Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Punk Rock People

My punk rock herb garden with our punk rock Pup. Grow rosemary grow! I'd love to read some comments offering creative uses of fresh rosemary. I love the smell of this stuff! (the brown in the left lower corner is dead cilantros, I uprooted and moved it... it didn't like that very much).

I have been reading the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook by Isa M again. I was a teenager during the relatively peaceful 80's, listened to "poison" and looked at what the cat drag in as we poured on a little more sugar. I owned a pair of black parachute pants and even had green hair for a few days (note to self: green food coloring does not wash out the first washing or even the seventh washing). I grew up in Brooklyn for pete's sake and even had many friends on the south side. Just because the Brooklyn I grew up in was in Iowa and the south side meant the 1/2 of the town on the "other side" of the railroad tracks that separated the 1500 residents doesn't mean I'm not just as punk rock as Isa who rode around New York in her dad's cab on the weekends.

I'm feeling a soapbox moment coming on . . . .

Here are some important "key elements" of describing punk that I see in the book intro:
1. "I was not yet sure yet where my political affinities lay, but I knew that I respected what the activist and punks were doing: taking old decrepit buildings and turning them into homes, creating community gardens, making their own newspapers and zines, and just generally giving a damn." 2. " I already knew that I did not want to be a part of a system of oppression; changing my diet was an easy and practical form of activism." 3. If punk rock taught me anything, it's that we can create our own forms of entertainment. We don't have to sit back idly and wait for something to happen - we can make it happen."

Punk Rock Dave

Sure she later goes on to describe the kind of life she lived at thirty was something that her 18 year old self would hate her for, but the just is - punks are creative, active, and do-it yourselfers and so my dear one here shows just how punk he can be building a addition to the side of our garage to store the lawnmower and other wonderful tools. I wish we had a more green way to mow our lawns, but we mow over an acre of property and I don't have several days to lose doing that with a garden and everything else.

Punk Rock Matt
He's even dyed his hair, can you tell .... it's burgandy now. What is he eating, you might ask. Ethiopian Seitan and peppers recipe inspired from p. 167 of VwaV ... Another great episode of Matt's kitchen adventures. I have to say inspired because by the time we were done with it, very little was like the recipe in the book. I broiled tofu chunks in a little soy sauce instead of seitan for him to use and I was very impressed how well they came out.

After broiling the tofu w/ soy sauce chunks brown in the oven we added all the veggies and the seasoned puree. The little red here is the tiny tom's I pictured previously cut in half. I know ethiopia dishes use tomatoes so I thought this would lend a pretty and flavorful addition to this dish. We also are mild on the heat index and used 1/2 C yellow bell pepper with 1/4 tsp red hot pepper flakes to substitute the 6 serrano chiles called for in the recipe. We also have a combo of green and yellow peppers. After combining all the veggies, puree, and tofu the pan was broiled for 6 minutes, stir 1/2 way through.

Here's my plate. We served the completed veggie fry over salted bulghur with a side of fresh garden corn wheels and sliced tomato. Dishes like this inspire me. Several years ago when I resigned from my full-time american dream position to come home and be full-time active in the life I have now I had a little dream. When I would go to the library to learn how to stretch a $40 weekly family of 4 food budget including toiletries (it was super tight back then too!) I was inspired by what people of other nations ate. Not only was I inspired, but I also began to love the people of other cultures of the world.

As I taught my kids geography we always did an in depth exploration of the foods of the region, for example one day they woke up to a living room set up like a market place in a middle eastern city. We had hot "wadas" for breakfast, just like the ones we could have purchased from a street vendor at the market. All of our stuff was vegan of course and I found a wonderful selection of cookbooks that helped me accomplish my teaching goals. I loved this aspect of teaching my kids, to love and respect all people and cultures. I grew to hate the standard amercian culture (SAD!) and the kinds of stereotyping and intolerance that went on in even "good" small town public schools. My dream was that I would be able to go to any nation in the world with knowledge of nutrition to cook or eat that culture's (vegan) food and to raise two children who would have the openess never to judge a culture by minor differences and be able to adapt to the cultural foods and ways.

Anger is a powerful emotion full of potential energy. Harnessed in the right way it can take a person far and when used in a way that will have a postitive impact on another living being the end will result in joy for both involved. Some people have harnessed their anger and lead entire nations into freedom from oppresive forces that caused horrible poverty and unhuman treatment. I am not in a position to lead a nation ...... no maybe I am. I with my husband have raised two children to the best of our ability (well almost raised - age 18 and 15 in less than two weeks), fed a great many visitors from many countries at our dining room table, teach home school moms how to garden, bake, can and generally how to maintain sanity because of my anger. I do this at no charge because I care and I am angry.

