Holiday wrap-up


Hi there! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season without too many “I could be a vegan… except for cheese”-type conversations.

For Christmas, the family converged on my parents house for three days filled with family visits, cooking, and other assorted holiday mayhem. The “food situation” wasn’t too bad… my mom’s nearly vegetarian and always makes sure there’s something vegan for me. She and my dad have even taken to preparing certain things vegan only rather than having two versions available (Christmas cookies, mashed potatoes, etc.), which is nice, because people simply don’t notice unless you tell them.

Other family continued to be a bit baffled by my veganism (c’mon, folks, I’ve been veggie for over six years now!), but at least it allowed for some decent conversation and education on the subject. One relative surprised me by trying a piece of my tofu cheesecake and enjoying it and I had to break down the “free range myth” for another. Another made me laugh a little bit when she told me, “Since you’re vegan, I made the fish with fake bacon bits instead of bacon,” to which I paused and replied, “Yes… but there’s still the fish…” She laughed and realized her mistake pretty quickly after that.

My sister gave Rasine the very cool Tofu Bear, a soft little teddy bear made out of “soy silk,” a “a cutting edge fiber made from the waste produced during the manufacture of tofu.” Replace “fiber” with “product” and “tofu” with “meat” and you’d be talking about leather! Does this mean that meat eaters that eschew tofu will have to say they don’t support soy silk because it “still supports The Industry”?

My cousin and I also chatted about Big Antifreeze and how they’re suckers for not using taste-aversive additives to deter dogs and cats from ingesting it (though, interestingly, the ASPCA is “neutral” on the subject).

Food I made for the holidays that turned out well: a yellow split-pea soup from a Polish cookbook, the very Toll House-ish cookies from Don’t Feed the Bears, Dreena’s Sublime Chocolate Bark, and chocolate chip tofu cheesecake from the Chicago Diner cookbook.

Any good hoilday stories to share as we kick off this new year?

4 Responses to “Holiday wrap-up”

  1. Lazurii

    The hubby and I have barely gone veg about two months ago and have the wonderful task of telling everyone. We told a friend of ours that we’re vegetarian, and she said “But you still eat pork and chicken, right?” We had to explain that those animal products are still meat.

  2. dale ball

    Hi, Ryan, just listened to Erik Marcus’ latest show on ( got the podcast) He had a nice piece on your blog about the holidays. He’s right, you do come off as a nice, sincere guy who just happens to be vegan. I had tried keeping a travel/food journal of sorts while travelling over the holidays… keeping notes on what was out there for vegans to eat, and casually follow what was going on dairy-wise in different cities. While in Hawaii ( my Mom and I were visiting a sick brother…really ! ), there was an interesting article in the local paper on the meat and dairy industries in Hawaii shutting down because of increased labor, feed and transportaion. The “feed” part caught my eye, after reading Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and Marcus highlighting the issue of feed corn supplies being re-directed from animal agriculture to the production of ethanol for fuel. Looks like it is starting !
    Cheers, Dale
    ps…a gallon of milk on the Big Island of Hawaii cost $ 6.96 in October ( according to the Honolulu Advertiser ).

  3. Ryan

    Thanks for mentioning the podcast, Dale — hadn’t gotten to hear it yet. Now I’m turning red like the shy kid in the back of the class when the teacher praises him publicly for being the only one not to fail the spelling test.

  4. anshu

    This tofu bear is amazing. I’m really going to try to get that. I love it.

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