|Almond Toffee "Lace" Cookies|
I start this discussion with cookies. All things start with cookies, right?! Anyhow. Here you see Almond Toffee Cookies, which I modeled after lace cookies - the delicate and thin cookies that you sometimes see at holiday parties. They are crisp, especially when chilled, and have a pleasant, almost toffee-like chewiness.
Funny thing is I've never had a lace cookie. I've created this recipe based on what I've seen/read about this type of cookie, and worked around that. I'm noticing this more and more through my cooking and baking, that some of the dishes I am creating as vegan versions, I've never had the 'un-vegan' version. I can usually determine the flavors, textures, and overall sense of the dish from what I read and research, but it's sometimes odd creating a vegan dish based on my perception of the un-vegan version.
You see, I really only developed a love for cooking and baking after becoming vegetarian. As a child, I remember enjoying baking and cooking with my mother a little, and even into my teen years. But, when I had to start cooking regularly after moving out and attending university, it always disturbed me to work with animal flesh. I was talking to a friend about this just yesterday, and she inspired me to write about this today. I remember buying chicken and pulling sinewy pieces away when preparing it. It was always more appealing to buy the 'skinless boneless chicken breasts' because it was "cleaned up" for me. I didn't have to pull away the fat or the meat from the bone... less yuck factor, and less thought process about what that was I was actually handling. And then that whole matter of handling and food safety. The concerns of touching, cutting, preparing chicken or other animal flesh followed by immediate hand washing, counter cleaning, and cutting board sanitation. You know, that is truly ridiculous. Rather insane, how much we need to do to ensure we can eat meat "safely" (and is it really ever safe, from a health perspective, or in terms of what meat production is doing to our planet).
There is a freedom to eating vegan. Not that we don't have food safety issues - but, there is far less to worry about. You can wash your vegetables and rinse your grains and beans, and pretty much be done with it! No eggs to fret about with baking. No worries about whether your raw-chicken-fingers touched your dish towel or whether you are cutting vegetables on a different board than your meat. I do a lot of food preparation. Just about every meal we eat I prepare, and most of it involves plenty of cutting, dicing, slicing, washing, sorting, tossing, peeling, mixing, blending, baking, cooling... you name it... if there's food prep to be done, I'm doing it! Yet, I have a sense of food preparation freedom, because I don't have to worry about all those grotesque food safety issues that are part of meat-eating. This is something I absolutely love about eating vegan.
Why not free yourself from many of the issues inherent in meat and dairy consumption? You don't have to turn vegan overnight. Start with cutting out a few days a week. See how you feel. There is a freedom you will enjoy, and that freedom will be shared by the animals you are sparing with every meal.
Side note: I haven't forgotten the Chickpea Sunflower Burgers. Will have it posted in just another day or two... just felt like sharing these thoughts.
(Also, I've enabled comment moderation on this blog. Please don't let that discourage you from adding your thoughts. The only reason I've started it is because I've had a lot of spamming in the past couple of months. Blogger has started a spam detection, but I need to have comment moderation in place to use it, so I'm giving this a try for a month or so. Bear with me!)
Pathogen-infested, feces-splattered chicken can technically be fresh, cage-free, and free-range, and sold in the supermarket legally (the shit does need to be rinsed off first). (Source: Eating Animals)