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Privilege August 11, 2010

Posted by tuimeltje in food, life.
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So far, this $21 challenge is not actually too difficult.
Perhaps €16 buys a decent week’s food around here.
Perhaps I’ve not planned properly and and the whole thing will start to become really annoying once the weekend arrives and I’ve a few more days to go without enough money to get me proper meals. Seeing as I suck at planning and therefore didn’t actually plan anything, this is a very real possibility.
We’ll see.

Anyway, while my lack of planning abilities would make living like this long-term a bit more difficult, there are certain things that definitely made it easier for me to begin with. I probably don’t realise all of them, the way privilege works and all, but here are the ones I’m aware of. Please tell me if you think there’s some I missed.

Several ways in which I’m privileged food-wise:

  • My brain works in a way that allows me to do my daily things quite easily.
  • I have easy, at-home internet access for recipes and food information and my language skills are good enough to understand a lot of it.
  • I’ve had a basic education on what kinds of food are healthy and was raised in a way that featured those foods in abundance.
  • I have no one but myself to take care of.
  • I have time to prepare meals and check out several places for my groceries.
  • I live within walking distance of three supermarket chains, of which two are considered discount supermarkets. All sell a good variety of fresh foods.
  • I have several small ethnic shops nearby, which widens my food options and access to (relatively) cheap foods.
  • I have a very wide choice in supermarkets and ethnic food markets within bikeable distance.
  • I live within bikeable distance from at least two large second-hand shops where I can get cheap kitchen things.
  • I live in an urban area with good public transport which I’m able to use for free most weekdays because I’m a student.
  • I live in a country where I’m not that likely to have to choose between buying food or paying for medical care.
  • I have family and friends getting me in touch with free kitchen swag (immersion blender, fridge, microwave, food processor,
    plates, cutlery, mugs) or gifting me some. A good many things in my kitchen were given to me, especially the more expensive things.
  • Should I be in trouble, those people would be able to help me out.
  • I generally have enough money to buy bulk to same money in the long run and I have space to store things.
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    Twitty August 9, 2009

    Posted by tuimeltje in administrative, fandom veganism.
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    Some administrative stuff again.

    I added the two fandom veganism posts to this blog, since I don’t see myself maintaining that blog alongside this one. I considered deleting the blog, but that sort of thing makes me rather nervous. Also, the main reason I would want to delete it is to free up the name for someone else, but apparently that doesn’t happen. Since it’s probably possible to somehow give the name to someone else by adding users and whatnot, anyone interested in the name can contact me about that.

    I also added some Twitter to this blog, simply because I can, and I’m considering changing the layout somewhat. The categories look a little messy in this one.

    ETA: Fixed the category iffiness and found a way to make the clashing orange not be here anymore. Content now, will not switch themes.

    Mite August 9, 2009

    Posted by tuimeltje in food, review, snack, travel.
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    I’ve just come back from the annual UK trip with the band (though no Sinead this year, unfortunately). This year was the 250th anniversary of the battle of Minden (big parade, unfortunately without Brigadier Coutts), so some Dutch re-enactors of KOSB-ness were sharing the barracks with us. It’s always amusing to expose new people to something like pb&kale sammiches.

    While doing my usual enthusiastic grocery shopping I came across something so British I would’ve bought it even if I loathed the stuff.
    The things I came across? Marmite rice cakes and Marmite breadsticks.

    Luckily I’m rather fond of the stuff so I didn’t just buy it for the novelty value. While it’s not, as far as I know, particularly popular in the Netherlands, I’ve always had access to it. Not sure if my parents liked it (though they might have. My mum used to eat that smelly green Swiss powdered cheese. People eating that might eat anything), but my grandma always had it (should’ve bought here a bag too, perhaps…). I doubt I much cared for it until I went vegetarian or even vegan, but now? Good stuff.
    So the idea of rice cakes and breadsticks, two foods my mum gave me as snacks when I was a kid, with Marmite, a food which is, to me, both very British and very family? Made me quite happy indeed.

    The rice cakes were most tasty. Properly Marmite-y but not so much Marmite that the taste is overwhelming. The breadsticks, however, I didn’t like quite as much. They weren’t bad, just not as Marmite-y as I would have liked. They were kind of bland, only slightly more flavourful than your basic plain breadsticks. Shame, really. If they still exist next time I have the opportunity to buy me some I’ll stick to the rice cakes.

    Marmite!

    – – –

    The day after we came home, we had a barbeque.
    I’m not very good at barbeques. It’s not a social event that played a big part of my upbringing or something I have particularly fond memories of, and after going vegan, spending an evening watching dead bits get cooked is not exactly my idea of a fun time.
    However, this one would be attended by some people who’d been unable to come along on the trip, two of whom had gotten some very good news while we were away and I really needed to hug one of them, and it’s just a lot of fun spending some non-musical social time with these people. They’re a good bunch.
    So I went.
    I had intended on making some fancy stuff to show that vegans can have great barbeque food, but I was too tired and lazy to even look up something about vegan barbequeing, so I ended up simply stopping by the supermarked I passed on the way to pick up some basics that would feed me well enough.
    Being: A courgette, a box of cherry tomatoes, a baguette, two portabello mushrooms, and a bag of mixed green veg.

    Using the courgette, the tomatoes, the host’s garlic and the host’s cool home-made skewers, I made more vegetable skewers than I would be able to eat that evening (sharing time!). The mushrooms I just oiled and roasted.

