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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Food and Books

Ugh, I am all confuseldly. This weather, the time, the sunlight, uggh. I've had a headache for the last two days straight and I'm really thrown for a loop. Some things to get my head on straight:
PPK mushroom hot pot!

                                          coconut milk edging its way across the terrain....

Yes, even though it was 60 degrees today. I added steamed broccoli, rice noodles, and chickpeas to my bowl after the basic broth was finished. It's delicious. Spicy and very flavorful - and I got to use the homemade broth! It was my first time using lemongrass and star anise, both of which made the broth smell fantastic. I also don't use coconut milk very often, even light coconut milk, and always forget how lovely it makes everything.

Also, Bakery Style Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza. I love that she uses regular ingredients that I almost always have on hand but the recipes are so not healthy. I know cookies aren't supposed to be and I should just deal with it but I can't help it! I subbed half applesauce for the oil and only used 1/2 c of sugar instead of 1 1/3 cups! That is a LOT of sugar, especially considering there are so many chips in the cookies. Sugar makes me bug out anyway.

They were a little cake-y but still good.

That was my day. The biggest accomplishment is that I finished The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams, are you guys proud of me? Have any of you read it? It was on my "to-read" list for a long time and I'm so happy to have finished it! It's definitely a critical theory book but I'm nerdy and totally get into that. It is very enlightening even to someone who already identifies as a feminist and a vegan. Adams makes some moving points about oppression, silence, and self-hating.
One of my favorite quotations from the book: "Vegetarianism is an act of the imagination. It reflects an ability to imagine alternatives to the texts of meat." That is, vegetarianism is not an idealist, lost cause. It is practical and practicable. It is so easy and at the same time, so powerful!
I'm deeply influenced by the ethos of Riot Grrrl and I find a lot of similarities between that feminist-punk movement and the vegan community. Riot Grrrls really demonstrated the classic feminist phrase, "the personal is political." As a movement of mostly younger females who had a small sphere of influence, they reacted however they could manage on limited agency, funds, and visibility. The power we have over what we choose to put into (and onto) our bodies is our right. If we choose to reject eating meat and the violent culture it epitomizes, that is a statement no less important than voting or going to a political rally or march. It is a form of protest and for many of us, leads to deeper involvement in political movements or our actual communities. And if it doesn't, that's fine too.
Anyway. I had finished Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus before Sexual Politics of Meat, so there's a lot of thinking and conflation going on in my head right now. So what are YOU reading?


  1. Love your food today, Maud! I would have done the same with adding less sugar to those cookies - 1 1/3 cups sounds way overboard to me!

    I'm really into the Riot Grrrl movement and I agree that there are a lot of similarities between that and the big wave of veganism that we are seeing today. I'll have to check out that book Girls to the Front, it'd definitely be something I would like to read!

  2. That stinks that you have a 2 day headache. I used to get 3 day migraines- any level of head pain is so draining. :(

    The hot pot looks soooo good, as do the cookies. I would love to have one of those in my hands right now.....

    Do you have a Goodreads account? I love seeing what others are reading and have found several good books that way. I haven't read any of the ones you mentioned but should. They sound like something I'd like.

    I hope you feel better real soon!!

  3. What a great food day! Those cookies look huge and gooey and comforting! I agree about the sugar, that's a lot!

    That book sounds really interesting, and yes I'm proud of you for finishing it ;) I definitely want to check it out, I was big into critical theory in grad school. I've been really interested in feminism recently based on what I've seen as I get more interested in MMA and have become witness to the blatant inequality that women experience in terms of pay, exposure and opportunity. Needless to say, you get more opportunities when you are attractive. I know it isn't the same but it has made me more aware and now I'm incredibly curious to read these books because you provide really insightful comments and I think it would definitely be enlightening for me as well. Really great post!

  4. Blame the headache on the barometric pressure! Actually, I don't know what kind of weather you're having - it's going to be in the upper 60s and low 70s this week (could break a record) so a lot of people have been dealing with allergies earlier than usual. Anyway, I hope you feel better!

    Yum and yum! Spicy, savory, sweet - my three favorite tastes, and you've hit them all! I'll be checking out that first recipe from PPK.

    The books you mention sound interesting! I tend to go through phases of strictly non-fiction or fiction, and am currently in the latter. I finished up _The Shadow of the Wind_ (which was FANTASTIC, if you love literature and appreciate the art of writing, this is a must read). In the middle of last week I started _Wuthering Heights_, as I can't believe I've never read it. I'll probably finish by the end of this week. Maybe now I'll start a "non-fiction" phase!

