k’s new and wonderful job is in evenston and i must admit it tickles me pink. ok so actually it brings out the high-schooler in me. evenston was the town my friends and i would go hang out in for lack of more productive things to do. it was far enough away from home (20min drive) to be exciting and yet not going all the way into the city. in fact, evenston is a pretty cute little town with lots of interesting restaurants and coffee shops and was a wonderful place to hang out in as a youngtser.
i hopped a train north to evenston after work one day last week and met k as he was getting off work. then i took him out to dinner at blind faith café. this was the first vegetarian restaurant i ever went too as a young fifteen year-old, newly vegetarian me. i have vivid recollections of reading the definitions at the bottom of their menu of tofu , seitan , and tempeh. i knew very little about these foods at this time.
needless to say, it has been years since i set a toe in blind faith. from what i remembered, the food was good but a bit on the hearty side and a little bland. how they have changed! they seem to have matured as i have and possess a bit more sophistication in their menu and flavor combos. our dinner consisted of split pea soup, roasted beat and caramelized pear salad ( both good but not mind blowing), kung Pao with baby bok coy (amazing), and peanut butter chocolate vegan cake ( double amazing!). i must apologize for the less then par quality of some of the images. k was a little embarrassed of me photographing all the food and asked that i not use a flash. i really needed a flash though and i won’t let him stop me next time!
going to blind faith got me thinking about when i became vegetarian. i was fifteen and my friend dianna carlson had a pamphlet from what must have been peta , and at that moment we decided to become vegetarians. it was such a trivial and nonchalant decision at the time and my mom was sure it was a phase that would last all of a month. It has been ten years and my decision has affected the course of the rest of my life. i am who i am and where i am today because of that little decision.
my moral, ethical, and political views and the way i live my life and the people i choose to surround myself with is all from this decision. it goes far beyond the fact that i do not eat meat or dairy products and do not wear fur or leather, affecting my entire view of the world. it affects how i treat people and everything else around me.
recently i e-mailed dianna (now living in arizona) to see if she remembered this. i was a little sad that she had no recollection of us becoming vegetarians together and is not one now. it goes to show how life’s moments can affect people so differently. things from our pasts that stick with us are funny and strange. i love dianna dearly and still consider her a dear friend and glad she was there when i made such an important change in my life.
i do not intend to make this blog an entire vegan rant, but there are a few issues i would like to touch upon. i invite further discussion from anyone that would like to have one with me.
i believe in sustainable farming practices and supporting local businesses even at a higher monetary cost. today’s american society is so far removed from the production of our food that we eat unknown items created in labs. a great movie to watch is food inc. i support the slow food movement. i like my food natural and chemical free. i also like all my body, bath, and household items this way.
i believe our current industrial farming practices are making people and the planet sick.
michael pollan is a god amongst men to me.
i am not a good american consumer. other then food, i buy very little. when needing to purchase things, do lots of research. objects need to meet certain standers for me in order to buy them… mainly vegan, organic, and fair labor; or i go to a thrift store.
i took some of my mom’s friends to karyn’s cooked one time. it was an interesting experience and opened up a lot of good dialogue. one of the ladies said to me “ so if I start thinking about the food i eat, then i have to start thinking about what’s in the air and my water too. it’s enough to drive oneself crazy!” i responded to her by saying that you start by making little changes and things start to come natural as new positive habits form.
please understand that i am not saying everyone has to live the same ways i choose to. i would just like all of us to question our habits and life styles every once in a while, think outside of ourselves and wonder if there is a more, social, environmentally, and ethically responsible alternative.
over the years my mother has been supportive of my vegitarianism and now veganisum. she has always kept soy milk in the fridge for when i come over and has been more than game to try any new vegan restaurant i suggest for lunch. she even indulges me by getting toufurky for thanksgiving. i always appreciate her support and have try not to take it for granted. however, i do not feel she understands why i eat the things i eat, or don’t, and live the way i live. they are hard things to understand. sometimes my mother feels i take things too far and stray too far from the norm. i say that i have not done so enough!