Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Still There? I'm Back!...

where the heck was I?!

Well, I took a week or so in July to get ready for a family vacation. We went back to visit our relatives in Newfoundland. HUGE trip with two kidlets. Day-long travel by plane, and a 4 1/2 hour time zone change. Here you can see from the maps:

This is the province of British Columbia highlighted in red. We live on the the south-western edge in the Vancouver area - bottom left in the photo (on the mainland, not the island).

Highlighted in red in below pic is where we went - Newfoundland and Labrador, to St. John's exactly - the capital city. Yup, we pretty much went from one end of Canada to the other!

St. John's is the oldest (and most easternly) city in North America. You can read more here about St. John's, and see that it is located on the very northeast point of the island of Newfoundland. Get there by plane or boat. Being so far out in the Atlantic Ocean, the weather in St. John's can vary much in one day, and the winds... oh the winds can be bitter cold. I don't care for wind, esp cold wind, so that was always a gripe of mine living there - as well as the snow and rain and drizzle. (sorry, I'm a fair weather gal!) But really, when the sun is shining, it is one beautiful place to be. St. John's brims with heritage and historical charm. You often hear how Newfoundlanders are "so friendly". Very true.

I didn't do much cooking or work on my book in St. John's. Well, it was vacation after all!! I did make some cookies and brownies for our family get-togethers. When I said good-bye to my youngest sister, I gave her a little pack of those fudgy brownies for the road (she had a long drive home). I later got an e-mail from her with this:

Love it! She is now gathering the ingredients to bake up her own. Yes, vegan brownie mission accomplished!! Now, on to my next assignment: MI2 - Vegan Cookies. (as if I haven't already been tackling THAT one!)

Anyhow, since I had some fun times from our family reunions, here are a couple of pics.

This is from my family's get together at my big sis's house. I have five sisters. Yes, six girls in our family! Growing up we had 3 to a bedroom - and ONE bathroom for us all! Lots of squabbles, squealing, scratching, pinching, fighting over clothes and you name it!! But also lots of fun times and laughter, and good memories. My mom is third from the left. She is a very strong woman, and still so beautiful in her mid-late 60's (and after having six kids - yikes)!!

I loved spending time with our family, we don't get together often. Three sisters live in Newfoundland, one lives in BC close to me (yay!), and another lives in Nova Scotia and wasn't able to get back home this year. Kind of a bummer since we rarely get this many of us together and it would have been cool to do so this year and get some photos. She is one of the two blondes in the family - she thought she was adopted for years until the baby sister (now grown up & on the far left) arrived with light hair!! Funny! In this pic, my youngest sis said "do the Paris Hilton pose guys" - um, she's the only one that pulled that off, the rest of us just looked lame trying to do it!

Anyhow... check out the outfits, people! This was NOT planned. How color coordinated is my family? Well, except me - leave it to the freaky vegan to not 'blend in'! :)

Here is another of just us sisters. See this "wind-blown" effect? - Those Newfoundland winds are great for photo ops - ha!

...and, a pic of me and my honny. This is part of a photo from his family's reunion. He didn't want me to put his pic up, he hates having his photo anywhere. Too bad, hon! xo :)

On our way back from Newfoundland, we got caught up in security with the new restrictions of no liquids on flight, etc. Now, this was a concern for me because we were going to be on the plane for 4+ hours from St. John's, and then another 5+ hours from Toronto to Vancouver. Our 21 month old drinks soy/rice milks. On the way to St. John's I had packed her sippy cups - along with a days' worth of food for us all because there is NOTHING to eat on those planes for vegans! (And what food they DO have is pure junk).

Anyhow, on the way home I decided to pick up some small juice-box type soy milks that were sealed and in shrink wrap. I bought juice boxes for our older girl as well. They took the juice boxes, and we had to basically fight to keep our soy milks. We explained that our baby had dairy allergies and could not drink milk on the plane. This was her fluids for the day. They saw that as "essential" and allowed it. I was surprised (but grateful!) that they let me take on all the sandwiches, fruit, and snacks I had. Now, I knew they didn't have soy milk on the flight because on our flight to St. John's I had a conversation with a flight attendant that went like this:

FA: Can I get you something to drink?
Me: Do you have any soy or rice milks?
((Okay, I knew they wouldn't have rice milks, but soy stood a chance))
FA: No, sorry, all we have is 2% milk.
Me: Oh, too bad.
FA: ((In an upbeat tone, trying to bring some humor into a long flight)) Yeah, just 2% milk. I can add some water to it and make it 1%... and then you can just sip from the top and make it skim!
Me: No, we don't drink any part of the cow, thanks.