I learned something about forgiveness along the way also. I hate many of the practices in the world today. I hate little girls showing all of their starving naked bodies hoping that someone will "love" them, I hate when these little girls get the "love" that makes them pregnant and then they must kill life in order to "exercise their rights"... I am not expressing my views of abortion I am expressing my view for the practices I hate. I hate that a family in America is considered at a poverty level and ramen noodles and white rice are given in food boxes... not skills to teach them, not a friend who will walk with them. I hate when young parents feel so much stress in this modern life that they hurt their children. I hate these things and I had many sleepless nights wrestling with the nightmares these things have given me. I have been clinically depressed, I have been angry, and now I choose to do something about it.

When I was able to forgive wrongs of people I didn't know, who had also been wronged by people who had been wronged by people who had been wronged (etc) ... I realized a prisoner was set free. I didn't excuse those actions, but I did free myself ... I was the prisoner unable to enjoy and live the gift of life that was given to me. If life is precious and the cause is freedom from oppression or animal rights, ect .... then this CANNOT be changed by doing and being the very thing we hate. (Wrongs = the ozone layer, the animals treated cruelly and sacrified to the "idols", the abused and chosing to dress naked little girls, the dead human babies, the hurting families of those who were killed because some one decided to make an impact on the world by killing humans and fear.) I hate it and I am angry about these things ... but I have skills and I am free to choose, free to love, free to eat what I wish and when I wish. I could not do this dead, nor in prison. The thing that makes this cycle all worth it is that I am loved in return... it all comes back to me. Weird I know, but it does. I cannot help, I cannot make a difference, I cannot fix all wrongs if I do not have the solution.... the answer to which is not throwing away my gift. If I can multiply my gift I can share it with others, sure maybe one by one ... but still ONE by ONE and that matters! I am glad I am one that mattered. I am glad I had the freedom to say this.


Veggies,Yarns & Tails said...

Wow, a powerful and thought-provoking post, thanks Dori!

Your garden photo was tooooo cool. I have a couple of (actually 3) that come to mind, for vegan recipes from my cookbook, using FRESH rosemary. When you stop by Veggies, just let me know if you'd like them or send an email.

Your blog is amazing. G

madeinalaska said...

wow you are on a roll!
that is quite a post, as was yesterdays..
you are really an inspiration to us a voice to your convictions for all of the world to read.. bravo!
on a much lighter note..we must be the same age, as i also owned parachute pants.. i didn't dye my hair though, i did use lemon juice to get that john taylor kinda look (duran duran, for you younger gals)eek..i

Melody said...

Oh Dori, this is so wonderful to read. Seriously, I am going to print it out and read it... because I KNOW that what you are saying is true. I've put my anger to great use in the past and need to do it again.

Shananigans said...

Thanks for being a positive changing force in the world. I hope you know what a big favor you are doing the world by raising your children as you are. If all children were raised with such careful attention to compassion the next generation would be a whole lot better off.

Urban Vegan said...

First, I love your punk nostalgia & garden & family. It’s ironic that punk rock always seems so hard, but its roots and foundation are so gentle.

And I hear where you’re coming from about anger at all the world’s injustices. It’s hard to face all the wrongs in the world. And it helps to know what you can and can’t change yourself. I think what you are doing—living your life—and blogging it—is an exemplary way of leading by example. I also think it affects more people than you know.

Oh, and BTW, the food looks scrumptious, as always.

Midwest Vegan said...

As I was reading the first part of your post, my favorite line from "Out of Africa" came to mind. The lead character is asked if she was able to travel much and she replies, "I travel my mind". What a wonderful gift to be able to share such experiences with your children. I've tried to teach my daughter as well that all cultures are equal and good.

Anger is a good motivator -- it spurs us to action. I think many more of us need to be angry enough to make a difference. I love that you teach the Home School Moms -- it goes back to: give a man a fish and he eats good for one meal. Teach a man to fish and he eats many meals.

Also, thanks for the cheese tips -- I went on Bryanna's site and checked out a few sample recipes to try. They look promising.

KleoPatra said...

That was one amazing read.

