Lent: 7 Things

1)The other day I was reading a blog normally dedicated to DIY and home-sewn topics. But the writer has twice, in my memory, written about her dietary lifestyle. The first time she declared herself to be a raw vegan. I wasn't interested enough to do any research about what that actually means, but I'm assuming it means vinegar, fruits, nuts and crunchy vegetables. A few weeks after that she wrote about purchasing a new set of pots and pans, which I found strange; what does she need to cook? More recently she wrote about a few small changes she's made to her diet.
Dear Reader, she's gone from vegan to having a small amount of grass fed butter (a term that still seems strange to me as butter doesn't have a mouth), and small amounts of grass fed beef. There are still a few other things she mentioned, like bullet-proof coffee that provoked a shudder as I was forced to remember Tibetan Tea complete with salt and butter. Ugh. Also that she's snacking on coconut oil and almond butter. I mean, is that coconut oil and almond butter mixed together to make a sandwich? Or does she just eat it out of the bowl?
Anyway, she mentioned that she and her husband purchased a cow share. As in they purchased a share of a live cow that will then be slaughtered and butchered and they get the meat. It's grass fed, and they know precisely where it originated.
This sounded like a mildly intriguing idea to me. Especially the "grass-fed" butter. I figured that had to taste amazing.
Then an art teacher was telling us about his amazing(ly involved) lifestyle. He and his wife make kale chips, this is how we started the conversation. Then he went on to describe how they order grain in bulk from an organic farmer in Georgia and mill it themselves, then use that to make bread. At one point he showed me a photo of the honey processing system they have.  In case you're wondering, he did confess to having some small aspirations of getting friends on the land they have to start a commune. "And then you'd tell your children that there are monsters in the woods and not to wear red," I joked. But there were two parts where I pricked up my ears. He talked about the steer that they buy and then have butchered. In the end, he stated, they were eating fillet Mignon for bout $3.50/pound. All I could think was, "I have got to get on this!" Then he gave the throw away line: "you know what's the best? When you get raw milk and skim of the fat. Pop it in your food processor with some salt and in 30 seconds you've made butter."
The upshot of this conversation is that I spent the last 3 days trying to find a dairy farm relatively close by that will sell me raw milk.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. The FDA will say that it's therefore full of bacteria that can make you terribly sick. Food nuts will say that therefore the beneficial enzymes and vitamins that are the whole point of drinking milk. I say I've heard of farm fresh milk tasting almost magical. One website describes it as tasting almost like melted vanilla ice cream.
The hitch is that it has almost no shelf life, and therefore cannot be sold in stores; one has to go to the cow, as it were.
The nearest dairy farm that is licenses to sell is Shunpike Farm about  half an hour away from me. That negates the whole green aspect, I think. Luckily a friend of mine reminded me that she works on a dairy farm, so I may get my hands on fresh creamed butter after all!
The beef share will have to wait until I'm in a position to get a chest freezer. But Dan says if we were to get grass fed beef locally he would eat it. I think his dad may just weep to see his son eating meat again (he's a butcher, and Dan is a vegetarian). However, he made this admission rather skeptically, as though he doesn't believe it's ever going to happen. He doesn't know my determination to finally eat meat without guilt.

2)I had my first soy cappuccino on Tuesday. It was definitely a new experience and one that I don't think I'm chomping at the bit to revisit. What I love about cappuccinos is the sharp espresso hiding under the creamy frothy milk. I think it's the one time that I drink whole milk. My soy cappuccino was so sweet! Just a big gulp of hot frothy vanilla flavoured soy milk. It wasn't bad tasting, just wasn't what I wanted from my coffee.

3)I can tell you what I will be taking a hiatus from once Lent's over, because we've been eating so freaking much of it! Peanut butter, for sho! Seriously, I have never ever in my life eaten so much peanut butter. It's on my toast, my bagels, and I cannot choke down rice cakes (which for some reason I only eat during Lent) without it. So that's me eating peanut butter about twice a day. I'm almost tempted to just make it myself. Apparently you only need to dump roasted peanuts of your flavour choice in the food processor. I wonder if that works for almonds, too?
Chinese food is another genre of food to give a hiatus. Not that we've been eating more of it than usual. But it will be nice to get some Mexican, or Italian food.

4)The closer it gets to Easter, the greater the temptation to eat something not Lent approved. I think this is aided by the amazing meal I enjoyed on St. Patrick's day. If you read my last seven Lenten musings you'll see my debate on the "special" dispensation for the green holiday. But if you go further back, you'll also read my scorn for the notion that Sundays don't count. Well, on Sunday, I confess: I enjoyed corned beef with a bourbon glaze, blackstrap molasses corn muffins, and then... Oh I got chills thinking of them: A small slice of Guinness Cake with cream cheese icing and a half sticky bun. God, they were above delicious, above divine if that's even possible.

5)In some way, actually, I am going to miss this diet. Okay, that does sound a little ridiculous, especially with all the fresh veggies and fruits that are on the horizon. As I said last time, it's not actually that hard to be a vegetarian. Alright, it is when going to someone else's house to eat because then you feel bad that they feel bad, or you feel a little like a 2nd class guest when they say, "oh, but you can eat the side dishes."
Just once more, I swear, I'm going to reiterate how much I miss cheese! When grocery shopping those gross jars of cheese dip seem to call my name. I don't know why those seem so much more appetising than, say, a wedge of brie. I can still make some insanely satisfying vegetarian dishes that would be so much more complete with a garnish of cheese. The kale and black bean enchiladas I made last night, for instance.  They were great, but they were definitely missing the cheese.

6)I did have my coffee after dinner on St. Patrick's day with milk and a tiny spoonful of sugar. People have told me that once they cut the sugar out of their coffee it tastes way too sweet when they put even a spoonful in. Two people told me on separate occasions that they spit the coffee out. I was actually looking forward to that, to really breaking my sugar chain. But I didn't spit out my coffee. I enjoyed it. Maybe it was too little sugar? I still am enjoying it black

7)9 more days to go! We can do this!


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