Monday, August 07, 2006

Vegan Activism

Am I a poor hostess, I must confess. I made my guest WORK ... here he is doing the dishes. He also decided that my floor needed a good mopping so he helped me get it all wet so that I could pull out the mop and clean it up. He helped me pick corn (he put the cobs in a bucket), wash potatoes, and make spaghetti sauce. I tuckered him out and he had to go home to get a few hours sleep before coming back and doing some more.

My motto: Children learn what they live, help them learn how to live. No matter how much $$ Mc Donald's spends on commercials they will never give your child the skills they need to live a content and satisfying "free" life. It is freeing to have the skills you need to be able to make a conscious decision about the lifestyle you want to live and the heritage you want to leave those around you. I'll have him a few days this week too because his dad is having surgery.
I pressure canned the garden potatoes this weekend. I love having this pressure cooker! The potatoes are fully cooked inside the jars. The kind of potatoes pictured here will be soft and can just be mashed or heated and eaten once the jar is open. (VwaV punk rock mashed potato and chickpea gravy here I come!). If I wanted a firmer texture potato that can be taken out of the jar, sliced and fried I would have used yukon gold variety. It took cooking 55 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure to achieve the right temp that would kill the boutullism bacteria in a quart of potatoes. Other foods vary. Canned legumes take 1 hour 15 minutes per pint, 1 hour 30 minutes per quart.

I also canned quart jars of Savory White Bean and Corn Soup. The cool thing is that I soaked baby lima beans overnight. Drained, brought them to a boil, and then added all the soup ingredients raw. I boiled it for 5 minuutes. Placed soup into sterilized jar and placed in the canner. It takes about 20 minutes to bring it upto pressure and then I cooked for 1 hour 30 minutes. The soup cooks in the jars while it is canning. The soup was wonderful and believe it or not but my veggies were not mush and the lima beans were cooked perfectly. I chose this soup becasue I had fresh tomatoes, corn, and onions. We really like this soup with a wedge of savory foccocia and something appl' ish for dessert to complete. Interested in the recipe, let me know and I'll post it later.

These tiny tom's are so cute I had to share them with you. These came off a plant variety that I have not tried beforen this year. You can see their size compared to a regular kitchen teaspoon here. They are sweet yet pleasantly acidic, perfect for salads and eating plain.

This weekend I had a couple ears of leftover cooked sweet corn, 1/2 of a medium zucchini, some onion, fresh made spaghetti sauce, homemade feta cheese made from tofu and a New Jerusalem pita bread in the freezer. I was hankering a pizza dish so I sauteed the veggies in vegetable broth and assembled this wonderful little pizza. As Racheal Ray would say, "yum-mo!" and this was laso ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.

I plan on making one today that will include roasted red peppers, sauteed green and garlic and more of the tofu feta (I used Bryanna's recipe). I am salivating just thinking about what I will prepare for lunch.


Follow the link above and you'll see variations for herbed feta as well as some other delish ideas.

Makes about 3 c.

Pour it into a flat container, cover and chill until firm. Cut into squares. To store, make a fairly salty brine of water and salt (about 1 T. salt per cup of water) boiled together for 5 minutes, cool it, and pour it over the chunks of “cheese” to cover. The “feta” will keep for several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator in this brine.

2-14 oz. firm regular (NOT silken) tofu, crumbled

NOTE: You can use 8 oz. medium-firm mixed with 4-6 oz. extra-firm tofu, if you have no firm tofu)

2 tsp. agar powder (or 4 T. flakes)

1/4 c. water

1 tsp. vegan sugar

2 T. neutral-tasting cooking oil

2 and 1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. light miso

6 T. fresh lemon juice

Blend the tofu, agar, water, sugar, oil, and salt in a food processor until very smooth. Place the mixture in a heavy-bottomed small saucepan and stir over medium heat until it bubbles for a few minutes and thickens. MICROWAVE OPTION: Place the mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HI for 3 minutes. Whisk briefly. Microwave 2 minute more. Whisk the miso and lemon juice into the cooked mixture. (You add these last because the lemon juice interferes with the jelling of the agar if cooked with it, and you want to preserve the enzymes the miso.) Pour it into a flat container, cover and chill until firm. Cut into squares. To store, make a fairly salty brine of water and salt (about 1 T. salt per cup of water) boiled together for 5 minutes, cool it, and pour it over the chunks of “cheese” to cover. The “feta” will keep for several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator in this brine.

Last bit of activism...
How about a fresh blueberry sorbet with a slice of frozen carob zucchini bread sticking out of it.

P.S. What's really on my mind?
I think activism should be enticing and one would choose it because of the genuine and practical benefits and how it makes life truly better for all involved. Become the change you wish to see as Ghandi said. A person can disagree with what I do, but I would hope they would not destroy my garden to stop me from doing it. Future vegans, animal right activists, and others who disagree with factory farming practices or minimum wage slave labor, etc, etc ... need others to show them all the options of how to live!

