Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Tag Archives: beanie

digesting the holidays

I hope everyone had an enjoyable day off work, assuming you did have the day off work on Thursday. In the U.S., it was “Thanksgiving”, a holiday that makes me cringe.

Others have talked about the genocide that we are celebrating, I’ve talked a little about the turkeys who are killed, as well as the turkeys who are saved. I think most of that is all obvious stuff.

I dislike holidays, and that dislike grows more each year. Maybe I’m just not social enough to enjoy family gatherings. Whatever the reason, holidays are welcome only in that they are a day off work. The rest is simply something I need to expend energy to avoid, and thus is an annoyance.

This year, though, I took a five hour bus ride to visit a friend for a vegan feast. A vegan friend, and a motley crew of his vegan Food Not Bombs friends. We had faux turkey and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and stuffing, sweet potatoes, lasagne and a million types of cookies, and a few different pies. I’m probably missing something.

It was good and fun, and we didn’t have to pretend that we were okay with a carcass on the table. One of the guys there had been told by his family that it would be disrespectful if he brought a tofurkey to the family gathering, something that blows my mind even though I can’t honestly say it surprises me.

There is usually something relaxing about being among people who share certain baseline ethics, and this was no exception. As a group, we were mostly incredibly different from each other, held together by that invisible super-glue of shared veganism.

And apparently an obsession with cookies.

What I enjoyed the most about my “holiday” weekend was tramping along abandoned train tracks,

taking in the awe-inspiring graffiti building, five pointz

laughing and arguing and having thoughtful discussions with people. Meeting someone who is a provider for my heroes, the Rock Doves!

In other words, I would have had just as good a time, maybe even better, without the focus on food.

Except that I eat all the time now, so it isn’t like I could have gone without food altogether.

I always circle back around to this though, that if we were able to break the connection between food and socializing, I’d enjoy my non-vegan friends and family a hell of a lot more.

And at the same time, all those moments of eating surrounded by non-vegan food is exactly what puts the Thanksgiving With the Turkeys (and the 300+ vegan dishes at a giant community potluck) and the dinner with my friend Rich and his vegan friends in such stark amazing relief.

Holidays are conflicted times for most of us, I think. I would have been happy enough with my original plan – to go on a long, possibly overnight, bike tour. I definitely am even happier that I took that 5 hour bus ride to be social.

Abandoned train tracks and graffiti art seems like the perfect celebration after all.

the morning bean

the morning bean


Vegan cupcakes rule the world

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,” affectionately known as VCTOTW. (Which I’ve never figured out how to pronounce without sounding like I’m clearing my throat.) I’ve made many a cupcake from this cookbook, and I don’t think it is possible to recommend it highly enough to people who like cupcakes. Or anyone who just plain old like desserts. Or really, anyone at all, since I think these are recipes that would convert anyone to the wonder of cupcakes.

The funny thing is that I had never made a cupcake in my life until I got the cookbook. I wasn’t sold on the cookbook at all when I first heard of it. “An entire cookbook for cupcakes? WTF?” was my essential reaction.

When VCTOTW came out, frosting seemed to explode all over the blogosphere. Food bloggers or not, vegans couldn’t stop talking about it. Being the stubborn sort, it actually made me more resistant. I mean, sure I love Babycakes, but not so much that I could see the point in making cupcakes myself.

Maybe I’m just a cookie person, and find it hard to switch my thinking.

Maybe I’m honestly so lazy that the thought of having to make frosting was too much for me.

But then I was in Mooshoes on a visit to NYC, and I couldn’t resist flipping through VCTOTW. I was sucked into the world of cupcakes. I got cupcake tins and papers, I spent months making tons of cupcakes. I loved it!

I think the Margarita cupcakes were my favorites, but it is hard to say.

Eventually my essential laziness crept back in, and it has now been quite a while since I’ve made cupcakes.

Last weekend at the sanctuary, a new volunteer (new to me) brought a really yummy spice cake. Sheryl insisted that we eat it all, and after much arm-twisting, we reluctantly devoured the entire thing, barely managing to leave a single piece for Dave.

Not surprisingly when faced with a delicious dessert, the conversation turned to VCTOTW, but Terry, ever the optimist, called it “Vegan Cupcakes Rule The World.”

That is what will happen after the cupcakes take over the world, after all. Terry just lives a bit in the future!

I went looking for a cupcake picture, and all I found was the 2nd cutest cat in the world

I went looking for a cupcake picture, and all I found was the 2nd cutest cat in the world

Oh, as long as I brought up cats via a picture of Beanie, who happens to be a very handsome black and white cat, go read what Neva blogged about recently regarding why there tends to be a greater number of black or black and white cats in feral colonies. Fascinating reading!