a good time!

I’ve been kind of disappointed, though, that my family’s schedules are so busy. I was hoping to cook several good vegan meals for them while I was here, and I’ve only been able to cook one meal for my sister, and none for my parents. In between her classes yesterday, we had just enough time to go back to her house and cook a quick lunch. I made a kale and pepper stir-fry (with a little olive oil, sesame oil, mustard powder and black sesame seeds), and rice topped with baked cherry tomatoes (with olive oil, fresh basil, sea salt & pepper). My sister had never eaten kale before, and she really liked it!! I also baked a mushroom artichoke dip (with silken tofu), for her and her housemate to eat later that night.

I was very happy that my sister and her boyfriend seemed interested in my reasons for being vegan. Even though they were skeptical, I love being able to answer questions about being vegan. My sister’s boyfriend asked me several questions such as “so what do vegans eat?” and “how can you give up cheese?” which of course I don’t mind answering! He seemed pretty skeptical of a vegan diet, and warned my sister (semi-jokingly) not to follow my footsteps, but he was genuinely curious about why I would want to be vegan.

I explained how I decided to give up dairy products when I learned that cows–like any other female mammals–only produce milk when they have babies, and that dairy cows’ babies are taken away and either slaughtered for veal or are raised without drinking their mothers’ milk, so that humans can have the milk that was meant for the baby cows. It was easy for me to give up cheese when I realized that consuming dairy products does in fact harm animals. (There’s a wonderful episode about dairy cows, on the Compassionate Cooks podcast– I think I heard it after I became vegan, but it definitely cemented my decision to not use dairy products any more!)

Also, my sister took me grocery shopping the other night, which was fun. But, I’d forgotten that “normal” grocery stores (at least here in the South) don’t usually carry items that vegans/vegetarians would buy. I’ve been pretty spoiled by the wonderful selection of vegan items in the food co-op I shop at at home! We went to a Harris Teeter, and I was disappointed to not find some of my favorite staple food items: tempeh and nutritional yeast. I did find one brand of soy milk, but they didn’t have any soy yogurt or Earth Balance. So disappointing! But I shouldn’t really be surprised, considering this is North Carolina, the largest producer of pork in the US and home of 100’s of kinds of pork barbeque… although I’m sure I could find some tempeh at a Whole Foods or something. But I did find some local North Carolina produce (including the kale) at the grocery store, so that made me happy!


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