Time for some reflection.

It’s been a little over a year since I began this blog and a little longer since I began my journey into ‘domestic’ skills. I was looking back at my old posts and was seriously shocked at how bad some of my food was…not saying it’s super awesome now but I think I’ve come a long way. And sometimes I look at all the things I’m doing and I feel very much like a “Jack of all trades but master of none” because I love to explore but sometimes I don’t have the time, skill, or patience to hone some of these skills. I’d really like to make more pastries but we honestly don’t eat many sweets so we end up tossing a lot of it away. I’ve been trying to make smaller batches to prevent this but even still it’s likely that we won’t eat all of the pie, pastries, cupcakes, etc that I make. Maybe once I start making my mini tarts I’ll be able to make smaller batches.

But another problem that I run into is the vegan aspect. I’ve read so many random ways to sub for eggs or other agents but it’s really hit and miss depending on the item I make. I haven’t really found concrete sources that really help with subbing. Applesauce is good for more condensed items that don’t spread, flax is good for earthy foods, bananas can be hit or miss because sometimes it overpowers other flavors, the list goes on. I made some Persimmon cookies and I didn’t have any flax meal on hand because I keep forgetting to buy it. Didn’t have any bananas, applesauce was out of the question because of the spreading issue….so it left me with a few options…use cornstarch, a weird baking powder/oil mix that I use occasionally or leave out the egg altogether. But eggs are so great for baking that I really didn’t know what would happen if I left the egg out and I couldn’t find good vegan recipes so I used a Tb. of cornstarch…maybe 2…can’t remember. I also cut the recipe in half which meant only using one Persimmon for the pulp but I doubled it since it seemed a bit too dry (probably the lack of wetness since I used the cornstarch instead of a wet ingredient) and the other Persimmon was almost going bad so I figured it would just make it more Persimmony. I found the recipe on either recipezaar or allrecipes…but changed it to include more pulp and vanilla extract. I’ve never baked these before but they were really soft when they came out and I was worried that they’d be gummy and lacking consistency but they firmed up once I let them cool. Personally, I couldn’t taste the Persimmon but maybe it’s just subtle but Nathan said he could taste it. It seemed like a sweet Oatmeal cookie to me.

Picture 424

The batter was really orange but they came out more brown which was kind of disappointing. They’re super yummy and Nathan even stole one after they came out of the oven which seems promising since he never usually likes to eat sweets. Did I mention in my last post that I made some roasted pumpkin seeds. Mmmm…I remember making these as a kid with ‘Cajun’ spice but simply used olive oil, coarse sea salt, and some cayenne pepper. Omg, so good. I had so many I was super regular all week lol. I was planning on making potato-leek soup with my goat-cheese/tomato tarts tonight but I didn’t want to chance that it would suck so I’m going to wait a until sunday to make it. I did make my vegan cheese which I’ll have to post later. The recipe is on Veg. Times website and it’s ‘Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese’…I ended up baking it for about 50 min instead of 35 since I forgot to turn it since I was knitting. It looks promising but I haven’t tried it yet to know if it’s good or not.

Anyway, this post is all over the place tonight. So many thoughts going through my mind. I bought some more dahlias and Nathan seemed to like the ones that looked black…not sure if they’re actually black dahlias but they look awesome.

Picture 427

Crappy pic I wanted to post them since I’m not sure if there will be more of them next week. Thinking about the kitchen…I feel really awesome because I replaced most of the cabinet door handles all by myself and it wasn’t easy. I don’t know who installed half the shit in this complex before we moved in but it was done so horribly I seriously think they did shit work and kept the rest of the money. One of the handles I have to replace wasn’t even screwed in…it was glued on. And one of our drawers has a cheap plastic runner so the wheel is now square…I want to replace it but they glued the runner instead of screwing it into the wood…so now I have to figure out how to get the glue off and then buy a new runner and install it…ya I’m so hardcore…no wonder my nails are always splitting with all the housework I do. 😦 I wish I lived in the 1950s and just cleaned and baked…haha But back to the cabinets…they look better than the cheap ass plastic handles that were so worn and falling apart but I really need to paint the wood since they used crap paint…they couldn’t even be bothered to take off the hinges before painting the wood…they seriously just painted over them…but I should quit complaining because we live a lot better than many people in the world so bitching about cabinets is sort of mundane.