Now, I appreciated his humor, and trying to keep things light with passengers. But, WHY don't they have soy milk?? In these days of dairy allergies?? Oh, they have every variety of pop and - diet pop (aka poison - pls don't drink it guys, if you still are - or eat/drink anything with aspartame) - on that flight, and also coffee, tea, juices, and yes, alcohol for $$. It seems to me that if these new restrictions are going to hold and we cannot bring on our own drinks, then they are going to have to accommodate more dietary needs. They need to offer non-dairy milks to children. I don't know what we would have done without those three soy milks for our 21 month old. She drank all of them through the flights - plus water! Maybe these restrictions will force the airlines to make changes to their snack and drink offerings with healthier and vegan choices. Let's hope!

One final word to this very long post (well, it's been a while, after all)!! Thank you to all of you that e-mailed/commented through my break. I really appreciate your feedback and encouraging e-mails, and also your awesome words about my recipes. Also, I know some of you have been blogging about my recipes (and cookies!), and I thank you - very much - for that!

It is SO cool to see a fabu post about my cookies and other recipes. Thank you. I want you to know though, that if you try out some of my recipes and don't like them - that's okay. I don't expect people to love everything I have in my books. We all have different tastes/preferences, and so don't feel bad saying so on your blog if you didn't really dig something. I may resist (but it will be SO hard) commenting on all of your blogs as much as I have. Only because I want you to feel free to write about your recipe/cooking experiences, and not be concerned thinking I may read something about a recipe of mine that you didn't much like. It's okay... while I love to see the good stuff, I can also take the not-so-good stuff (alright, in small quantities I can take it... just be sure to write about the great stuff too, okay??!!! ha)!

Now, didn't I mention a giveaway?? I know you are reading on looking for this... hold tight folks, just another wee bit until I get a food pic up and I'm back in my blogging groove! Stay tuned!

Thanks you guys... you've been truly awesome through my break! :)


raising_kahne said...

ohh, you love just torturing us that little "just wait a little bit for the surprise giveaway.." dont you?! haha. It looks like you had an awesome time with your family! Are you the only vegan among them?

Im with you on the deal with the flight foods. I guess they just try to buy the cheapest things they can buy, but I really think they'd be in better buisness if they started getting foods that met others needs. I mean, hello, Ive seen more people with food allergies now than I ever have! My aunt just found out she's lactose intolerant, after 40 plus years of living!

Im glad you had a relaxing trip, now you can go back to being super-mom, super-wife, veggie-hero, and all those other things that make your life awesome(and a little hectic sometimes im sure!) We're all glad you're back!

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Welcome back! I'm sure it was great to spend some time with family.

Dang, you're a sharp dresser! I think I need to do some shopping.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Dreena! I have certainly missed you. I go to St John's every year with my boyfriend for xmas. I love it...but I agree with you, the winds are incredible. You can experience all 4 seasons in one day.

Gosh, you and all your sisters are goregous!!! Good genes going on there!

madeinalaska said...

hello.. i am new to the blog world but, have been cooking up a storm from vive! Love It! Love it so much I ordered Everyday Vegan last week! I can't wait. welcome back you have a lovely family..

Anonymous said...

Yeah! You're finally back!

Sounds like you had a great time with your family... Talk about the "pretty people!"

It's almost time for me to move on to another Dreena Cookbook as Vive is getting worn out and stained and all sorts of lovely things. And seriously... if I had something bad to say, I would... I just... haven't found a recipe i haven't loved yet!


Danielle D. said...

Welcome back Dreena! I've missed your posts.

Amy said...

