Monday, June 28, 2010


My family is wonderful. Yes, of course the folks I mention from time to time, my husband, son, daughter and two dogs, that goes without saying, but today I also speak of my extended family, and particularly my family of origin. We have had the good fortune for several days to have my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece visit. My brother and sister in law are teachers in China, and their family has called that country home for a couple of years now. They are able to return to the States once a year during the summer. My parents live in Virginia, and when they visit us they take a couple of days to get here. I am so grateful everyone rallied to make the trip for this little family reunion.

This was my family's first visit since I have been vegan, so I was a little nervous. All amazing people, these family members are open-minded, reasonable and non-judgemental, so I wasn't worried about their treatment of me or my choice, but like anything else, I wondered how something familiar and crucial to the core of who I am would mesh with my new vegan context. I needn't have worried at all. Pleasantly curious, several of my family members asked enough questions about the vegan diet that I could comfortably discuss it in a celebratory vein, while not demeaning their own food choices. Each of us is on a journey through life, side by side, if only figuratively, and each journey is valid.

We had a lot of delicious food together. My family has always loved pitching in together in the kitchen, and my father and brother are especially good chefs. My brother, animatedly described a certain pepper in China which apparently has no English name, and is so hot it acts like novocaine for a few minutes. He had left it in the luggage at his wife's parents' house, so he made do with what he could find in my kitchen and prepared spicy chili-lime peanuts for us all to snack on. Yum! My Dad helped with several dishes, my favorite one being grilled veggies. He chopped eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, onion and shallots, and I added from my garden these lovely Chinese long beans, a couple of yellow squash, a handful of cherry tomatoes and some twigs of thyme. To all this we added olive oil, salt and pepper and my husband stir fried it in a grill pan as he prepared shishkebabs for the carnivores and a field roast sausage for me.

There were several big vegan hits over the days with my family.  They really enjoyed the Raw Kale Salad and Pasta alla Formiana from Little House of Veggies ( and the Cassoulet from Veganomicon. Otherwise, there was always good bread and a salad of some sort, and plenty of snacking, with vegan choices figuring prominently.

I am sorry these wonderful people have moved out of my house and back to their own lives now, but I am left feeling so grateful for our time together. Mom, Dad, Brit, Cathy, Braedon and McKenzie, you guys are amazing -- thanks for everything!  Until next time . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Just have to concur about the wondrousness of your family...nuclear and extended. :) Love you!