Tuesday, February 24, 2009

it's not so fun anymore

So while I am having fun eating foods I haven't eaten in 18 years and enjoying the taste of sausage, bacon, fish and chips, and Pop-Tarts (it has gelatin), the questions are back: Do I need to eat animals? Is my survival dependent upon it? Do I have choice in the matter? What is the value I place on the animal that died so I could indulge? How was this animal treated while it was alive? How was it killed? Am I willing to trade in my spiritual beliefs for momentary pleasures involving the death of a living creature? Is it worth it?

I remember saying many times that I would never eat meat again. And I know part of why I'm eating meat right now is about self-indulgence, resignation, and a challenge to my spiritual beliefs and the belief that I would never "fall" and never question or diverge from my own dogma. But, I don't think I can keep going down this road because it's becoming rapidly clear that eating meat means that I have to engage in hypocrisy. I don't like being a hypocrite if I can avoid it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coffee Time

This afternoon I went downstairs and picked up a package that the super was holding for me. I got my new coffeemaker! (That's a stock photo of it.) I've been really excited to get it for a few reasons: this is the coffeemaker that Chelc has and recommended and I have never owned a drip coffee machine.

When I went to SF for the West Coast Reunion, I was taken by Chelc's machine and the coffee was delicious (Yay Peet's!). I liked the "fuel gauge" and instead of having a carafe, there's an internal reservoir that keeps the coffee warm. To get the coffee, you press down on the lever. Cuteness and convenience planted the seed to get my own.

But yeah, I never owned a drip machine. Honestly, I used to look down my nose at it. I've always used a French press or a macchinetta for espresso. I love making coffee this way, but it's not quick and as a result, I'd find myself inconsistently making coffee and just picking up a cup at the local coffee shop. I mean, it got to the point where I rather put a jacket on than boil water, grind beans, pour, stir and steep and wait. And, as I got lazy, my freshly roasted beans got stale and unusable. So, I'm excited to get this machine because it will be easy to regularly make coffee. And to think how close I once was to going the route of home roasting and using a vacuum brewer (Which I may still get. They are super cool.)

After clearing up some counter space I cleaned the machine and then made two cups of coffee. It came out great. Tonight, I'm going to program it so I can wake up to the smell of coffee brewing. I think this is going to rekindle my coffee obsession!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rumspringa continues

Tonight I made this fantastic Tuscan white bean soup (didn't turn out white but green thanks to the leeks) and while it beyond delicious, I wonder, how much better would it be if I had cooked it with a ham bone?

So yeah, I still haven't returned to vegetarianism. Vegetarian rumspringa is what I'm calling it. What's weird is that I haven't ventured further than pork products and fish. Oh, I ate fish and chips and had some fish tacos. Both were a first. Why didn't anyone tell me that fried fish was so good? I don't want to eat cow and I never really liked chicken or turkey. A friend of a friend suggested I try lamb at this middle eastern restaurant in Brooklyn, but I 'd really prefer fresh, local meat from farms that treat their animals with respect and that pretty much means I have to go to a butcher shop and cook things myself.

I don't know how to cook meat, really. I remember making meatloaf for my parents once, but before I became a vegetarian either my mom or grandmother were cooking for me or else I was frying up tater tots or heating up Tostino's pizza. While I always baked, I didn't start seriously cooking until I became a vegetarian.

I need a guide!!

Ok, seriously, how fun could someone have with me? We could go to restaurants and have me try stuff they love, or we could cook and they get to watch my reaction. I would salivate at this opportunity if the shoe were on the other foot!

But anyway, I keep saying every week I'm going to cook a new recipe, since I have so many cookbooks. For the most part I do, but what ends up happening is that I try a recipe, like it, and then I change it up to make it mine and make that dish all the time until I'm sick of it. It ends up taking me a while to go through new recipes. But this time, I really am going to try and cook new things. The soup tonight was new and I'm glad I made it (and, it wasn't spicy).

I want to get a new, non-veg cookbook. Any suggestions?

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's three o'clock in the morning, dammit

Well, not right now it isn't but for the past week, I've been waking up at 3am every night. I'll wake up and be completely wide awake. The first few times it happened I'd lie there, staring at the ceiling, thinking away, or I'd toss and turn until I could fall asleep again. It would take me about an hour.

After the third time, I decided to do something instead of just lying there thinking and trying to force myself back to sleep. So, at 3am I have:
- Walked around, looked out the living room window.

- Tinkered with some song lyrics I've been working on adding:
this love won't leave
this heart still bleeds
i'm on my knees
begging you please
- Wrote and deleted two blog posts about waking up at 3am and about other careers I thought I'd be good at (arson investigator, private investigator, detective, etc).

- Played with the cats.

- Wrote down story scraps - sentences or paragraphs that don't really fit anywhere.

- Went up to the roof deck for some naked eye astronomy.

- And of course, been thinking and thinking about the things that keep waking me up.
While this has been... fun, I'd really like to sleep through the night.