Well, I'm glad you're back! What a trip! Since you have been gone, I made the lemon-herb tofu, looking forward to trying it mashed as leftovers. But, what leftovers? My family hoovered it up. Next time, I'll make two packages. Also made the fudgy brownies. I think I baked them too long, they seemed a little dry. And the cannelini bean yam hummus, finally. What a nice change from regular hummus. Really, I'm looking forward to colder weather so I can start making stews again. Too hot for all that still.

maybepigscanfly said...

Welcome back Dreena. I'm glad that you had some good vacations with your family. You and your sisters (plus mom) are so cute together. I know how great family can be- (I just finished summer vacation at home and am now back at school without the fam.). I can't wait to see all your new food posts as I've been missing them greatly. Also, good luck with finishing up the next book!


Sweet Pea said...

Saint Dreena! You must be a saint if you traveled with 2 children on a long flight. Oh my!
It's unfortunate that they don't allow alternative drink choices on (especially long) flights.
I love how your family wore the same colours (except you but maybe those aren't your fave colours). Families are funny that way. My siblings and I had a family portrait done one year and we all showed up wearing various shades of brown!
And I'm certainly enjoying the pregnancy TLC.

Leonie said...


I am from The Netherlands (europe)and I was wondering if anyone can give me the e-mail adress of Dreena, her website doesn't seem to work, and I would like to ask her a question!!


Kourtney said...

Soy milk on flights would be great. I have a suggestion if you're worried you won't be able to bring soy milk in future: Bring an empty bottle (I use a lexan bottle) and some soy milk powder. They will let you take an empty bottle on a flight, and if you ask a flight attendant, they'll fill it for you.s

Mia said...

Welcome back!!! Now I am in the mood to make brownies too.

And I have to agree that the airlines are going to have to do something about those of us with dairy allergies. The airlines leave much to be desired with their food and drink choices offered for those of us who do not fit their mainstrea eating habits.

Last time I flew, I made sure that I ordered the veggie meal and I had the travel agent make a special note to not include strawberries with it. The meal I received had strawberries on it. I got a really strange look when I had to refuse it. The flight attendent told me to just remove the strawberries. She just didn't understand that I am highly allergic to them and anything the berries had touched was a potential for an allergic reaction.

Now you need to get back to cooking/

Anonymous said...

Oh! Call ahead!

I make dietary arrangements as soon as I book the flight - my sister, who cannot eat wheat gluten, coupled with me the vegan makes for crazy times on airplanes, especially considering our parents live in africa and flights are two day long ventures...

We call the airlines, explain our dietary needs and ask for either a vegan option (yet to happen!) or ask what we need to do in order to make the flight more comfortable.

The are pretty accomadating, especially if you call first, get their early to have things screened, and on one ocassion, the flight attendent took our carry-on of food and tucked it away in front but still let us get what we wanted when we needed it.

Just a heads up if you need to fly again...

EatPeacePlease said...

Dreena, I'm really happy to see you back and (even though you told me this via email), it's good to hear you and your family had a great time even though the travel was tiresome.

This whole non-liquids business needs to have other options, I agree. Nevermind that, they should have dairy-free in the first place. That conversation you had was ridiculous (drink from the top, that's actually the part they skim off of cows milk, the fat rises to the top), so essentially she was telling you to drink the fat of the cows milk. Gross. They really need soy/nut/rice-milks everywhere, even in the sky. For me, I just sleep through the entire plane ride whether it is 1 hour or 10 hours, and forget the food.

I really like the photos of you and your family and it makes the photo more interesting that you stick out. I am the "freaky vegan that sticks out" in the family too! In many ways. I'm glad you're back and I don't have to keep seeing those amazingly awesome looking cookies that I can't bake. I'm looking forward to what goodies you have next (not the contest per se, just the food pics).

Michelle said...

welcome back dreena :)

Danielle said...

Welcome back, Dreena. I think the no-liquids bit is insane, and I'm waiting for the airlines to start screaming about profit margins (which the Repugnants will understand). I agree that there should be healthier options on planes, but I tend to order ginger ale simply because I get really queasy if there's turbulence.

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you had a nice trip!!

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

I just had to laugh, hearing the airplane story, because I too have run into the food on an airplane problem, among others. I was told I had to order it ahead of time (next time, I will know better!), of course.

