Vegetarian Ain’t Easy

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallWe are well on our way to vegetarianism. This is actually moving along faster than planned. In the past two weeks, we had one Sunday brunch of lox, eggs, and onions (yum!) to finish up the lox in the freezer, and one fish dinner. Chicken stored in the freezer remains untouched still.

For the most part, we have been successful maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet. Finding new ideas and recipes has been time-consuming. Finding the necessary ingredients in stores has been challenging. My pantry now looks like it belongs to someone I don’t know.

Dinner preparation has been the supreme challenge. I have pored through hundreds of recipes and what often looks simple and is even touted as “quick and easy” has turned into hours in the kitchen. Apple fritters, for example, required me to grate 2 apples, peel and crush fresh garlic, slice and dice and saute onions,  cook quinoa and put it all together with even more measured ingredients to then be fried pancake-style. Oh, the pots and pans and utensils that needed cleanup at meal’s end!

I have had successes, however. The kasha varnishkas I made (loaded with carmelized onions) – a delicacy I have made many times in the past without thought of vegetarianism or anything else – and served with steamed and seasoned brussels sprouts, came out great!  Portions are now frozen for my future microwaving pleasure, too. The hummus bagels topped with onions, scallions, and tomato slices were wonderful. Last night I discovered a delicious veggie burger at our local Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant. Really! I look forward to another!

And I am thankful. I am thankful for finding a few (for now) vegetarian dinners I can actually enjoy. I am thankful for desserts that can be eaten with unbound pleasure. I am thankful for having lost 3 pounds so far, and without even trying!

Onward vegetarian!

Trumpery

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small

trumpery

Definition

by Merriam-Webster 

(and others)..

 1a :  worthless nonsense

1b :  trivial or useless articles :  junk

a wagon loaded with household trumpery — Washington Irving

2  archaic : tawdry finery

trumpery

adjective

Where’s the Beef

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallI am a meat and potatoes person. Picky eater here, I am not very fond of grains (especially whole grains) or beans of any kind. I try to keep cheeses to a minimum. So what’s left? 

Vegetarian eating is unquestionably a healthy choice. It is also a kinder, gentler way to live. There is just no denying that. So how do you get from meat and potatoes to a vegetarian lifestyle?

We formed a plan. We will slowly transition to vegetarianism. We will keep the eggs and the dairy. We will eat fish, more at first and less and less over time. ( I think that’s called lacto-ovo-pescatarian. Now there’s a mouthful!) We will try that. First, of course, we must use up the contents of our freezer which presently includes quite a bit of chicken. Waste not/want not, you know. This transition may take some time.

The immediate goal is to have one vegetarian meal (no meat or fish) each week Notice there is no talk yet of dining out choices or requirements. 

So last night I prepared our very first deliberately prepared vegetarian dinner. We had chickpeas and broccoli. (Click here for the recipe.) As I cooked, I had to fight the urge to throw in just a little cut-up chicken or perhaps some shrimp. 

Surprise, surprise! It was delicious! We will do it again! I’m a vegetarian-in-transition!

BOOK REVIEW: Born a Crime

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallBorn a Crime
by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is a well known comedian and storyteller. He was born in South Africa when apartheid was very much present and experienced the transformation of South Africa under the influence of Nelson Mandela. Who better to describe everyday life under apartheid.

Image result for born a crime coverFor those of us with a fuzzy knowledge of history, Trevor Noah makes apartheid palpable. He tells his story from the eyes of a child. 

Born to a black mother and a white (Swiss) father, a criminal act in itself, Trevor was a precocious, mischievous child. He had a keen sense of humor and an awareness of just what his place was in his world, even if he did not follow the rules. He knew that he was smart and demonstrated his shrewd and cunning ways in defiance of authority – all authority.

Trevor Noah made me smile. He made me laugh out loud. He taught me about life as a colored person in South Africa under apartheid. He showed me his wisdom, his courage, his daring, and his wit. I enjoyed every page.

The Learning Place

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small This is where 45 went to school. Wikipedia even boasts his attendance there. It is in my neighborhood. We walk past fairly often. When we do, I wonder:

  • Will walking by cause me to become stupid?
  • Will walking by bring out the bully in me?
  • Will he bound from the schoolyard and pummel me?

Kew Forest School

Come With Me Somewhere

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallCome with me somewhere…come with me somewhere…come with me. Somewhere.

Why?

Because I need you. I need you to come with me – somewhere.

It is a crucial move, maybe the only one.

Where?

To the land of Words With Friends.

Yesterday, Words With Friends proudly displayed its “word of the day.” It was a word I had never seen or heard before. In fact, I could not pronounce it; any effort would be a grand waste of time. This word, you see, has no vowels! Like sh and nth – two other  Words With Friends favorites – the popular online Scrabble-like word game has demonstrated a propensity for unusual, and yes, vowel-less words, but this one, this one is clearly a stunner.

CWMS

Yes, cwms is a word. According to the Words With Friends official dictionary, CWMS comes from the Welsh.

cwm
ko͝om,ko͞om/
noun
plural noun: cwms
a cirque, especially one in the mountains of Wales.

Or try this definition courtesy of dictionary.com:

Cwms | Define Cwms at Dictionary.com

The howling of the winds in the cwms and dingles which run down the p. 13mountain on every side was really appalling. The Cambrian Sketch-Book R. Rice …

So yes, cwms. 
I must remember. I cannot forget.
Come with me somewhere
Come With Me Somewhere
Come With Me Somewhere.

BOOK REVIEW: A Good Yarn

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small A Good Yarn

by Debbie Macomber

*This review contains spoilers.*

From a list of recommended books, I came upon a book written by Debbie Macomber. I am familiar with the author’s name but have never read any of her books. So I decided to read the first in her series of Bloosom Street novels, A Good Yarn. And why not! I like knitting, I like yarn, and I love a good yarn.

Image result for a good yarn cover A Good Yarn is said to be “women’s literature.” I suppose women’s literature is a step above “chick lit,” but for the older set perhaps. From the title and from it’s association with women’s literature, I did not expect this book to be appealing to men.

A Good Yarn is the story of a young (30-year-old) woman who opens a yarn store on Blossom Street and the story unwinds with the people who surround her, especially the odd mix of characters who join her knitting group and subsequently form a friendship.  It is a pleasant story of relationships that grow.

Everything works out just wonderfully in this story. Every character enters with a life-changing type of problem and the story ends with nothing short of a wonderful life for one and for all. There even is a minister who provides the pathway to righteousness for more than one character. In one case, a woman desperately wanted a baby but even IVF failed her. Miraculously a baby is born to an unwed mother, a woman whose plan was to dispose of the newborn, but that baby instead finds a home with the desperate wannabe mom. Nobody – not the minister and not any of the God-fearing group – thought it was wrong for the birth mother to lie to the legal system and say that what she intended all along was for this woman (a stranger) to adopt her baby.

I do not call this “women’s literature.” I call it “inspirational” literature, a euphemism for religion in novel form, even with the lie. (Just what does that say about religion!)

If I were stuck in the bathroom with nothing to read, and a book by Debbie Macomber appeared, yes, I might read at least part of another book by this author. It is hard to think of any other reason.