Love your garden. Rosemary is good with potatoes. I have had them at a restaurant that i frequent that has several vegetarian and vegan options. I'm not sure how they make 'em but they are incredibly GOOD!!!

Enjoyed your Poison/Def Leppard reference, very cute. So you are a native Iowan, then, no? I didn't know there was a Brooklyn, Iowa. I did know about Manhattan, Kansas, so it's not a big surprise that there would be a Bklyn IA!

Hey, Matt! Love yer burgundy hair!! Nice look. What's that shirt he's wearing? I like what he's gettin' ready to munch there and is that chocolate soy milk? YUMMY!

The way you homeschool is ideal, this is the way that i think it should be done. I love what you describe in the way you wanted to raise your kids and in how you have taught them. It's so incredibly wonderful, Dori.

I also get angry about things in this world that seem so unfair, though i can't take responsibility for what boys and girls do with their bodies and their sexuality. It is frustrating to watch what is happening in this world as the years pass and things seem to get more confusing for kids, even though the information out there is so much more readily available than it was in our day! More information does not equal better, more informed choices, it seems, especially when it comes to children who have not been raised in healthy, loving, nurturing environments. I am thankful you and your husband have provided a life of love and GOOD for your kids!

And isn't freedom wonderful? What we do with it matters too, and i am so grateful when i think about what you do with yours.

Teaching, helping, loving even ONE person is the greatest gift one can give.

You make me smile. Thank you for being who you are.

Dori said...

Hello blog visitors. Thanks all for listening to me voice what was rising up and for being so kind and complimentary. All these kind words makes a smile rise up deep within my soul so big that when it comes to the surface all I can do is say "gosh you all".

Kleopatra... I read your blog too and I know there is a very sincere and loving heart inside you too. Matt's milk happens to be malted with barley mat powder. We found it at a little amish store and it makes milk taste like the inside of malted milk balls the candy. Matt really likes it.

Midwest vegan, glad you found some promising cheese to look into. The irish moss powder that is called for really is required... I know several of Bryanna's loyal fans and subscribers have purchased it by the pound (me one of them). If you ever want to try some cheese, but only want a tablespoon or two of that powder, I'd be able to send you some via mail is you send me a sase envelope. E-mail me and we could go from there.

Alaska... it is nice you stopped by for a visit. Thanks for commenting.

G: I'm coming in for a request!

Next post will be about that shirt I mentioned last week. It is completed. I'm so big wide smile proud of myself even though there is crooked sewing and it is three sizes to big.

Kate said...

Wow your blog look amazing, love the food. The last place I used fresh rosmarry was in Risotto that I made. The recipe can be found in my own food blog.

karen said...

Hi Dori-

Powerful stuff here. Pup is so cute by the garden. Your version of the Ethiopian dish sounds and looks delicious. And how fun that Matt dyed his hair, this is the time for him toenjoy stuff like that.

Here in NY, public education is a bit more multicultural. I teach a Crafts class, where I designed the curriculum. Every project my students do introduces them to another culture and the crafts they produce. Batik from the island of Java, Indonesia; Oaxacan woodcarvings from Mexico,etc... I think this is important, too.

I just came back from finally seeing An Inconvenient Truth, so I understand anger.

Carrie™ said...

Amen Dori! A lot of what you expressed is how I feel a lot of the time. It's good that you put your anger to work for something positive. So many in the world right now are using their anger to fuel more hatred.
I really like Matt's hair! Very flattering colour. And like Kleo, I'm curious about the shirt. Looks quite 70's-ish.
So many things about this post are really wonderful. Your husband building, your son cooking, your garden, your food.....all that you've done with your life. Truly wonderful.
As for the rosemary, Dreena uses it quite a bit in Vive Le Vegan. And yes on potatoes!! I love spuds roasted with rosemary....mmm! mmm! mmm!

Vicki said...

powerful post, dori. the world is unfair & i admire that you decide to do something about it.

pleased to meet your punk rock family -- i love the new meaning of punk rock & i hope it catches on world wide. i think matt's hair is awesome & i used "sun in" for mine, then eventually discovered that i could save $$ and just use lemons.