Other times, I have been at conferences, and they have these great boxed meals but they are all salads with some sort of meat on top. If I could bear to scrape the meat off (which sometimes I can), all I have left is lettuce! That is NOT a meal, nevermind vegan.

I was at the beach this week and every time we ate out there were little other options than house salads (lettuce and cucumbers) and baked potatoes (are you sure you don't want sour cream or butter on that?)! What works for me (at least here in the US) is to tell them I "can't have dairy" and at least the restaurants are very, very careful. The airlines have years to go!

Another conference lunch did not have anything veggie, but they grilled up a huge sandwich of very, very greasy veggies with tons of cheese on white bread (I was only a vegetarian at that time). I had a huge stomach ache. :(

On the bright side, Dreena, I did make your Coconut Lime cookies again to more rave reviews! They are so light and perfect for summer! Your oat bars were another lifesaver for me on our road trips. So much healthier than storebought ones!

Anonymous said...

Hooray! You're back. What a weird coincidence. I just made your Peanut Better Cookies today. I like to make them with a modified version of this spiced walnut recipe I got from the winning recipe of a cookie contest Emiril had.

1 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp Chinese chile oil
1/2 cup finely diced walnuts
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unrefined sugar

In a small skillet; add the canola oil and chile oil, heat on the range until sizzling. Add the walnuts, and toss for a couple minutes until golden brown. Add the cayenne, ginger, and nutmeg. Continue to toss for another 1. Finally add the sugar to soak in all the goodness at the bottom of the pan. (I then put them onto paper towels to absorb any extra oil.)

Add these walnuts with one teaspoon of chili oil and 1/8 tsp cayenne to the wet ingredients before incorporating the dry.

It makes them very different and memorable.

Glad you had a wonderful time with your family. It's too bad your other sister couldn't join you.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! You're back. What a weird coincidence. I just made your Peanut Better Cookies today. I like to make them with a modified version of this spiced walnut recipe I got from the winning recipe of a cookie contest Emiril had.

1 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp Chinese chile oil
1/2 cup finely diced walnuts
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unrefined sugar

In a small skillet; add the canola oil and chile oil, heat on the range until sizzling. Add the walnuts, and toss for a couple minutes until golden brown. Add the cayenne, ginger, and nutmeg. Continue to toss for another 1. Finally add the sugar to soak in all the goodness at the bottom of the pan. (I then put them onto paper towels to absorb any extra oil.)

Add these walnuts with one teaspoon of chili oil and 1/8 tsp cayenne to the wet ingredients before incorporating the dry.

It makes them very different and memorable.

Glad you had a wonderful time with your family. It's too bad your other sister couldn't join you.

Julie said...

YAY! You're back. I have missed your posts oh so much!! Glad to hear you had a good vacation. You have such a lovely looking family, including the hubbie. :)

Well, I can't wait for more food posts and pics...and ofcourse the contest.

Laine said...

Wow welcome back, I had missed your posts (yeah even though I'm the suckiest commenter in the world..), great to see you had a lot of fun on your trip!
I agree, I'm still surprised how few dairy-free options are available even in general when you look at how many people have problems with dairy allergies and such.
And to echo the other posts, you have such an awesome looking family. and yeah your mom definitely doesn't look like she's in her 60's!
Yay, can't wait to see more posts from you again :P

Carrie™ said...

Holy doodle Dreena! I didn't realize you were from The Rock. I grew up in Fredericton. Ever been? It's a very nice place & like it, but don't know if I could live there full-time anymore. (maybe when I retire) My mom & dad still live in F'ton and the kids have scattered (like your family). I have one sister left in Fredericton, one in Northern NB, one in BC, a brother in Halifax, a brother in Japan and me in Ontario. It's been a while since we were all home together, but when we are, what a blast. Sounds like you had a great time with your family as well.
Flying has become more of a hassle than ever! I can't believe they were giving you a hard time about pre-packaged drinks. The anonymous poster had some good advice about calling ahead. I'll do that next time. I can't imagine flying for such a long time with 2 small children. I get cranky when I'm stuck on a plane for hours.
Glad to have you back!!

raising_kahne said...