I’m still knitting my sock which seems so slow but with all the cleaning, home improvements, and cooking I haven’t had much time this week. I decided to watch movies today instead of the radio which didn’t help me speed up my knitting but it was nice to take a break from listening to the radio. Watched ‘How to marry a millionaire’ and ‘The big sleep’. I really love Humphrey Bogart now and I just think our society is becoming so square in certain ways. I know that women have better opportunities now, in general and not taking into account race and socioeconomic status and all the other factors, so I know it’s not like many women/men in these movies are a good portrayal of how they lived. But The Big Sleep was so great and it makes me wonder why we’re pushing so hard to make 1st Wld. citizens live to be over a hundred. Sure, I’m a huge advocate of living healthy and ethically but I also don’t understand why certain activities are condemned for medical reasons. It’s like our society is mandating a ‘healthy religion’. Doing drugs, drinking, swearing, or not having a certain type of lifestyle is accused as being excessive, life-threatening, or wrong…and I’m not saying that people should do these things just for the hell of it but I think back to my history in Protestant Orange County and wonder why so many of my peers were so against exploring. I seriously am confused when Nathan tells me how he knew so many white Catholics (and Catholics in general) in St. Louis because I never knew any in Orange…only latino/as were Catholic. But anyway, I’m not advocating that we do a bunch of socially wrong activities but I think we need to loosen up a bit. Like the smoking ban in Santa Cruz….I personally hated when people smoked in diners or in airplanes but I don’t think we should police these things in such a way…both legally or culturally.

Why is it that we’re so focused on abortions, drug/alcohol consumption, and our work status when people are committing mass murder by exposing people to horrible working conditions that affect entire communities? Sweatshops exploit people, create worse shanty towns/environmental conditions, are usually abusive in regards to women, and create little or no job security for the workers. We have people like Bernie Madoff who fucks over people for money, other CEOs who can’t be bothered to take a coach class airplane seat instead of private planes, our government which has historically abused people, created coups, enacted embargoes for lame political reasons, and generally dicked over a lot of citizens by sending them off to wars that shouldn’t have been started and has taken away food support instead of trying to get communities out of poverty. And we, as a collective society, are concerned about if someone wants to smoke weed or a cigarette?

I mean, honestly, where are our priorities? It feels like we’re tying to make everyone live a long time so that we get max production out of people to feed taxes while keeping us ignorant to bigger issues. We don’t even have full health care which is just criminal…sometimes I feel like I’m becoming a Libertarian which I hope doesn’t happen haha. But honestly, I feel like the 1st Wld. needs a wake up…we should be more concerned about where our electronic parts are coming from in terms of raw materials than if someone wants a random smoke. We should be more concerned about the working conditions of outsourced industries that affect millions of people rather than if one woman decides she doesn’t want to carry a fetus for her own reasons.

And that is another thing, I got crap sex ed. To be honest, I’m grateful that I had friends in high school that talked about sex even if they weren’t practicing themselves…and I had a great Environmental Studies teacher who talked to me and my class partner about contraception when we asked her what our text book meant when they listed all sorts of contraception because we had no clue what anything other than a condom was. I read recently that abortions are on the decline in countries that have a wide variety of birth control which seems to me as a good sign…why does the U.S. feel that the best form of protection is not having sex. It’s unrealistic…I mean some venereal diseases have been around for centuries…sex is what makes life possible and genetics make things possible or impossible. We pump women full of hormones for their eggs or surrogacy and let couples pay thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars to create children but if a woman doesn’t want to have a child then they might as well have sold their souls to the goddamn devil.  Seriously, people all over the world are living in horrible conditions, get no help with substantial political stability from their former colonial powers, are subjugated to slavery/trade/migration because the 1st Wld. is so xenophobic and apathetic.

This post is so all over the place, but I just don’t understand why the U.S. pushes certain agendas. Well, I suppose our society pushes them to make us forget about bigger issues…at least that is how it seems to me. And I write this because I feel if I type about it then maybe others might think more on these issues. It comes down to what does it mean to be political. I’ve done more marching and protesting than most people in my lifetime because of my parents. Just because I’m not ‘actively’ protesting doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything. We live in a very consumer driven society and I am always thinking about what I consume…mainly food because I do believe that ‘we are what we eat’. I’m blessed that I can eat so well. I might not be a professor or employed by an activist organization but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing my part. I think one of our biggest obligations as a world citizen is to read and think critically and then to talk or write about it. Also, not everyone can a ‘full-time’ activist because we need people to work in certain occupations to make our society function…we can’t all be full time activists because we need people to sell, market, clean, etc. It’s just a reality. But at the same time I think we ought to strive to encourage more people to think globally. Everything we do effects the world, especially in regards to 1st. Wld. citizens.

Anyway, the last thing I’ll bitch about, I think people with peanut allergies should all die…ok ok I don’t mean that. But I’m so tired of trying to find peanuts at my local markets because people have peanut allergies. First they take away my airplane peanuts and give me some horrid pretzels. Then they slowly take away peanuts from everywhere…and I mean everywhere! I finally got some peanuts at Wholefoods but then they took most of the varieties away and now there is the lone vacuum-packed bag that sits in a corner away from all the real nuts. 😦 Personally, I don’t understand why they didn’t just offer two types of snacks on airplanes and really…is it the peanut’s fault that people are allergic to it? I say no, leave the peanut alone…it’s a mofo’ing legume!

Vive le legume!


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November 2009
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