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

dori, I cannot express in words howmuch I love this post.. the foods fabulous as usual.. and as you have mentioned before you folks are one well-happy-vegan-fed bunch.. and as for punk rock.. since I grew up in india I was never exposed to meaningful music.. all I listened to was some pathetic junk fun party songs.. until I listened to metallica who I still think pre-black album days were quite political and angry.. anyways they hardly did any good to me.. except for the fact that they made me good at headbanging ;-) .. anyways as u already saw on my blog.. I've only recently(read: few months) gotten into punk.. the lyrics.. the style of music.. its just punk rawk as they say ;-) .. I'm still in exploratory phase.. and there are so many great bands out there.. one more thing added to my wish list: a live punk rock show :-D

anyways I totally identify with you on being angry.. I've been angry since years now.. I've struggled at times.. not knowing what to do about it.. and I still am.. and you give a great message.. I hear it.. Thanks for writing this post!! many thanks!!

Candi said...


What a well-written and inspirational post!! Wow! I was nodding my head in agreement while reading it all! You are such an amazing teacher for your kids and for many, many others too. Your blogs help so many people (and some lurkers too you may not know about!) Lol! I love the harnessing of the anger into something good. I feel like that with sadness too and it all reminds me of a line from the Peaceable Kingdom film where the lady could not stand to see downed cows and said that for her, it was about turning that sadness into action. I believe she runs the Farm Sanctuary now.

Ok, rosemary... I, too, use it on potatoes all the time. When I am lazy and want a quick snack, I shredd a sweet potato into a skillet and fry it with a bit of olive oil and rosemary. I also had rosemary in a really good lemonade recently too. Very different, but good!

Your garden looks beautiful!

Jody from VegChic said...

First, rosemary... It is a great herb, I love to add it to most anything. Here's an unusual use for you. Rosemary cookies! I made a regular sugar cookies recipe with rosemary chopped up in it and they were really good.

All the food looks wonderful as usual. About your "soap box"...I agree with so much of what you wrote and really admire that you take the time to put it into words for others to read.

Megan the Vegan said...

wonderful post Dori. I found myself agreeing with a lot of your reflections.

I once had rosemary in a savoury was amazing. I love it on/in breads too.

Isa said...

Hi Dori!
Wow, you nailed it. My sister and I used to say it's not about what you wear or listen to, punk is in the eyes. What attracted me to punk in the first place was the ideas and creativity. You are not punk if you need to put studs all over your jacket to prove it! Although I bet if you studded out your gardening gloves that would look pretty cool. But maybe you're too punk for gardening gloves?

Anyway, I love reading your blog, this is what it's all about for me.

ox Isa

Harmonia said...

Awesome post, indeed!

Here is my new link. Hope to see you there soon! My old link will still be active. I am going to keep my blogroll there and use it as a back up but my daily updates will take place at the above location. Spread the word!

EatPeacePlease said...

Yeah, your punk rock family is super-cool. And the food looks great as always. Matt's hair is the main hit to me!

Dori said...

Hey Isa, I'm honored you commented. Your cookbook is great. My son is looking forward to the cupcake book--- I'm not, I'm a whole grains, unrefined sugar and only a little of that kind of person BTW. Awh! Gotta have a little fun in life ... so what the heck I can guarantee you'll see Isa-cakes on my blog.

About Matt's shirt. It says "the weekend". He went to a camp last year and that was the title. My generation knew how to head bang, these kids did the pogostick... it was fun! I may be Matt's mama, but I was also a chaperone and I can pogostick with the best of them. :)

Karen, thanks for sharing about your art class. I am glad that is available... I know larger cities have some good programs (cause I've visited them), but I live in a struggling rural area. The public school cut the art program two years ago. They cut the music priogram in half last year so that one teacher does grade K-12, with that kind of workload... it's not a good one.

We used to dual enroll our kids for the extra curricular activities, but not anymore. All the money seems to be going to elementary test scores and more "book" work. Kids need to play with real stuff... they need to play period. Play is work! Play is learning.... afterall. Look at me and my new "toy" pressure canner... everyone needs to play and it is good.

Oh and Kleo, yes I am a native Iowan. (I think when our Iowa Hawkeyes made it to the Rose bowl several years ago we were called "hicks").... backwards or backhilled... whatever ... I can get down and dirty with the best of them . :)

Dori said...

Oh and studded garden gloves... I feel a surge of entreprenuerial spirit rising up in my bones.... Coming soon to a better stores near you.

Melody said...

re: cashew cheese, it does brown if you put it under the broiler.. I didn't do that with the pizza cuz it would have burnt the tortilla big time. I'll be using the Irish Moss would make the texture better. I've noticed a slight fishy taste from the Irish moss, so I haven't been using it as much with the mild cheezes.. When I use roasted red pepper and nutritional yeast, then I definitely use it.