Dreena, I made your orange poppy seed muffins last night, and oh-my-goodness, they are soo good! Not like a dessert muffin, but a moist, soft, melt in your mouth yumminess! I just used spelt instead of barley, and they are great!

Tina K said...

YAY!! You are back!! I hope you had a relaxing getaway and are feeling refreshed to get back into your groove. I am a teacher and have to admit I am ready to go back now. I miss all the kids!! I am in dire need of some Dreena inspiration as my cooking has been lazy and uninteresting!

springsandwells said...

welcome back... nice to see and hear about your fun trip.

dayler said...

That's HILARIOUS with the outfits! And then your colored font! you're too cute. and how sweet are you to reply to EVERYBODY!

and, p.s., how hot is MOM???

Dreena said...

Guys, thank you again... you are all so kind and sweet - what a daily dose of goodness I get here! :)

Savanna, I'm just a little evil with the contests! :) Yes, I am the only vegan in my family. My youngest sister eats mostly vegetarian but they eat fish and cheese/eggs. My sister that lives out here also eats primarily a vegan diet, but eats fish and sometimes and eggs. Thanks for those kind words... I certainly don't see myself as a super-mom or wife or anything like that, but thanks. :)

Hi Crystal! omg, I don't think I'm that much of a sharp dresser, but thanks! I was talking with my sisters about how I have everything so "practical" - t's, tanks, jeans, capris (love capris), but it works for my life with the girls!

Hey Megan... okay, you are a brave one going back there every year during the winter!! And yes, 4 seasons in a day is so accurate - even this trip we had days that were sunny then cold/cloudy, back to sunny, etc the whole day. It is very unique! Aww, you're too kind - my sisters will love to hear that (yeah, me too!) esp as we are all "gettin' older"! ha!

Hi madeinalaska, nice to see you - welcome to this incredible world of blogging! Yay that you're lovin' Vive!!! Thanks :) pls e-mail/comment if you ever need help with anything, and I appreciate your good words!

Hey pure zuke! It's good to 'be back'! Thank you for those compliments, far too kind. :) I'm sure you will come across something that isn't your 'thing', but I'm certainly pleased that you are liking everything so far!!! You have been cooking like crazy it seems, and sharing with your parents - how great! Thanks for your support and exuberance for my recipes... :)

Thanks Danielle!

Hey Amy... woohoo to tofu!! Glad you enjoyed - er - hoovered it! Yeah, the brownies may not look fully cooked when you pull them out at around 25 minutes, but they continue to cook some while cooling, and the fudginess comes partly from not baking them too long (even the edges aren't as fudgy as the centre because of that extra baking/heat around the edge). I am looking forward to more stews too - though it hasn't been too hot here that I can actually make them now!

Sweet pea, I SHOULD have been sainted after that flight, believe me!!! The 21 month old didn't nap more than 20 minutes each way, either - yikes! We did a lot of toy juggling, snack giving, talking/reading - it was totally exhausting! But, we got there and home safe and that's all that really matters. I love the story about the shades of brown! I actually love the colors of the aqua and green my family was wearing - but, I just wasn't 'with it' that day!

Hi Leonie, I hope you have received my e-mail back and the tips have helped you. :)

Kourtney, that's a great tip. I would have to test my girls on the powder first, since we've never tried it before. Certainly much lighter to tote as well!!! Thanks!

Hi Mia, gosh, that's tricky with the strawberry allergy. Sometimes they are even put on the side as a garnish. We used to order veggie meals, but now on our Air Canada flights, you can't order any meals at all, they just have on-flight snacks/sandwiches that are mostly junk. Too bad, I used to actually like their strict vegetarian meals!

Hi anonymous... thanks for the note. We used to always preorder our meals but now the major airline in Canada - Air Canada - does not provide meals and so we cannot order the vegan meals. Believe me, we would have!! I used to enjoy them, and it meant not having to pack so much stuff. Though, if our connecting flight was missed with delays, we would sometimes lose out on our meals. But now, the only things they have on their 'menu' are baby carrots with ranch dip (ugh), apple slices with caramel dip (most likely NOT vegan), and a vegetarian sub - which I can only guess has cheese or mayo on it. I'm hoping they will change their meal service again, but then, we won't be flying again for a VERY long time anyhow - too tough doing long flights with them young. But your suggestion of calling ahead just to inform them of our dietary needs and so they give less hassle with the food - never thought of that - great idea... thanks!

