Monday, February 26, 2007

Vegan Mania & Jaw Line Problems

Loyal Readers, this is a picture of what has become my very favorite cookbook. Who knew? Just a short while ago, one of my little sayings was "Nobody Likes a Vegan" and here I am, cooking up gourmet Vegan feasts a couple of times a week! Even if you felt as I used to, that Vegans were complete freaks whom you would never want to have over for dinner, you might just want to try this cookbook. That is, if you like to cook and don't mind spending some time in the kitchen.

The book is full of coordinated menus and I have made several of them. I am here to tell you that each was superlative. Tonight's meal was a Vegan Shepherd's Pie with a Horseradish Beet Glaze. (I know, it sounds as ridiculous as the Vegan Paella I made recently, but bear with me.)

I know you will roll your eyes in disbelief, but I am going to insist that you take this on faith, Loyal Readers. The meal was divine. The glaze was made by simmering diced beets in fresh carrot juice and then thickening it with arrowroot and adding some lemon and dill and freshly ground horseradish for seasoning. I decided to keep an open mind about this strange brew and I am so glad that I did. Not only was it beautiful to behold, it was delicious. The pie itself consisted of layers. On the bottom was a layer of roasted zucchini brushed with olive oil and thyme. On top of that was a layer of steamed spinach, and then a layer of tempeh sauteed with onions, garlic and a combination of sausage-ee spices. The crowning touch was a layer of mashed potatoes made with soy milk, olive oil, garlic and a little freshly ground horseradish. I can hear some of my readers groaning about these "weird" ingredients, but to them I say, "Don't knock it until you have tried it!" (Even my six year old tried it and guess what...he LIKED it!)

I am not intending at all to become a vegan but cooking with these new ingredients in new ways has been a creative adventure. I have really enjoyed it, as you can tell.

In other news, I have been thinking of jowls quite a bit today. Yes, you read that correctly - JOWLS. Last night at the fund raiser, I had a delightful conversation with a beautiful and fashionable woman of a certain age who told me that she was planning to have some work done on her face. She wanted her jowls lifted. I don't know if jowls is the right word, but it gets my meaning across. When she pointed out the "problem area", I could see why she might want to have it tightened up. But, she certainly didn't need to have this operation to be attractive because even if I guess her age quite a bit younger than what it was, this lady clearly had some good genes going on. On the other hand, if it would make her feel better, why not?

It is no surprise that the conversation got me thinking about jowls and those thoughts, of course, lead to me looking in the mirror. I was horrified to see what appear to be the beginnings of these pesky little pouches of flab starting to hang off my hitherto clean jaw line. While I was examining this area, I noticed that the place where a double chin would be - if I had one - was looking a little saggy itself. I took the time to look at several other women today in my travels and noticed that the neckline is truly a problem area of the aging gal. Forget about sagging breasts...you can harness those in a good bra and keep them to yourself for the most part. But the jawline? It's right out there for everyone to see! And, one cannot wear scarves and turtlenecks all year, can one?

You can imagine that this could become a new beauty obsession for your BloomingtonGirl as time marches on. Stay tuned.

Off to read about poor Clarissa who has much more on her mind than her sagging neckline.

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