I think I notice a slight bitter taste from that much agar agar... my palate is soo sensitive. hehe.. oh well, the flavor is good when you're eating it.. The bitter is like a leftover feeling in my mouth... which is fine.. I'd rather eat good food and have a bitter aftertaste.... of course, it could be from the tortillas too. I do know, that my taste buds and sense of smell are way, way more sensitive than most peoples.

funwithyourfood said...

Great post Dori
While in high school I was all about punk. To a ridiculous level too. As soon as I got my license I was attending at least 2 shows a week. I also started considering vegetarianism back then too. AW the punk rock days, sometimes I wonder how did it all end?

When I was a kid, for Lent I would give up meat and I found it wasn't that hard at all (nope i'm not catholic- I like to test myself, it's odd I know haha). By college I just didn't want to eat meat anymore. Sounded gross :P

For a while I was that person full of hate but I'm glad I'm not on that road now (being angry at the world is not too fun).

I do feel like I am making a difference. Not worldwide or something but I'm making a difference to ME. I want to be able to live with myself and my decisions . I know I've opened up a few minds to being veg too and I love it :)


Anonymous said...

Many people try to achieve goals. Most fail. Some strive, work hard and plan for all the details yet they achieve little or nothing at all. Others strive, work hard, plan and achieve huge success. Yet there are a few individuals who do little else than take small steps and seem to achieve a great deal with what seems like effortlessness. What is the difference between these people and which one would you like to be?
Most members of the human race fall into two categories - those who live in the past and those who live in the future. Most live in the past. Many of these are the people who achieve very little in their lives and are so fearful of the future that they dare not strike out to get anything. They are the under-achievers who hang onto bad episodes in their lives and either relive them time and again or look at new situations as similar potentialities. They say things like "all men are deceivers" or "all women are interested in is money" or "I can't do it. I tried before and it didn't work so why bother!". Due to bad experiences in the past they believe that all future events will turn out the same way if they dare to go after what they want.
The other type of person lives in the future. This type tends to create more of the things they want in life. They have a vision of where they want to go and exactly how they are going to get there. They work diligently at making concrete plans and they pursue those plans with a persistent ferocious appetite for success. These people are the high achievers - The Richard Branson and Bill Gates of the world. These people have much to teach us about setting and achieving goals.
However, there is a third type of person who almost goes unnoticed. They are the person who takes life in its stride and yet achieve most of what they want. I am sure you know of such a person in your life that just seems to saunter through life and yet they always come out on top. Or a person who you hear of that has decided to open a shop. You meet them a few months later and they have three shops all doing well! So what makes these people so successful and if they aren't living in the past and aren't living in the future where are they living?
I suppose you guessed it! Whether they are consciously aware of it or not they are living in the present. It is in the 'living' present that we have our greatest power. Everything happens in the present. You live your entire life there - even if your mind does not!
By becoming more aware of the present and by 'accepting' it as it is we are much more in control of our emotions and focus. When we live in the past we are fearful of making bad choices and/or getting hurt. We do not wish to recreate the past again! When we live in the future we can also be fearful of what might happen. But even if your future vision is full of power and worthy of working towards many people can, and often do, get stuck there. By constantly reaching for bigger and better goals they fail to enjoy what they have in the moment.
If you wish to start living a life that is almost effortless begin first by living in the present. Accept your situation the way it is and then you can enjoy what you have. Your focus changes from a memory of what was or a vision of what might be to a realization of what is. You become much more empowered to then see the beauty of life and also look at where you wish to make changes. But to make changes you must first accept the situation as it is. Trying to escape from your present only increases your focus on your problems by creating resistance to what is. Accept your life as it is now. Make no judgement, just accept it and then you will be free of doubt, worry, pain and fear. For you only experience these things when you live outside the 'moment'. lucid dream

Vivacious Vegan said...

Two in a row! You go Dori! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your recent posts. A lot of what you said rings true with me. You have a great way of putting words to my thoughts.

Lovin Matt's hair and all the great food pics.

OkraMary said...

Mm...rosemary. I've always just tossed with with potatoes, olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven. Not necessarily a summer recipe, but it's an idea!

t. said...

Dear Dori, I had green hair as well. Just for more than a few days: for over a year!
No parachute pants though!

t. said...

Dear Dori, I had green hair as well. Just for more than a few days: for over a year!
No parachute pants though!

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