Hey Leslie!! It's great to be back and 'chat' with everyone again. I hope you are doing a little better, are you? I will have cookies up again soon, so watch out!! (oh, and I wish we *could* have napped on the plane - maybe if our girls napped - but they don't nap out of their beds - doh!)

Hey, thanks Michelle. :)

Hi Danielle, I know, the fizzy stuff helps a bit on planes. I go with club soda with lemon juice at times - esp if they don't have bottled water!

Thank you Amy... we had a nice time, but it is much nicer to be home again. :)

Peace,love,veganism... just picturing trying to pick meat off a salad - ewww, poor you! (ever try to pick grated cheese off??!) I agree, telling people you 'can't' eat dairy is more accepted than you choose not to. Too bad, but sometimes it's the only way to ensure your food isn't sprinkled with cheese of some sort. Oh, I'm so pleased you liked the cookies and oat bars!!! Thanks for the feedback. :)

Thanks Vivacious!! ... wow, that adaptation sounds like it has some kick! Good kick! Thanks for sharing it, I will have to give it a run sometime. I love spiced up nuts and such, and the idea of adding them to cookies is brilliant, my dear! Awesome. :)

Hiya Julie!! Thanks so much (and I think hubby's a handsome bloke too! :) You have been doing lots of cooking over the summer too it looks like!! Look forward to seeing more of your cookin' too!

Thanks Laine! I know, it surprised me with all the dairy allergies - very 'behind the times' I thought. Yes, I hope I inherit my mom's good skin genes in my later years!! oh, btw, not sucky, not at all!... :)

Yes bye, Carrie, I'm from Newfoundland! :) Born and raised in St. John's - have been in BC about 8 years now. AND, YES, I actually finished my Commerce degree at UNB in Fredericton!!! Can you believe what a small world we live in?! Hubby and I both finished our university there and we have very fond memories of Fredericton. The university is fabulous there and a lovely campus. We have a print of Waterloo Row hanging in our living room!!! We could have bumped into each other one day years ago and never have known that we would be blogging buddies now! Wow, your family is REALLY spread out. That's quite tough. At least we are all still in the same country! Flying is just brutal with little kids. We had 4 hours to TO from St. John's, then another 5 to Vancouver from TO. Yeah, like kids want to be sitting in chairs for that long! Plus, our girls didn't nap (well, unless you call 20 minutes a decent nap - not me!), and so it was just entertain and keep happy. Thankfully we brought 1 car seat, so we could buckle the 21 month old in the seat... I would have gone crazy trying to appease her otherwise. She is a mover and a shaker!!! :)

Awesome, Savanna... I'm so glad you liked those! I often interchange barley/spelt - good idea to do so! :)

Hi Tina K! Thanks, that's so nice of you! I think that's adorable that you are missing teaching so much. I bet you are an amazing teacher and the kids must miss you too! Oh, and my cooking can be quite uninspired at times too - trust me!

Thanks springsandwells... nice to be back too! :)

Dreena said...

Hey Dayle!! (to all of you bloggers, this is my lil' sis - the one I mentioned, the baby blonde!) Well, now you know I was always the sweet sister, right? - okay, you're pretty close too but we won't talk about the rest of them - ha! Mom should read all these lovely comments about her - oh, and you do remember the vegetable man, right?! He always thought she was the best thing since turnip!! Let's hope we get her good skin genes. :) Talk soon.. xo!

cherios said...

Hi there!

First time commentor, but a big fan of your blog/books.

I'm flying international for the first time next month since becoming veggie, and I've had a time trying to get a vegan meal ordered! They keep saying - "what do you want then?". Not Air Canada though. I dunno what I'm going to do if I can't get the veggie meal ordered - can I even bring peanut butter and crackers? lol

I DID actually fly Air Canada to Halifax last month, and they had a pretty good veggie wrap that I'm pretty sure was vegan. Grilled veggie's with hummus on a pita. It wasn't bad at all!

