I still exist! News and updates.

17 Mar

School has been VERY stressful for the past couple of weeks!  I am sorry to abandon my heretofore very dedicated blogging endeavors, but between end-of-quarter stuff like exams/projects/redos and dealing with some minor medical scheduling issues, trying to keep the house cleanish, baking a cake installation (I promise to discuss that later!), and testing new recipes all the time, I just haven’t had the time or the energy.  Fortunately, I am now done, and look forward to not being tired and eating my meals in a civilized fashion, not wolfing down a meal that should be savored because twenty minutes is enough time for lunch in someone’s mind.

In any event, I have a huge backlog I will be publishing over break, and I am excited to announce some new sections!  Click to read more, since I didn’t want to clutter the page.

1. Food techniques!

Preamble:  Before I moved out and went to college, I went to two cooking classes.  Both of them had to do with meat, not because I was super into meat, but because I didn’t want to make myself sick and safe food handling, storage, and preparation practices are very important with meat (fun biology facts: If you’ve ever wondered why other meat-eating things eat meat so differently than humans, the comparative anatomy of digestive systems provides some interesting insights.  For example, the pH of human stomachs is much more basic than that of carnivores; this is why the same parasites that raw meat is vulnerable to bother carnivores much less than they do people–think trichinosis.  This is why humans are not “obligate carnivores,” i.e. animals like cats, whose digestive tracts are too short to break down plant matter.)  I should’ve known I was going to stop eating meat one day when I was supposed to cut up a whole chicken and was so overwhelmed by the smell and grossness of flesh that I felt faint and had to sit down.  (Fortunately, my very kind mother was attending the class with me and fended off the ladies who kept nagging, because they knew best, “Oh come on, ‘let’ her do it!”  Pretty sure that sitting down and feeling sick means you don’t want to do it.  I never got over being skeeved out by raw meat, and I always joke that one of the best parts of being veg*n is not handling the stuff.  Ick.)

But, preamble excluded, I’ve learned many cooking skills piecemeal–through Google or YouTube or other blogs or as-needed from recipes.  My knife skills used to be terrible, but now they are solid enough to dice a whole onion in a few minutes without crying.  Nevertheless, I don’t think that people should have to learn this way!  Since there aren’t a lot of lushly illustrated vegan cooking manuals (as opposed to cookbooks), I am going to try to chronicle a few key skills that you will use frequently–like chopping onions, which will be the first of this kind of post.

2. Editorial content.

Since I’m interested in argumentation and philosophy, and I don’t like to decide I think something is the case and never re-evaluate it, I’ll be writing some posts about the reasoning process behind veganism.  It should be noted that I will not be discussing nutritional reasons for a vegan diet in this segment; obviously they exist, but the benefits of a diet that is at least plant-centric have been well-documented both in popular books and movies and in scholarly work, and though I may do research on it later, there are probably better sources for that because I am not a doctor.  However, issues like the inherent privilege of an animal-centric diet, the numbers surrounding deforestation for livestock versus plant cultures, and the merit of personal prerogatives to eat a certain way are less explored, so I will write posts in that vein for this topic.  Issues of socializing are pretty frequently discussed, but I am just incredibly awkward anyway, so if I find a good way to deal with a vegan problem of that nature, I will probably also let you know–especially since dealing with social situations is not a problem-exists/solution-found one-to-one correspondence type of issue.

3. Research pieces!

This is probably where information on nutritional or biological research would go.  I’m interested in the science of nutrition, digestion, and food, and I’ve been told I write pretty well (obviously by very patient people who read my interminable writing), so I hope to contribute to this body of work in a way that is both enjoyable to read and rigorous in research, based strictly on reputable and/or scholarly sources.

So!  I’m back to writing.  I apologize for my absence.  Let me leave you with a few pictures of the many cakes I’ve baked recently!

Thumb-sized cupcake burgers!

A piece of chocolate and vanilla layer cake, connected with buttercream icing and topped with mousse and fondant.

Cupcake-sized test batch of chocolate cake, topped with chocolate curls and mousse

So, more posts soon!  Hooray!  In which you will learn to make happy meals made of dessert foods, and a fancy chocolate cake recipe, and  how to play nicely with onions.  See you tomorrow!


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