Day 67: Catch-up

Hello there sugarplum.

I promised to update you on my Christmas as a vegetarian.  Today is the day!

What I learned during the festive period is that if you stop eating animals, they will start eating you…

Don’t worry, I managed to fight the crocs off — my legs are still intact.

A popular question that I have been asked by many people has been: “What did you have as a meat alternative for Christmas dinner?”.  Well, I didn’t.  With it being Christmas, I wanted to avoid causing a fuss or making chef (papa) go to any extra effort.  So, I probably ate every thing that you did, minus the animals.  I did not miss meat at all, as I sat there munching delicious roasted parsnips.  I was not tempted by the poor little pigs, who sat in their cosy blankets.  I felt sorry for the poor turkey, who will never gobble again.  I did try sprouts again for the first time since I was force-fed them at nursery. Eating 1/4 of the miniature ball of cabbage taught me that I still do not like them.

New Years Day had a lot more to offer for the veggie. It was time for a buffet and Marks & Spencer came up with the goods.  Good old M&S have a new marvellously extensive vegetarian range.  I would highly recommend it to you all — veggie or not veggie.  (I should be getting paid for this advertising!)

I feel that now would be a good time to make a confession.  During 67 days of being a vegetarian, I have not made a single veggie meal from scratch.  I am ashamed to admit that  I have spent 67 days heating foods such as Quorn.  My resolution is to cook more — this has gone as far as buying a recipe book.  Hopefully, I will make some progress next week.  Please note, I say ‘hopefully’ because the only kitchenware I have with me at university is one plate, one bowl, two saucers, a fork and a spoon.  Oh, and some glasses. Nigella I am not.  I can bake, but baking for oneself would be a recipe for disaster (and obesity).

For any of you missing Leo (http://wp.me/p21TV4-1L), he had a lovely Christmas.  Unfortunately, Leo is not a vegetarian and thus he had a full Christmas dinner.  He received his own tree decoration and some special mince pies.  Puppy gets bigger each time I see him, but he is still as cute and as cheeky as ever.  Here are some of our winter adventures…

Well, that is more than enough of those festivities.  I have filled you in on what you have missed, so I will let you go.

Goodbye for now.

The Silly Asparagus.

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Day 66: Unha-pea

Good moro!

Today, I am going to moan to you about the dreaded pea.  I will understand if you decide to stop reading now…

Just because I am a vegetarian does not mean that I like all vegetables.  I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.  There is one vegetable in particular that I have a real problem with: peas.  I refer to peas as ‘the evil green army’.

A few weeks ago, my best friend and I went on a night out.  It is tradition for us to end the evening with a sophisticated meal.  Prior to being a vegetarian this meant chicken. Chicken nuggets, chicken burgers… I didn’t mind as long as it was accompanied by a big red splodge of ketchup.  Now that I do not feast on our feathery friends, I had to find an alternative.  I had one option, the almighty veggie burger.  I was quite happy sneaking bites of it during the taxi ride home. But then I saw it in the light… yes, I had unknowingly become a victim of the evil green army.  You see, it is not so much the taste of the pea that I cannot stand.  It is their ability to get EVERYWHERE.  They really do just turn up when you least expect. How dare they.

I’m also suspicious of them because I never see them fresh.  At the supermarket, I can pick which shiny apples I bring home.  But I have never seen a pick-a-pea option. They are normally too busy in the frozen section, infecting the poor carrots and corn.  Or they can be found sitting on shelves, mushed and wearing a putrid shade of green.

There are bridges with peas on!  Each time I go from Reading to Hertfordshire on the M25, I see ‘Give Peas A Chance’.  There is a Facebook appreciation page for this bridge (https://www.facebook.com/givepeasachance).  I’m sorry bridge, but I do not want to give peas a chance.  I stand for peace, not peas.