Carrie™ said...

Dreena. GET OUT!! You're kidding me! A picture of Waterloo Row?? I LIVED ON WATERLOO ROW FOR 18 YEARS!! Crap! That is just too freaky. I spent much time at the university, so maybe we did bump into each other. I also liked to walk/jog "The Green". My very first job in high school (FHS!!) was working at a health food store on Regent St. that a friend of mine owned with his mother. I made a whole whopping $3 an hour. I then worked at that convenience store on University Ave. down from the university. A lot of students came in there. Maybe you or your husband did & know the places I'm talking about.
Jim had never been to Fredericton, so we went for a vacation about 3 years ago. That was the first time I'd been home in about 5 or 6 years. I noticed a lot of things were different...but a lot the same. I took him down to the farmer's market on George St. which is where I discovered Elizabeth Demerson and her amazing pottery. OK, this is just getting too rambly and way off subject. I'm just tickled that you know the places I'm mentioning. hehe! Rest up and when you're back blogging, I have a couple of posts to put up directed to you. I've been saving them for your return.

laura jesser said...

I'm glad you had a great vacation! What a bummer about the plane ride though--it amazes me that you can't get dairy-free milk. How ridiculous!

I'm Laura, by the way. I became a vegan while you were on vacation, and I've been peeking in ever since to see when you would return. I'm glad you're back now!

Cherie Anderson said...

Yay! You're back. I've been looking almost every day for a new post on here, wondering what you've been up to. :)

That's funny about the flight attendant and your comment back. I probably would have said something more "smart-ass" and come off looking like a jerk, like, "Hey, do I look like I want to gain 2,000 pounds and have four stomachs?" or "I don't eat calf food." LOL

I'm losing my patience with these humans drinking non-human animal secretions and acting as if it's necessary or as if vegan cheese won't do, so they just eat cow-milk cheese and it's okay because it's "only" every once and a while (especially with all of the suffering involved).

Dreena said...

Welcome Cherios! Thanks so much. :) Well, that was the veggie wrap that was on the 'menu' on our flights. We thought about checking it out, but assumed it probably had mayo or cheese. Though we know from prior experience with Air Canada, that their definition of vegetarian is the "strict" definition, and so if things are listed as vegetarian then that usually means vegan. Good to know for next time - but that's a looong time away!! :)

Carrie, we are now in bizarro world like that Seinfeld episode! I used to take walks on Waterloo Row all the time. We lived near the campus, first on Forest Hill Road I think and then on Biggs Street (I think, it's been A WHILE now)!! We really did love our time there. I don't think I ever went in that health food store, unfortunately. Those were my "cheese" and "frozen yogurt" days. I used to get cheese potatoes at Wendy's all the time - and ice-cream at this shop... oh, I can't remember the name - when I do, I'll come back with it! :) Very funny, hey? We were there for just two years, but it was a very memorable time, and I always praise the campus there and the faculty in the Commerce program - they were incredible - and the people I met there too!!

Hey Laura! Hmmm, maybe I should go on vacation again and see if a few other people go vegan during my time away - sounds like a plan! Glad to have you here and commenting. :)

Hi Cherie!! Good to hear from you and yeah, I'm back in the blogging world!! (so sweet that you checked almost every day to see if I had a post up) :) Funny about the flight attendant - I'm not usually even as bold as THAT! I'm typically too 'nice' about things. I would love to have a sharper tongue and get a point across once in a while. Whenever I do, I then ruminate about it for far too long though! Gosh, what a sap I am!! Ah well, I'll try to convince through cooking I guess!

Cherie Anderson said...

We just need to say it with a smile or laugh! I need to remember that. :)

Raylon said...

Hey Dreena (& crew), having recently started a blog I went hunting for other cool, hip veggie peoples that do the blog thing and I hit the motherload with you! This is a great one so we linked to you from ours. This is basically an easy way for me to get to your blog so I can drool over your latest creation hehe

You have a great writing style and we really appreciate the work you're doing through food activism and have nothing but good things to say about your cookbooks and recipes!

