I recently made friends with a really cool vegan chick, Kara, and her really cool vegetarian husband, Orion. This is a great new development in my life. On Sunday night, they provided me with a lovely, home-cooked dinner of baba ghanoush, foccacia and green pepper slices. For those who don't know, baba ghanoush is an Arab dish of mashed eggplant, mixed with various seasonings. It's usually eaten as a dip. Orion made fantastic foccacia bread to go with it, so we dipped that and crisp, fresh green pepper slices in the ghanoush. It was heaven.
"Kara, this baba ghanoush is better than the Rubaiyat's," I told her shortly after the meal began. And anyone who has ever read or heard me gush about the Rubaiyat knows I wouldn't say this unless it was absolutely true. But it was. The baba ghanoush at the Rubaiyat is a little watery and tends to separate, but Kara's was blended to a perfect consistency: creamy, smooth and wonderful. The green pepper was wonderfully fresh and snapped when I bit it, releasing a flood of juicy goodness into my mouth to mingle with the garlicky eggplant. It was amazing. And sharing a meal with friends always make it taste that much better, of course. Hanging out with vegans is freaking awesome.
No honey is still killing me a little bit. At the beginning of class, I wrote about the crushing realization that I could no longer have honey in my oatmeal, and how it made me die a little inside. And I still miss it. I miss big blobs of honey in my green tea. I went to have a bowl of Kashi cereal the other day at my mom's house, but was stopped in my tracks when I saw "honey" a little way down on the ingredient list. Damn. So I guess I have to say that the animal byproducts I miss the most are the ones you get from bees: honey and beeswax.
But, like I've said before, I have a mental clarity now that I've never had before in my life, and have always longed for. I am grateful every day for all the wonderful things veganism has brought into my life. It's made it easier for me to be myself, and to seek out those things and people that fit best with me, specifically. This has been such a wonderful experience for me, and I'm so glad I embarked on it.