That is what it is about for me... living, peace, and contentment. I must choose to live and treat others as I would want to be treated. Prison is not a good way to promote the cause no matter how much attention it brings. I disagree with current abortion practices too, BUT it is wrong to bomb the clinics to stop it. I strongly disagree with the practice of corporation public school teaching my children (stomping on my parental responsibilties) so many hours of the day yet by the time many are done they may have no ability to balance a checkbook or have the skills to live a satisfying life, BUT it is wrong to damage any part of it. The education of my children is at the top of my agenda (not attention on what is not working), I cannot change others BUT I can influence others by the things I have found to be positive with our chosen lifestyle (as well as tell about many challenging experiences we had to live and learn through).

Generating fear will not cause the true change you desire to see in the world. Instead of pointing out what is wrong (of which I am not blind or ignorant of all the wrong in the world) ...Dori say teach by example and DO what is right even if no one else agrees (modern country gardener secret).


KleoPatra said...

This is the best post. Dori!!!!

I love your caption with the photo. I am so loving what you captured and how you describe it. VERY CUTE.

What your motto is (what they are) is so wonderful. I love how you think.

Your P.S. gives so much food for thought. And i am a believer in not generating fear to lead to change.


words to LIVE by, words to LOVE.

Thank you, Dori. Thank you for being a light in this world. Thank you for sharing what you feel. Thank you for validating truths.

And i'd love a blueberry sorbet with the carob zucchini bread.


Of all your posts, this may be my favorite so far. It's crystal clear and yet open to interpretation. That's something i can believe in!

Tanya Kristine said...


how did you learn how to "can"??? i wish i had the patience for that. are you getting all your veggies from your garden too

see? that's why i need to move to have a bigger yard so i can have a grrden. my yard is not big enough for two dogs and a garden...

nice pictures...

vegancookiemonster said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I admire your approach to family and to life. I can tell there is a lot of happiness in your home!!! How WONDERFUL!

Melody said...

Dori, you are a breath of fresh air.. I strive to teach by example, but I fail miserably. I get so caught up in the injustice and feel so much anger about things that sometimes, it blinds and stagnates me.

I should print this out and tape it to my mirror for my daily affirmations. hehe. Dori Zen

Love the canned goods.. and I'm definitely interested in the soup recipe.

Shananigans said...

"Dori Zen" hehe, love it! All that healthy canned goodness from your garden, you must be in heaven. That so cool that the soup cooks and cans at the same time. Thanks for the tofu “feta” recipe. Where do you get your hands on some agar? I tried to find some to make jell-o with a while ago and was unsuccessful.

Dori said...

Shan - I get my agar at an oriental store called east -west. It is the best price I have found it there. I think health food stores are to pricy. Perhaps an online source might be good, like mr bulky?

Urban Vegan said...

Yum-O is right.

Hey--can you send your little helper over to Philly? How much dos he charge? (what a ittle cutie--helping you out).

You are leading by example, Dori.

JAM*tacular said...

Yay for canning! Thanks for sharing the info and photos, lady! :)

Midwest Vegan said...

Good post -- I totally agree. People learn by example and it's far better to do the right thing, even when it's hard.

Candi said...

Thank you so much for the blog comments you left me. That was so sweet!

I love blogs and found yours to be so beautifully written and inspirational. "Become the change you wish to see..." ooh, I've always loved that!

I also homeschool my daughter, and it's so much fun. I'm not sure who likes it more. I still have lots to learn as a homeschooling parent though.

I love your work in the kitchen! I've never used a pressure cooker or canned my own foods, and I just love all that you do! You are so talented.

I'm glad we ran into each other!


funwithyourfood said...

1) I'd work for your food!
2) I like the white beans too
3) and my favorite is the blueberry sorbet


Veggies,Yarns & Tails said...

Wow, great post! And yes, by all means, share the soup recipe, sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. G

Kim said...

Im interested in learning more about canning.

tara said...

What an interesting, thought-provoking, and delicious looking post. You amaze me Dori. Both your food, and how much what you say seems pulled from my own mind. Can I come live with you? ;) :D

Keep it up, lady. You're awesome.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Great points on activism - generating fear will not cause the change, nor will pointing out "wrong" things. I'm working on the people around me by leading by example and teaching them along the way. I've learned so much from everyone in the blogging community!

I love the little toms - they are so cute!

I have to try that feta. I think feta is one cheese that can easily be duped.


Ferocious Killer Kat said...

I would have agreed with u few days ago.. but I'm extremely disillusioned... given up hope.. and come to conclusion that non-vegans are not going to change.. I'm almost off the advocacy wagon.. I will continue to live my life per saying "be the change you wish to see in this world".. but without the expectation that any change will ever occur.. I guess the harder I come to terms with that better.. coz theres not a single day that passes that my anger doesn't increase..

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

sorry I meant "earlier" instead of "harder"..

Vicki said...

love this post about vegan activism & all the wonderful things that includes, dori! the top photo takes the prize.

karen said...

Such a cute pic of the little boy! And the soup and potatoes sound good. The punk rock chick pea gravy is delicious...

I think it is wonderful that you lead by example to your children and others around you :)

Vivacious Vegan said...

Great post Dori (by the way, did I ever tell you how much I love your name?). Your P.S. has really made me pause and think. Thank you for such thought provoking comments.

Anonymous said...

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