Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Finally Made Something!

I know, it's only a salad -- how boring, but I found myself uncharacteristically inspired to work with flavors recently. As regular readers know, lately my appetite has been AWOL, so I've been without inspiration to create culinarily. But I came home from work the other day craving a Greek salad, so I made this. For the "feta" I marinated blocks of tofu in fresh lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. I didn't measure, I just kept changing the proportions until I liked the flavor. It actually did taste like a very mild feta cheese, if I am remembering correctly. Besides the tofu feta, I only added a drizzle of olive oil to the ingredients and stirred it up.

In 1985 I spent a couple of months in Greece with my parents and brother. We spent some time in the homes of Greek friends, and found that there was a Greek salad served every day, sometimes twice a day (lunch and dinner) in addition to the other fresh offerings. Sometimes the salad would vary slightly with the inclusion of bell peppers or black olives, but the core ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and olive oil were standard. The above salad did blast me back to the past a bit.

During this time of working to find balance and peace, the little bit I've learned about macrobiotic principles has come in handy. I tend to spend most of my time in the upper chakras (flighty, escapist, ungrounded) so when I'm feeling especially disconnected and unfocused, root veggies are an amazing way to tap into those elusive lower chakras and become grounded again.

Parsnips to the rescue! Have you tried them? they are a wonderful, sweet and mild root, looking a bit like off-white carrots. This is a photo of this morning's juice veggies -- parsnips, romaine, kale, cucumber, apple, ginger and lemon. This combination was delicious and pretty sweet despite the fact that the apple was about the size of a golf ball. Here's the finished product:

Lovely, and just what I needed to wash down my daily prescribed dose of goodies:

The injection is the only actual pharmaceutical, but the supplements are all prescribed by the trusted doctor who has kept me well and my MS quiet for oh, about 7 or 8 years now (now my boss). In addition to this, I also give myself a B12 shot once a week. We do what we need to do to have optimum health, and I am so grateful to have cracked the code for what works for me.

Today is my Mom's and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. She's been gone three months now. I spoke with Dad this morning. He's a real trooper, and while he has his moments, is doing what he needs to do to stay healthy and balanced and seems to be handling his grief surprisingly well.

Today's Jeanine story:  When mom and dad were dating, one night he brought her to his parents house, the beloved "Homehearth" featured in "My Vegan Story" here on this blog. My grandmother, Eula, offered my mom some of her homemade wine. My mom hesitated. She had never before tried alcohol, but she didn't want to be rude, and it was very important to her to impress her potential in-laws.

"Harold," Grandmommy said to Grandaddy, "this girl has never tried wine before --  get her some from the good batch!"

Grandaddy put down the large glass jug he was holding and went searching in the cupboard. He soon returned with another large glass jug. He ceremoniously poured my young mom a glass of the good stuff. My mom took her first sip and had to work to suppress a grimace.

"Is this what I've been missing?" she thought to herself. It tasted awful.

She forced herself to choke down most of it over the course of her otherwise lovely meal, and Grandmommy must have noticed the look on my mom's face at some point because she got up and picked up mom's glass, smelled it, then tasted the contents.

"Harold!" Grandmommy exclaimed, "You've poured the girl a glass of vinegar!" (my grandparents also made their own vinegar).

My mom used to love to tell this story, over and over again, as she did with many other stories. She was such a lovely story teller, I never tired of the retelling.


  1. happy anniversary to your folks! 50 years -- wow! how awesome!

  2. Great story! The things we do for the people we love. Sounds like she married into a fabulous family. How wonderful to have the stories to look back on and share. Your mom gave you a wonderful gift and thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Thanks VeganLinda! I am really enjoying your stories as well -- keep 'em coming!