Cooking

I miss cooking for another vegan.

No, scratch that – I really miss cooking for another vegan.

It hit me tonight, as I ate my braised kale tossed with toasted pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and soy mozzarella (yum…), that cooking for one has been tough these past few months. And when I do cook for others, I’ve mostly been cooking for…omnivores. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends…hell, even my mother…but at times it is a challenge.

The holiday season has given me ample opportunity to cook for others, and for the most part those non-vegans seem appreciative. The mushroom gravy on Thanksgiving, the hazelnut pesto crostini for the tree-trimming, butternut squash lasagna for my writers’ group – they‘ve all drawn their share of kind words and appreciative nods. But there’s always a sense, in my defensive mind anyway, that what the diners are leaving unsaid is, “Yeah, pretty good – for VEGAN food.”

This was never an issue with the Fex. Whatever else might have been – and the issues, I increasingly realize, were legion – food was not one of them. Of course, as soon as I type that I realize that she actually might have hated my cooking, and the sentiment was just another of the long list of complaints left unsaid for 12 years…But in the beginning, at least, we seemed to be in synch. We met over vegetarian food I had made, we quickly established that she loved to eat and I loved to cook, and over the years we became vegans together (now isn‘t that a romantic image). It was, I thought, one of our bonds, and it was, though not strong enough to keep us together. Good food can do many things, but obviously it cannot save a marriage. Or else I was preparing bad food.

It’s funny: I have said here at C?WC? that I am not the planet’s best example of a “good” vegan. I stray, and especially this time of year. And I have had real problems at various vegan Meetups when the only thing people want to talk about is being vegan. Yes, it is nice to be with like-minded souls, especially in this factory-farmed, processed-food, meat-and-dairy world. But I am, amazingly, not defined just by what I do or do not eat. Yet, having said all that, I miss having someone to cook for who doesn’t feel culinarily compromised by giving up animal products. Who doesn’t hesitate a bit before every bite of tofu. Who thinks beans and veggies are a perfectly ok meal.

I am at the point in this process where I really don’t miss the Fex so much, or much about her. But this food thing – this could be a tough hazelnut to crack. Especially since the Land of Steady Habits, aka the Land of Suburbia in Spades, is not exactly vegan central. Where am I going to find another woman who a) wants to let someone cook for her, and b) wants vegan food? Not tolerates, mind you. Wants. Craves. As much as she crave my…ok, this is a family-friendly blog, at least tonight. We won’t go there.

So, come on, there must be someone out there who wants a vegan to cook for her, right? Anyone? Oh well…pass the braised kale.

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~ by mburgan on December 15, 2010.

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