    Before roast:
    Skewered

    After roast, with additions.
    Vegan BBQ - after

    While fairly average food (portabellos could probably do with something more than just olive oil) and a lot of exposure to dead bits, I do like to count the barbeque evening as a success. I had a great time and my omni mates were positive about my food. They needed my urgings to eat some too more as an okay to eat “my” food rather than a bit of a push to eat the freaky, way too healthy stuff, which made me happy.
    Of course, if they’d have framed courgette, tomato and garlic as something weird and freaky, only to be eaten on a dare or to cultivate their culinary edgy will-eat-anything image, I would have denied them the permission to ever eat Italian food again, so it was in their own best interest.

    – – –

    I’m still not entirely sure what Irn Bru reminds me of, but I’ve narrowed it down to something purple. Probably. Maybe brown.
    Should match nicely with the orange, yeah.
    Also? Walkers changed their crisps so now only the basic salty ones are vegan. Bastards. I don’t actually really like crisps, but I quite like having some Salt & Vinegar ones when in the UK just because they’re not available here and they have this sharp and rather acidic flavour which, while not wholly pleasing, is quite interesting.
    The only portion-packaged S&V crisps not containing something obviously animal-derived were the McCoy ones, if I recall correctly, but they had a few things listed that I didn’t bother to try to pronounce even in my head, so I decided to just forgo crisps this year.
    Luckily I found the Marmite stuff. Much better!

    ETA: One thing that amused me terribly, for no other reason than the fact that it had a kangaroo on it and smuggling kangaroos into the UK makes me think of bouncy hijinks, is this DEFRA poster or what have you.

    Rabies!

    Oat May 4, 2009

    Posted by tuimeltje in administrative, breakfast, food, travel.
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    Before I went ahead and spent two months living somewhere not my flat most of the time, I wondered about what facilities would be available to me there and how easy it would be for me to cook and store anything decent. It all turned out very well, both the available facilities (the freezer has some door-issues, but is still usable) and the totally cool and considerate omnis, but before I was able to find this out I figured I might as well go prepared.
    Make sure I at least had a decent start to my days.

    Some time ago Dino had an episode of his podcast in which he shared some ideas on how to have easy meals when traveling. Apart from saying things that made me want a rice cooker like crazy, he talked about little bags or containers or whatever you have containing quick-cook oatmeal with little additions that would become a decent breakfast or snack after adding some hot water.
    I first went with this idea some time ago, when we went to Germany with the band again (and again I didn’t come across any falafel places. Saw lots of snow, though, which more than made up for it), mostly trying it to have something decently filling in case the catered foods weren’t too vegan.
    Something where I could just add hot water.
    I didn’t have much hope for a decent taste, but I could live with that provided it filed up my belly nicely.
    Turns out my combination of things to mix in with the oats gave me something that was actually quite tasty, even with just hot water added, so I thought that might be a nice thing to bring along now.
    Hot water tends to be easy to come by.

    The things I used for this easy breakfast mix:
    -Oats. The quick-cook sort that only requires a minute or so of boiling/microwaving.
    -Dried things. Raisins, goji berries, dried red date bits I got at an Asian supermarket.
    -Crunchy things. Mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, some more things from an Asian supermarket, like foxnuts, lily seeds(? something lily-like, anyway), and thin little almonds.
    -Powdery things. Cocoa, cinnamon.

    Basically what you do is put the desired amounts of each thing in a container with a good lid, shake it around for a bit to mix it up properly, and take it with you when you think it might come in handy. You can play with the additions for a bit, see what you like and what you can find.
    I used a 1.2L flat Curver container which got me through the first two weeks with a few breakfasts left.
    As for final preparations, in Germany I put a little bit in a plastic tumbler with a decent seal, shook it a bit (decent seal, yeah? Important), let it soak for a few minutes, and ate it.
    Around here I just put some in a bowl, added some boiled water, and it stand for a bit while I took a shower before eating it.

    Not only properly filling, but quite tasty too. Yay.
    It’s likely to become a standard food to bring along to places where getting a decent vegan meal might not be that easy. I always used to take along some handy packets of salt, pepper, and ketchup, maybe some insta-soup, but this will make a nice addition to my survival kit.

    As a bonus, a picture of a bell pepper I found in the supermarket recently. I didn’t intend to buy any, but I couldn’t resist this one. One side solid green, the other side wholly red.
    It made me happy.
    Not the same kind of happy as a humourously-shaped carrot would, but that’s fine. Happy’s good.

    Some administrative things. Soon I will shut down the fandom veganism blog. I don’t have the time to properly maintain it, so I’ll just move the two posts here and see where it goes. I still very much like the idea of a blog like that, though. If someone else is setting one up and wants contributions I might just add my bit, but for now any fannish veganism will be posted here.

    Alive April 13, 2009

    Posted by tuimeltje in administrative.
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    All,

    I know I made a few promises earlier that I didn’t quite manage to keep. Apologies. I’m still alive, but have been rather busy these last few months. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely (well, apart from that bit around the time I broke up with the Belgian boy) and am now hanging out at a hospital back home. I kind of don’t want to leave anymore.
    In a few weeks I’ll be at a hospital closer to my flat which, along with my newfound singlehood, will make decent vegan cooking and sharing the pictures much easier. And enjoying what other people are sharing. I’m rather missing a bit of vegan community at the moment.

    So until then, enjoy yourselves and do some lovely vegan things.