I’ve been thinking a lot about plant based diets versus mostly local diets lately. I am interested, as I’ve mentioned before, in experimenting more with vegan cooking. I can’t see myself becoming vegan but I would like to eat a lot less animal based food. This is a serious challenge for me because cheese exists. One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of vegan cooking is that it uses a lot more tropical ingredients than I use in my cooking. Great sauces can be made using cashews. I LOVE cashews. I haven’t had a cashew in years because they only come from places like India. No one in the states grows them. (If I’m wrong, please correct me!). Coconut is huge in vegan cooking (also in other cooking, it’s just huge). My one consistent tropical splurge is avocados. I can’t live without them unless I’m forced to. A less frequent treat is coconut milk for curries and soups. I never use mangoes (cause I don’t like ‘em) or dried coconut or dates or bananas or pineapple. What bothers me is that most of the really enticing looking vegan dishes call for things I can’t get locally. I love a lot of those things (besides mangoes and papayas) but to me it’s important to eat as locally as I can without being fanatical.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about that. My mom is talking about wanting to go vegan for a year. I thought about joining her in this challenge. Except that I don’t believe in giving up honey and I can’t see myself insisting on eating vegan out or at friends’ houses where they aren’t also vegan. So right off the bat I’d be doing a bastardization of a vegan challenge. I haven’t decided how I feel about it. I plan to check out some vegan cookbooks for inspiration and to help make up my mind.
In other news around the farm house…spring cleaning took a break for the dread tax season. We’ve been done with taxes for two weeks but had to recover from the horrible discovery that we both need part time second jobs to pay our taxes off. Nice. But now that it’s well into April it’s time to pick up momentum in the spring cleaning department. I should probably get some actual cleaning done too. I’ve been concentrating on getting rid of stuff. I’m about 15 boxes lighter of stuff than I was in February when this all began. Not bad. It’s time for the next sweep.
What to focus on:
- The scary garage. We’ve got office stuff out there, tools, junk with no name, junk I’m too embarrassed to name, old bottles of garden sprays probably 3 years past expiration, and random crap. The garage is the one place I haven’t made a first pass at yet. I’m scared. May require beer.
- Second sweep through my closet. I got rid of two boxes of stuff but I think I can fill one more box before I’m done with it.
- Magazines. I have a few to get rid of. I don’t buy mags much these days but I have accumulated a number of them.
- Plastics in the kitchen. We have been slowly accumulating all glass containers for left overs and lunches. I haven’t yet cleaned out the plastics no longer in use.
- Random other kitchen stuff. There are some baking dishes I just never use. Some utensils and various other random things. Parts to equipment I no longer have. An old salad spinner without a lid. I know these things are in there. Why are they still in there?
Anyone else doing some spring cleaning? What are you clearing out? Any thoughts on vegan versus local eating? Please share!