My fav parts of this post was the sister's quote and the "freaky vegan" thing - that's perfect!

Aimee said...

Hi Dreena! I've been reading your blog since November (when I was turned-on to it by the Vegan Lunch Box blog) and just love it! I've been a "casual" vegetarian for 17 years (meaning on very rare occasions I ate chicken-like a few times a year) but became a vegan in February [thanks in large part to you and Jennifer (at VLB)]! I bought both of your cookbooks and have been slowly making my way through them. Your recipes are fantastic. I especially like all of your wonderful salad dressing recipes which have inspired me to experiment with some of my own. I really appreciate your Wheat-free options, also! I finally found some Hemp seed nuts at my local Health food store and made the Apple Hemp Muffins! Delish! Keep posting and I'll definitely keep reading! Thank You!

Catherine said...

Dreena, I feel your travel pain -- I recently had a long flight back from Wyoming to Minnesota, (not as much time in the air as you . . . but due to a major engine repair delay where they did NOT deplane us, I missed my connecting flight in Denver and was very fortunate to scoot on a slightly later one . . . putting me home at midnight!), and it was the thirstiest flight of my life. Fortunately, they do have bottled and sparkling waters, and I brought tons of snacks, which helped. I applaud you for making it through in one piece with two small children!

Welcome back!

Dreena said...

Cherie, or we can be very sharp-witted and really drive the point home! That's what *I* need to remember!!

Hi Raylon... welcome aboard, and thanks for all of your compliments!! :) I visited your blog, it looks like you have some excellent vegan events and eating/shopping in Sarasota! Lucky you!! I really appreciate your good words, and if I can help your vegsarasota group in some way such as a recipe reprint for your members' mailing list, let me know!

Hi Aimee, and a huge kudos to you! Wooo hoooo! After 17 years of eating vegetarian, to recently have made the leap to eating vegan... WOOT!! for you!! :) I am flattered that you think some of my blog work and recipes have helped you with this transition. Jennifer has helped people tremendously with vlb, both in making the shift to veganism and also just bringing understanding about the diet and how healthy and fabulous it can be! Thanks for your input, and pls let me know if I can answer any questions for you! :)

Hi Catherine... Wow, haven't 'chatted' with you for a while!! The flight WAS very long, and required MUCH patience, believe me!! The thirst thing - I have heard that you need something like 2-3x more water than normal when flying, because of the dehydration. I find I drink a ton right after landing and into the next day to make up for how dehydrated I feel!! ...and it's good to be back - thanks. :)

DreamQueen said...

Glad to hear you had a good trip down east, Dreena!

I recently flew down east as well and was also thinking that these airlines are going to have to figure out how to accomodate other dietary needs better. Maybe we should all write letters to Air Canada, etc so they might start thinking about things....

KleoPatra said...

We're here! WELCOME BACK!

gwern said...

welcome back! it sounds like a lovely trip, well, minus the whole 'no vegan food on flights' thing. that always worries me when i fly (thankfully not very often), but the new 'no liquids' rule scares me even more! thank goodness they let you keep the soy milk and food you brought!!

p.s. i love how colour-coordinated your family is, hehee. :D

Vicki said...

beautiful family photos -- georgous sistahs! as far the the color coordination goes -- they look oceanic & you look earthy -- perfectly complimenting eachother.

Harmonia said...

yup. I'm still catching up! Sorry! :)

Great pictures! Very nice! Sorry to hear about the flight complications with soy milk. They should REALLY have soy milk as an option even if they don't support veg*n diets...for the allegies, you know, but why not for the veg*ns? I'm with you on that.

I have been sliding backwards on weekends with the vegan aspirations...but cotninue to try...the only excuse...products not available to me and I'm still learning. I really like being about to BREATHE and not eat dairy (i.e. cheese & cream) but it's in almost everything when I travel and eat out and I'm the only veg*n. Sheesh! I just really need to put my foot down! Sorry needed to vent.


Michelle said...

i really like it when you comment on our blogs, and i know it wouldn't stop me from saying that a dish is less-than-spectualar to my family's taste buds. i think it's so cool that we get to sort of "chat" with the author of the book, and to ask your advice or opinions when we need help :)