Ok, a little about me and my preferences

I found this list of questions on Epicurvegan's blog and, since I'm a little lacking in substance posts lately, thought I would put a few minutes toward completing it myself.

If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
Being a broke-ass student, organic is often out of my price range. I prefer to buy my greens as organic but very often the lower price of non-organic wins out. In that case, actually in all cases, I do make an effort to buy local and seasonal.

2. Favourite way to prepare potatoes:
I prefer to eat my potatoes roasted but am far too lazy and impatient to prepare them that way myself. In terms of preparation, I don't make potatoes often...sometimes mashed with roasted garlic.

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
I have started to do this but really only with tofu that I have frozen then thawed. A LOT of water comes out and can be replaced with tasty marinade. Tofu that has not been frozen doesn't really need it in my opinion but also doesn't take on flavours in the same way and has a very different texture.

4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
Zucchini casserole. Oh baby!

5. Any food allergies?
Nope. Just that pesky ethical thing.

6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Around Vancouver we have tried Cru, Aurora Bistro, Bin 941, and a handful of others. I quite like splurging on a fancy dinner now and then. Of course there's always stripmall Henry's which offers a happy mix of great food that the restauranteurs treat like fancy stuff but is delivered in a stripmall where the view of parked cars enhances the decor of chalked roosters. My favourite!

7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
Soup. Garlicky, spicy, hot and sour soup.

8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
The kind that comes out of a tap. Anywhere. Even in public bathrooms.

9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
Tough one. I don't really drink soda plus I'm all about the savoury, not the sweet, so maybe a flavour that is kind of bitter like tonic. Or herbs added to fruit flavours like rosemary-apple.

10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
Sunday Night Dinners for Forty.

11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
Ah cripes. I mean, the Fraser basin is a pretty good place to grow lots and lots of amazing produce, but they haven't yet got a handle on mangoes and pineapple or even really good citrus.

12. Favorite type of mushroom?
I could go on and on here. I hated mushrooms for too long and now adore their subtle muskiness and funny texture. Shitakes - YUM. Porcini - WOW. There are some blue stem mushrooms at a grocer's nearby that I'm dying to try but need to find out how to treat them. Run of the mill mushrooms available on a daily basis? There my preference would be portobellos.

13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
I'm pretty satisfied with our kitchen actually. Lots of space, lots of appliances. If anything I would just like some more disposable income to be able to buy some fancy ingredients and some way to speed up dishwashing that doesn't involve a motor or excessive amounts of water.

14. Last food you burned?
Popcorn. How lame is that?

15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
I eat a lot of beans and I have a lot of gas. Well, less gas when the beans make more regular appearances. I sometimes eat tofu but it's not a staple. I drink soy milk but not too much. Stop forcing the cheese on me since it's actually kind of low on the protein count!

16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
Chocolate. Only chocolate. Always. With chocolate icing. Fudge chocolate icing. Plus icing between the chocolate cake layers. Yum.

17. Favourite brand of chocolate chips?
No idea. Whatever is cheap? I can't remember the last time I made something involving chocolate chips.

18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma - What do you buy?
Like Epicurvegan, I would appreciate a mandoline. We've also been toying with the idea of buying a proper set of cutlery that all match and have a nice weight and balance along the fork/knife/spoon.

19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
Only in the short term. When we're hosting dinner I'll usually get the idea of what to eat before deciding who to invite. I get cravings, you see, and sometimes the craving is only satisfied by making a huge amount of whatever it is, or the thing can only be made in large amounts - like lasagna. Tips? Always make more than you think they'll eat.

20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving - What do you eat?
I spend 5 minutes moaning about how it would be nice to have more time to prepare something then I either grab a yogurt or eat a very quick bowl of cereal or make a super fast sandwich. This is all dependent on what supplies, if any, are available in the house. We're often stranded without any "fast food" but we're getting much better about making at least one large dish like a casserole each week to take for lunch and eat as leftovers or when you need something ASAP.

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win and how?
Martha would win. She's frickin' tenacious and mean. She'd be biting when the other two would still be wrestling. Well, actually, Rachel can probably be pretty vicious when she needs to...

22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
Cinnamon and maple syrup.

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?
India (North).

24. Favourite late night snack?
Popcorn, see answer to question 14.

25. Favourite springtime food?
Springtime is kind of hard to answer. My favourite stuff comes out in early summer like peas fresh from the garden and baby carrots. New potatoes? No, too early for them as well. Huh, tough one.

26. Favorite food-related magazine?
They are all a bit disappointing to me. Either they are too meat-focussed or they reuse the same recipe-types over and over and over again. I prefer online recipe searches for variety.

27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?
Different sauces for different dishes. I love the saltiness of soy sauce, the deep, earthy flavour of tamari, the funky complex flavour of Bragg's and actually I've never used shoyu. Depends on the dish.

28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
Eggplant. Blech.

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
The treats! It's hard to justify stuffing your face with sugar like that any other time of the year. But all the savoury dishes on one table is very appealing. I make them during the year too just never all at once. Oh, oh! Just thought of it. Mom's (aka. Grandma Anne's) onion casserole!

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
Well, I can't even convert myself to veganism so I suppose my answer is no one. I try not to proselytize (some would disagree) but I do think most people would be delighted by the benefits and variety of a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet if they gave it an honest attempt. Meh. Every body is different and people have different needs, both biophysical and psychological. These are individual choices to make and luckily
in our largely secular society we have the right to choose for ourselves. I'm glad I have the choice and that you each do too.


  1. Blue-stemmed mushrooms? Oh! Do tell where you saw those! Are the actually "blue-stemmed"?

    As for the "conversion" thing. I think it's a dumb term. It's like being a "born again" whatever. No one is ever converted and you can't convert someone. It's a choice. Ever read "Vegan Freaks" by the Torres'? They have a wicked good podcast too. You might wanna check it out...

  2. Anonymous1:59 p.m.

    Eggplant more than cauliflower? Eggplant can be so delish!

  3. Yeah, I'm warming to cauliflower especially because, a bit like tofu, it will absorb almost any flavour you throw at it. I don't actually hate eggplant but I would never choose it and I think I may have purchased all of one in my lifetime at a store.

    Cauliflower on its own tastes like farts. Yes it does.

  4. I must say that shoyu is really the only true soy sauce. I will not acknowledge "china lily" as being in the same category. It makes me sad to think of the many abominations that use the oh so divine name soy sauce. Long live Kikkoman!

  5. If you don't believe me that Kikkoman is the best, you might need to watch this.


  6. Anonymous1:01 p.m.

    I am dying here about the childhood recipe cookbook title!!!....Could also be "Faculty Dinners from far and wide: Best of" hahahah!

  7. Anonymous1:03 p.m.

    It's true cauliflowers taste like farts on their own. I've never thought about it that way,but it's so true!...However, if you ever bread them and fry them, they take on the most amazing un-cauliflower-ish anti-fart taste!