  5. The coconut stew/curry looks fantastic...I'm with you; I don't eat coconut milk too often, but it is such a yummy treat from time to time. Those cookies look great too! I'm with you on adding less sugar; most baked goods/sweet things are way too sweet for my tastes anyway, I think you can taste the flavors much better when sugar isn't overriding everything. I'm sure the applesauce made them nice and moist too.

    Those books sound interesting. I need to read so much more than I am doing at the moment...I go through phases with reading. I'm currently making my way through Healthy at 100 by John Robbins, which has been interesting so far.

  6. I for one do not think you should've used the precious homemade broth for a Thai Food dish. The broth should've been saved for something simpler to really let it shine through.

    Additionally, 1/2 cup of sugar is not that much IMO.

    Finally, the last thing I read was the owners manual on how to reset the clock in my car.

  7. Isobelle, I'm working on an essay about Riot Grrrl and veganism (well, not working very hard) but I think there are a lot of parallels! It's pretty cool.

    molly, I do have a goodreads but I rarely update it. How do I find you on there? Actually, lately I've mostly been keeping track on my books on a tumblr account,

    VAVA, yeah I majored in women and gender studies in literature in college so there was a LOT of theory; I love the stuff. I didn't realize you went to grad school! major kudos! I'm trying to go back to school for a masters but I'm being really lazy about it, ha. Feminism is a big interest of mine and it's so horrifyingly necessary to pay attention even in this day and age when so many people insist we've come so far. There are a lot of books I could recommend if yr interested in learning more.

    Ingrid, maybe that makes sense. The weather has been so weird lately. I usually like to follow up a fiction book with non-fiction that is somehow still related... I've never read Wuthering Heights either! But I HAVE listened to the Kate Bush song a million times :)

    Rose, it was delicious! I ate it today with added spinach and parsley and the herbs made it even nicer. Definitely with you on sugar detracting from the real flavors. I've heard good things about the John Robbins book! I'll add it to the list.

    Shen, yr probably right but I'm not sure I'll ever use the broth otherwise. Plus I didn't want it to be too salty since the recipe calls for soy sauce. It made it a nice color if nothing else. 1/2 cup of sugar is fine but 1 1/3 cups IS!
    The manual sounds thrilling - I'll have to get my hands on a copy.

  8. I always try to make cookies and other treats healthier too, probably because I am not a once a week or month treat person, it's a daily or more often thing, so I have to make it more nutritious. Plus I feel sick from too much sugar or certain oils and I want to enjoy it, not be sick! So I understand.

    I loved that book when I first read it but feel the need to read it again as it's been over a decade now.

  9. Yup, I went to the University of Washington in Seattle for communication. LOTS of theory involved there too. I was actually miserable there so I pushed myself to graduate in a year and a half. I love learning but that was not a good environment for me...the school not the city. The city was great!

    I am definitely going to have to check out the books in this post and then I would love some recommendations! Thanks!

  10. Ha ha, I do the same thing with baking. Sometimes I just can't believe the quantities of sugar, but then my sweet tooth is probably a lot less pronounced than the common folk. I usually cut the sugar by half or so, and I find that's perfect.

    As for the Sexual Politics of Meat, I tried reading that five years ago or so, but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I was too young for something so technical and heavy. But go you for getting through it! I tend to read multiple books at the same time - right now I'm reading a book on mysticism, a thick music history test (an exam is around the corner), and 1984 for the zillionth time. Yay books!

  11. I love coconut milk, and the cookies look great! I never heard of that book, possibly at present I am too engrossed in my kids' books :-).


  12. Ooo, I am not reading anything so politically riveting right now. Just finished (again) Edge of Eternity by Randy Alcorn, reading (again) The Hobbit, and reading Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - supposed to be the first horror novel ever written. The hot pot looks gooooood!

  13. Bitt, I am totally the same way. I need at LEAST one sweet to end the day, so, yes, I'd like it to be healthy-ish.

    VAVA, lucky you. Seattle is on my wishlist.

    Allysia, I don't know how people eat that much sugar! It makes me feel so sick. Yuck. I didn't really find the Sexual Politics of meat too technical or heavy. She uses a lot of literary terminology but it's kind of fun, haha. You should give it another try once yr finished with yr other zillion books! I used to read multiple books but I started getting too confused, ha.

    Alessandra, that makes sense. Kids books are actually pretty fun.

    Blessed mama, never heard of Randy Alcorn but yes, I've always wanted to read Woman in White! Hope yr enjoying it.


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