What about January? I could complain about the cold, a standard Canadian past time, except I find it familiar, and almost pleasant assuming the wind is to a minimum. I like the familiar crunch of my boots on the snow and the cement when the temperature gets to a certain low level. And I like knowing that in this hustle and bustle of a big city, there are other fellow prairie ex-pats living here that feel the same way.
On with the Thursday list:
Over the past two months I’ve been attempting to get a vegan cookbook for my mother and her birthday earlier this month, sure this would be easy, if not for the fact that it required more effort than just ordering it from amazon and being done with it. Jadłonomia – a Polish vegan cookbook, was not on amazon at all. It’s not in a local bookstore (at least not local to me), and I had to dust off some cabinets in my brain to read a few Polish websites to successfully place the order. And when there are technical difficulties in another language, things become extra fun.
Emails are exchanged, as I provide both English and Polish text, in hopes of being understood in one language or another – occasionally hearing nothing back, occasionally not being sure if people just don’t understand what I’m writing (in either language) but eventually, everything comes together. A fortuitous and almost serendipitous post and tip by a fellow fan on the Jadłonomia Facebook page leads me to a completely different website (still in Polish) but the order is successful and I get two copies. One for me, and one for my mom.
Success feels good. We got back into the city, and the book was waiting for us at the Post Office, and I managed to mail it off just in time for my mom’s birthday. She loves it. I love it.
After we pick up the box from the post office, JC and I go to Disgraceland for Brunch, and I bring one of the books in, and we sit drinking coffee and eating our meals and talk about the different Polish words and recipes and look at beautiful pictures. I feel nostalgic and excited to see a vegan AND Polish cookbook. I have it. It’s mine.
A few recipes are veganized (and/or modernized) traditional Polish dishes, like the gołabki zapiekane (which is baked cabbage rolls), kapusniak po indyjsku (which is a curried cabbage soup), krem z buraka (creamy beet soup), pierogi z soczewica (lentil perogies) some are just tasty recipes that just happen to be in Polish. I’m hoping to get the go ahead to share some of these recipes (translated) at some point, but until then, that’s all I’ve got.
Tuesdates this month have been fun, not because a ton of people are breaking down the doors to sit with me at Bloomers, but it’s nice to have a designated time with passive casual plans, with anyone that can make it. I want to do more of that, but I’m not sure how to approach it. I suspect there will be visits to the ROM involved as every time I go, I can bring along three other people for free.
Another thing that helps make Tuesdates great is the location, it feels so cozy. The food is great. Their hot chocolate is great. They’ve got wifi, comfortable chairs, and most importantly, they put up with my nonsense on a weekly basis. What more could I want?
Globe and Mail and the Vegan Mainstream
Yesterday the Globe & Mail ran a piece by Kat Tancock about the availability of vegan options at non-vegan restaurants in Toronto and beyond. One of the people that she interviewed for the piece was me. I think a lot of things have changed and improved in the last 16-17 years in terms of the availability of food out and about, and it has been very cool to be aware of that evolution as it happens. It was also promoted on the front cover.
Whether this has translated to actual lives saved – I don’t know. I can’t really say. I know statistics are flung around and turned into infographics with equivalences. But in reality, I don’t know. I hope it’s meaningful to more than just me. Places like Cedar Row, Wishing Well, and Woodstock are in the front line animal saving business, and for their compassion and activism I am grateful.
If you’re interested in going vegan and need some help please feel free to send me an email. You wont be the first person to reach out about this, and you probably wont be the last. I’m happy to help if I can. I’m working on putting together a collection of decent resources specifically for Toronto, but one of my favourite books is still the 30 Day Vegan Challenge from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Links & Other things
Starting tonight (January 15th) Sadie’s Diner And Juice Bar will be staying open until 2am from Thursday to Sunday every week. Along with over 20 beers and organic wine they’ll also be introducing a new cocktail menu.(rescheduled)
- West End Food Co-op has even bigger jars of the Kyopo Kitchen/Cater Toronto locally made vegan kimchi in the fridge. I’ve been told soups are coming soon too.
- Good discussion of Tempeh on the WAPO Weeknight Vegetarian column
- This touching tribute post to Coriander, a chicken, that died at Triangle Chance for All microsanctuary.
- Savour Toronto is looking for a vegan food tourguide.
- This brilliant blog about learning python and cooking vegan food – Coding with Knives.