The past few weeks have presented a few challenges for my husband and I, as new Vegans. It’s not that we’ve been put in situations of temptation—I don’t mean to be flip, but we really haven’t felt the slightest bit tempted, we are so convicted in our attitudes against consuming anything animal, that it supersedes all other instincts—it’s more that we are not adept enough at catching all the possible incidences of non-vegan ingredients in foods.
The complication recently has been trying to accommodate our new vegan parameters with the carnivorous wants of my 85 year old mother. Meat-eaters can be such die-hards, especially in the elder years.
First, we had my mother’s 85th birthday to work around. We’re a small family and don’t go in for parties, as a rule, but we did want to go out for a nice meal to celebrate. I did some research, and found a place where we could all be satisfied — or so, I thought.
We live in a small town, and vegan options in the immediate vicinity are few and far between. We have a great little lunch-cafe that we stop into regularly on the weekend for veggie wraps and smoothies and such, but dinner menus pose a problem, so we went to the nearest city to a quite nice restaurant where the service was very good and the food was too. My husband had a lovely quinoa curry, and I had a ravioli which I was careful not to get sauced with cream, but with oil. So far, so good. My mother had pulled pork, (much to my disgust, but I try not to bug her too much, and after all, it WAS her birthday).
There were no other options on the menu for our vegan diet-needs, and it was only when we driving home that it dawned on me that the pasta I had eaten had most likely been made with egg. Bah!
As for dessert, my mother had some decadent cake and I had an absolutely delectable raspberry-strawberry non-dairy sorbet. I told our waiter I was coming back just for that.
Fast forward to Easter weekend and we are again on the horns of a dilemma. We spent the bulk of Easter – Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday morning singing in the choir at our church, so my mom wanted to treat me to a meal out rather than having to prepare something on Sunday. As I said, the options in town are pretty scarce.
We ended up going to a nice pub/restaurant in the town down the road where both my husband and I had a substantial veggie burger and mom, once again had pork, only this time it was schnitzel.
I noticed the description of the veggie burger detailed an “aioli”, so I asked our server if he could find out if the “aioli” had mayonnaise in it. (It was my husband who piped up with, “We’re Vegans”, so I guess it’s official.) It did, so I ordered it without and opted for a tomato-onion jam, and a corn-relish. Yum.
We also discovered that my mother’s dish came with a side of sauerkraut, which I read was supposed to be good for you. Mom’s not a fan, so I scooped up the bulk of it and put it on the burger.
The burger was good, but the pasty white bun was as I always remembered them, like a mouthful of cotton wool.
Not sure what was in that burger or the sauerkraut, but let’s just say, my night was not a good one. At 3:00 a.m., I was sitting in the dark in my kitchen, eating an organic banana to try and calm my stomach. Hmm.
The best part about Easter eating was without question tasting raw, organic chocolate for the very first time! We had both given it up for Lent and let me tell you, the first thing we put in our mouths on Easter Sunday morning was a piece of melt-in-your-mouth Giddy Yoyo (see my sidebar for the link) raw, wild Equadorian vegan chocolate.
This chocolate is very pricey and so we quickly designated it our “weekend chocolate”. Ha ha. That notion lasted about an hour.
Oh, but this guy did pay us a visit: