Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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The Unvegetarian

So I have a secret that I’ve been carrying around with me for a little while now. Well, it’s not really all that secret because I’ve told a bunch of people, but I can’t remember who I’ve told and who I haven’t, so I figured I may as well just blog it and that’s kind of like telling everyone. As you may have guessed from this blog posting’s title, I decided to stop being a vegetarian.

The reactions I’ve had when I’ve told people has ranged from grave disappointment to I-couldn’t-care-less to complete glee. On the glee end of the spectrum, I’ve had offers from many a friend to take me out for pho, sushi, things wrapped in bacon, steak, and, of course, marshmallows. And I have recently realized that the next time I’m in Montreal, I’m totally going to have a Montreal smoked meat sandwich!

Coto eatingYou are probably wondering how I came to this decision1. Well, it’s as simple as this: meat started to look appetizing to me. Which is somewhat odd, as meat has been very unappetizing to me for the last 15 years and I’m really not sure why or how that switch occurred. But it did. At first I thought, “Hmm, that’s odd. But I’m sure it will pass.” But then it didn’t. As time went on, meat continued to look appetizing and, since my primary reason for not eating meat was that I didn’t like eating meat, it only made sense to eat some meat. The whole process took about six months and I figured if, after six months, meat still looks appetizing, well, maybe I wanted to eat some meat. It was actually quite interesting to reflect on the process as it was occurring – I absolutely went through the “stages of change” from the transtheoretical model of behaviour change, with the “contemplation stage” (“meat looks yummy now”) turning into the “preparation stage” (telling some friends that I was thinking of eating meat) to action (“I’ll have the BLT, please!”). </nerdery>

So, as it stands, I’m no longer a vegetarian. I still eat a lot of vegetarian meals, in part because I like vegetarian foods, in part because it’s a habit after a decade and a half of not eating meat2 and in part because I prefer to eat good quality meat that comes from animals that have been treated decently while they were alive, so I don’t want to eat just any meat. But if you see me ordering the salmon the next time we are out for dinner, you’ll know why.

Image Credit: Posted by Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr.

  1. or perhaps you couldn’t care less. []
  2. i.e., I sometimes forget I’m not a vegetarian anymore! []

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Vegetarian Marshmallows!!!!!

Beth can’t come to the blog right now because she’s in a sugar coma, having discovered a store in Surrey that sells vegetarian marshmallows. Let me repeat that: Beth found a store that sells freaking vegetarian freaking marsh- freaking -mallows!!

Day 115

For the uninitiated, you may want to read the blog posted entitled “The Tale of the “Vegetarian” Marshmallow” for the 411 on why the finding of vegetarian marshmallows is so important!

Anyway, Beth found said marshmallows at The Organic Grocer, a little store that is located about 30 seconds from her office. To which she has been many times and never ever ever ever noticed that they sold pure heaven in vegetarian marshmallow form. She was actually there on a hunt for vanilla beans, since Surrey, in addition to hating peanuts, hates bulk food stores. Seriously, a city of nearly half a million people, and no bulk food stores? What gives, Surrey? Anyway, she went to the Organic Grocer to find her some vanilla beans and much to her delight, she found the vanilla beans AND the veggie marshmallows!

And to add the cherry on top, Beth also got an email notifying her that she could have an ING Thrive chequing account! Which made it funny when her landlord dropped off her mail and the PC Financial cheques she’d ordered in August finally arrived – just in time for her to not want them anymore, because she’s going to go with the ING Chequing account instead!

Also, she started the first day of her 30 days of hot yoga from her Groupon. All in all, it was double rainbows all the way today. All the way.

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World Vegetarian Day

So yesterday was Blasphemy Day and today, apparently, is World Vegetarian Day. If it turns out that tomorrow is International Hockey Player Day, I’m going to declare this Beth Week!

So, how does one celebrate World Vegetarian Day? I think you are start by eating a vegetarian…

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Dinner

I was in the mood to cook something new today, but had the damndest time trying to figure out what I wanted to make.  I searched through tonnes of vegetarian recipes online, but none of them really caught me.  In the end, I decided just to try a new veggie burger recipe, my tried and tested oven fries (on which I put fresh rosemary from Tod’s new balcony garden1, and stir-fried pineapple2. Despite making a grocery list after I decided what to make, I somehow managed to forget to put fresh ginger, a chili pepper and cumin on my list, so I had to improvise a bit, putting sage, celery salt & black pepper in the burgers and putting toasted sesame seeds into the pineapple stirfry.

Dinner

It all turned out pretty delicious, which is really all that matters!

  1. we went over to a friend’s place for dinner last week and they had an awesome patio garden, which inspired us, so we started a herb garden on T’s balcony) []
  2. props to Dr. Jen for introducing me to the Post Punk Kitchen, the source of the stir-fried pineapple recipe! And a few other things that I think I’ll want to try at some point []

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#14 – A List of My Go-To Meals

Well, it looks like I’m on a roll with the food topics!  Here’s a list of my go-to meals – those meals I make all the time and can make pretty much with my eyes closed1:

  • Egg McMaster
  • whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce
  • vegetarian chili – which is basically just my homemade tomato sauce with kidney beans, Yves veggie ground round, chili powder & hot sauce added.
  • Delish Curry Goodness – this is a spinach, tofu, chickpea and curry concoction that my sister’s bf used to woo her.  So she got an awesome boyfriend and I got an awesome dinner recipe!
  • homemade pizza with veggies, goat cheese and fresh basil (It’s kind of cheating because I use frozen dough from Stong’s, but it’s more homemade than (a) delivery, (b) frozen pre-made pizza, (c) pre-cooked pizza pie shell.  Not that I don’t make those kinds too, but I like my “homemade” pizza the best.  Tod and I watched a cooking show the other day where they cooked their pizza dough on the BBQ, so now I *totally* want to try that!
  • Twitter Recipe.  I call this one “Twitter Recipe” because one day I tweeted “I don’t know what to have for dinner!” and someone tweeted back a recipe.  It think it took 2 tweets and then one clarification tweet and I had the recipe.  In fewer than 420 characters.  Basically, it’s sauteed veggies & tofu, a can of cream of mushroom (or cream of whatever you like) soup, curry paste and a can of pineapple chunks, mixed with cooked rice (or sometimes I do it with rice noodles). It’s really fast and I usually make a big pot so I have plenty of leftovers to bring to work for lunch.
  • Hummus.  My friend Kaede taught this one to me: nuke a can of chickpeas for ~7 mins to soften them, then throw them in a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) with tahini, fresh garlic, lemon juice.  I usually add flax oil because it’s so damn good for you (and since you can’t cook flax oil, it’s nice to have a recipe to put it into).  You can also add variety by including things like a roasted red pepper or chili pepper flakes.
  • Guacamole.  I’m a fan of simplicity when it comes to my guac.  Avacado, garlic, lemon juice (and chili pepper flakes if I feel like an added kick). Blend.  I like this straight up with nachoes, or inside a veggie taco or wrap with refried beans & veggies.

Can you tell it’s lunchtime?

1Hmm, maybe it’s all this cooking with my eyes closed that makes me “Not To Be Trusted With Knives.”

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Meat Eater’s Sick Idea of A Joke?

While shopping for delicious foodstuffs to put into my shiny new fridge yesterday, I saw this:

Photo_031509_001 by you.

That’s right, raw meat, dripping with blood1, sitting atop the soy-based pretend-chicken wings and cutlets.  Is this some meat eater’s sick idea of a joke? Or the sign of a repentant former meat eater who did some soul-searching in Aisle 1 and decided, right on the spot, that their soul could no longer be weighed down with the death of innocent creatures,  that their future held only veggie goodness, and they quickly dropped the foul carcass to grab onto those broccoli bites with both hands!

I’m guessing it’s probably the former.

1Meat may or may not have been actually dripping with blood.

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Mi Navidad Mexicana

My Christmas vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico went a little something like this:

10:45 a.m. Wake up1.
10:55 a.m. Arrive at breakfast buffet restaurant.  Acquire coffee, refried beans, papaya and pineapple. Big decision of the day #1: French toast, omelette or fried eggs.
11:30 a.m. Grab beach towels. Apply sunscreen. Order non-stop delivery of Coca-Cola Light2 with a slice of lime from poolside server.
11:35a.m. Lay in sun. Alternate between reading, chatting with people and swimming. Reapply sunscreen as needed.
2:00 p.m. Have lunch, where lunch = french fries, onion rings, nachos with fresh guac and salsa.  And Coca-Cola Light.
2:30 p.m. Tod’s naptime. Big decision of the day #2: Decide between having a nap, reading, or going for a walk on the beach.
5:00 p.m. Nap (if not already napping)
6:30 p.m. Shower.  Dress up pretty.
8:00 p.m. Big decision of the day #3: where to have dinner.
10:30 p.m. Go to the disco, possibly followed by hot tub.
2:00 a.m. Order sandwiches from room service.
2:45 a.m. Re-order sandwich because they put bacon on my vegetarian sandwich.
3:15 a.m. Sleep.

Repeat for six days.

Seriously, I could get used to a life like that.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Los Cabos is gorgeous. Gorgeous!
  • The people we met were very friendly. Friendly!
  • Being a Vancouverite, I’m not used to sunshine, especially not in December.  Los Cabos was sunshine-y almost the entire time.
  • In Los Cabos, I didn’t have to think about work at all.
  • Standing on the beach, listening to the waves break3 and feeling myself sink into the sand as the waves rolled in and then back out.
  • 3 a.m. room service sandwiches. So. Tasty.

Lowlights of the trip:

  • Apparently, I’m the first vegetarian to ever set foot in Mexico.  To the point that on Christmas Eve, I was told that they couldn’t make me anything for dinner. After talking with one of the guest services peeps (who said, “Oh, would you like them to make you something special?” to which I replied, “No4, I just want something vegetarian!”) they agreed to make me… a salad. Because, you know, us freaks only ever eat salad. And who wouldn’t want a salad for Christmas dinner? In the end, I  managed to convince them to give me both the salad and a turkey dinner, hold the turkey.
  • Sitting in the San Jose del Cabos airport writing this blog posting. Our flight was supposed to have left 5:30 p.m. and it’s now, as I type this, 8:30 p.m.  The plane we were supposed to be on hadn’t even left Phoenix by 5:30 p.m. And apparently they can’t get us any other plane. And so now we are scheduled to leave here at 9:20 p.m. Which is going to make it rather difficult to make our 8:59 p.m. connection from Phoenix to Vancouver. So. Looks like I’ll be staying either in Phoenix (given that the 8:59 p.m. is the last Phoenix to Vancouver flight of the day) or here in Cabos5 (if this stupid plane decides never to arrive).

Books Read on This Trip:

  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (start to finish)6
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (about one-third of the book)
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn (about half a page)
  • Research Design by Creswell (the chapters I hadn’t yet read) and Conducting & Reading Research in Health & Human Performance by Baumgartner & Hensley (bits and pieces – since I’ve been stuck in this airport)

Things I Learned On My Trip:

  • Spray on sunscreen, which starts out invisible, turns green. The towel you lay on while wearing said sunscreen will look like it has grass stains on it.
  • Coffee whitener is highly flammable7.
  • Broken bones don’t hurt until you move them8.
  • Los Cabos airport appears to be a tent.

1Important, as they stop serving breakfast at 11 a.m.
2Which is what they call Diet Coke in Mexico. I didn’t see diet Pepsi anywhere.
3Of course, being a Vancouverite, I can easily get to the ocean. This was a reminder that I should make a point of doing so more often.
4Seriously. I’m not asking for the moon here. I’m like, “just give me the veggies from the turkey dinner, hold the turkey!”
5Kicking myself for joking in my last blog posting about deciding to stay in Mexico. Staying sounded nice, but not if it means staying in the airport!
6Thanks to Sarah & Dave, who gave this to me for Christmas.
7Didn’t actually have the opportunity to see this in action, but we were assured that it is true.
8Didn’t learn this firsthand, but one of the people we were hanging out with broken his toe playing beach volleyball. I was sure it was just dislocated, given that it didn’t hurt and bones have lots of nerves in them. But when the doctor showed up, he said it was broken (as he was able to move the joints normally, meaning the joints couldn’t be dislocated) and that it didn’t hurt because it wasn’t moving.

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Foie Gras

As a vegetarian, I’m not going to be eating foie gras. Foie gras, in case you don’t know, is the liver of a goose that has been force fed to the point that it has developed fatty liver. Sounds rather disgusting to me (both the idea of eating a fatty liver and the force feeding of the poor geese), but people who eat it swear it’s delicious. Anyway, I watched this TED video of a story of foie gras being made a different way:

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I especially like how he takes what he learns about this “natural” foie gras and extends it to industrial agriculture as a whole.

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Countdown to the new hockey season!

Ice cream cake sporting my hockey teams logo. Mmmm, ice cream.

Ice cream cake sporting my hockey team's logo. Mmmm, ice cream.

My hockey team had a year-end pool party this past weekend, commemorating our championship, Vegas tournament, trip to provincials in Kelowna and all around hockey good times. The party was held at team captain Karen’s parents place – they have the super awesomest backyard ever, complete with pool1, hot tub, and multiple BBQs. We were further spoiled with goalie Meghan’s husband, Chef Brian, cooking us a gourmet dinner2. And then, to top it all off – a Dairy Queen ice cream cake AND a cheescake!

We also got to see a slide show of photos from the year – in addition to professional ones we had taken of us in action on the ice, there were photos from our fundraiser pub night, Vegas and Kelowna. All of which are no-Facebook, no-Flickr, no-blog. For reasons that I’m sure you can imagine! Then there was also a presentation to one of our team members, Nancy, who retired at the end of the season after an illustrious career with the Blazing Blades. Her jersey was framed and her number (44) has now been retired in her honour. We are hoping that she’ll come back to coach us in the new season!

Speaking of which – it starts next week! I’m so stoked, because I’ve totally been missing the hockey. And now that I have my superhuman vision, I’m sure to tear up the ice this season! I’ll keep you posted, because I know you are just *dying* to hear all about it!

1Although I was technically supposed to go swimming for a full two weeks after my laser eye surgery, I went for a swim, but just made sure not to put my head under. And to go in the pool before everyone else got in so I wouldn’t risk getting splashed in the eyes. I can’t wait ’til my eyes are reading for swimming!
2And, professional chef that he is, he accommodated my vegetarian ways by making me my own special chickpea creation. Which was AWESOME!

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Update on My Knee Injury

Yesterday, I wore these bacon band-aids to cover up my hideously scraped knee:

Props to my sister who gave me a pack of bacon band-aids. She thinks it’s funny to get me things that look like meat, what with me being a vegetarian and all. These band-aids got me a fair bit of attention and I am, after all, an attention whore.