As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. It started with wanting to be the next Agatha Christie, since she was my favorite author through most of my youth and adolescence. I remember writing scores of short stories for my grade school English class where, inevitably, something would befall some poor, unsuspecting character — even if the assignment was meant to be a report on what I did over the summer. I’m grateful to my very understanding and open-minded teacher, who never considered me a security risk. This, upon further reflection, was likely due to fact that I was a smiley, happy kid, and all of this happened before the events at Columbine that forever changed how teachers look at and interact with students.
After my first love (Agatha), and as I rose through the ranks of university life, I shrugged off my rather verbose writing style so that my prose could take on a more structured, streamlined flow. I decided to write a book that would be based on strict, thorough research designed to introduce members of the public to birds. More specifically, I wanted to expose all the weird, wacky and downright unbelievable stuff they do as part of their everyday lives. Not such a strange topic to obsess over if I share the fact that I am a trained biologist who decided to specialize in birds (i.e. an ornithologist). I quickly started collecting articles documenting the bizarre things that birds do, better than any chipmunk could do. I haven’t touched the collection of files since, as my doctoral thesis quickly took control and all I could think about was the topic specific to my dissertation. Thankfully, that chapter of my life came to a merciful and successful end, and now I’m out in the real world. That’s right, I got a J-O-B, the one thing all graduate-students-for-life are purportedly terrified of. I’m surviving.
One night, while sitting around the family dinner table having a rather animated discussion about veganism, I decided to co-write a cookbook with my mom. I got all fired up and started jotting down notes as she looked on rather skeptically. She knew, as did my subconscious, that the only reason I was getting so excited about starting this project, was that I was about 3 weeks away from defending my thesis, and I was doing everything in my power not to think about it, nor prepare for it. My apartment had never been cleaner, my cats had never received so much attention, and my computer’s files had never been so organized. This daydream only lasted a day before my defense loomed on the horizon and I got back to work.
I’m now free as a bird (relatively speaking of course… technically I’m free from 4pm to 8am the next day, and on weekends), and I’ve decided that before publishing a cookbook and becoming a star in the vegan publishing world, that I’d better start actually writing down all of my recipes. I’m a tinkerer in the kitchen, rarely using cookbooks unless baking, and even then I refuse to follow the rules. In fact, I doubt I’ve ever produced a meal as instructed by my kindly instructor-on-paper. I add, remove, increase or replace ingredients from the massive stores that I insist on keeping in perpetuity. Though my boyfriend could eat curry morning, noon and night and doesn’t see why we need to have 5 different kinds of stir-fry sauces, nor 8 different kinds of oil, I gently remind him while pointing to whatever deliciously flavoured thing is sitting on the counter, that if we were to get rid of all these seemingly “useless” items, our tummies and, more importantly, our taste-buds, would suffer needlessly.
All of this brings me to this moment: I’ve officially joined the hordes of bloggers cluttering cyberspace with our drivel. Will this blog change the world? Nope. Will this blog turn omnivores to vegans or even part-time vegetarians? Doubtful, though one can hope. I’m sure I’ll be writing something about that sometime in the near future. Will this blog help me uncomplicate the process out of writing out and sending my recipes to requesting friends and family without them having to wait a year for that one heavenly seitan recipe? Fingers crossed, because I have a feeling they’re getting peeved. Will this blog provide me with the creative outlet I’ve been craving since I decided I wanted so badly to emulate Agatha? Only time, and the number of blog entries I muster up, will tell. Since I had this idea earlier today, I’ve scrawled out half a dozen ideas in a maze of arrows and sideways writing on a scrap piece of paper. If that’s not a promising start, I don’t know what is.
So without further ado, I’m pleased to present my blog: one little vegan’s collection of thoughts and recipes, garnished with a sprinkling of photos. Hopefully, if you’re at all like me (hint: you spend your walks to and from work planning in exquisite detail all of the delicious things you’ll create once home), you’ll visit these pages every time you’re seeking culinary inspiration, you have a few minutes during commercials, you’re waiting for someone to pick you up, you’re at work and you’ve just checked your email only to find your inbox empty and you’re not ready to actually get to work, or you’re just dying to read up on my latest and greatest recipes (I’m reaching, I know). In any of these cases (and for the others I didn’t think of or list), I hope these entries provide you with moments of self-recognition, learning, enjoyment and most importantly, happy tummies. I promise it won’t be an all-alfalfa collection of recipes…