I’ve been particularly unha-pea recently.  There are less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day (yawn).  This means it is impossible to go shopping without seeing tacky items covered in hearts.  I have one question: Who decided to make peas cute?!  I have found so many Valentine cards covered in peas.  The peas stare back at me with scary faces.  There are the ‘two peas in a pod’ cards.  There are the ‘we go together like peas and carrots’ cards — I blame Forrest Gump for that one.  ‘Ha-pea Together’, ‘Ha-pea ever after’… Why is this pea wearing a hair ribbon and lipstick?!

The only solace I can take from peas are the words ‘petit pois’.  Just say it.  Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

Apologies that all I have given you today is a rant about peas.  I hope you can understand where I am coming from though.  Please leave me a comment about your most hated foods.  Or, if you would like to defend the pea, go ahead.

To my millions of adoring readers, if I have not already made this clear,  please do not send me Valentine’s Day cards with peas on.  Or birthday cards.  Or Christmas cards.  Thanks.

I will try to make my posts a bit more exciting in future.

Long live the asparagus!!

Day 9: Progress

Good moro!

I hope this post finds you well.  As I have a long day of work ahead of me, I thought that I would be a bore and give you a progress report.

Well, I have been a vegetarian for over a week now.  I can honestly say that I have not craved meat or gelatin(e) products at all.  The day I walked past the chicken and bacon sandwiches in M&S, un-tempted, was the moment I realised that I was a changed asparagus.

Due to essays, work and somehow trying to squeeze in a social life, you won’t be seeing any recipes from me until Autumn term has finished.  My diet over the past week has not been varied — unless you count Quorn in three different forms as varied.  Breakfast didn’t change upon becoming a veggie: two Weetabix set me up perfectly for the day.  I have eaten a lot of vegetables, mainly carrots and green beans.  My beloved pineapple has made a daily appearance (I shall tell you more about my love for the magnificent pineapple soon).  Aside from breakfast, I generally avoid carbs — I do not wish to be a veggie who survives solely on pasta or toast.  This uninspiring diet would be a problem for any ‘foodies’ out there.  I, on the other hand, am quite content.  As you may have noticed from day three’s post (https://sillyasparagus.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/day-3-the-response/), food is not my best friend.  For the sake of my wellbeing, and before the food police start their onslaught, I will start to vary what I eat.  But, I did try an avocado this week, how much more adventurous can an asparagus get?! 

Unfortunately, giving up meat has not made me resemble veggie Alexa Chung in any way.  Although, there has been an improvement to my skin.  Blemishes and spots on my face have been causing me confidence issues for months.  However, since eradicating meat from my diet and cutting down on dairy products (mainly cheese), my skin has started to clear up — don’t get me wrong, it is still by no means perfect.  I think I should get in touch with Channel 4’s ‘Food Hospital’ to report my findings. 

Generally, I am feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  I do not feel that I am depriving myself of anything.  I am not feeling weak or tired (like I was told I would feel).  Instead, I am energised and positive. 

“Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.” — Albert Einstein

Best wishes,

the silly asparagus.

Day 3: The response

Three days and one blog post has generated a lot more response than I expected.  I assumed that I would be left to my own devices — but everyone seems to have an opinion.

For the most part, people have been very helpful.  Last night, to my surprise, I learned that party ring biscuits aren’t suitable for vegetarians.  People have already been suggesting supplements and recipes to try.  There have been negative replies.  The stereotypical ‘Oh, you’re going to turn in to a pasty hippie’ has been a popular remark.  You are telling a girl, whose nicknames include ‘Casper’, about the woes of being pasty?  I’m quite content with my pale complexion thank you very much.  I know a fair few peaky, dreary meat-eaters actually.  The boyfriend has broached the matter with some trepidation, he feels he couldn’t possibly like anyone who isn’t a carnivore.  It would appear that people feel very strongly about food and other people’s choices.

Now for mother… On the day of ‘veggie’ enlightenment, I text mother asparagus to inform her of my decision.  One did not receive a reply that evening, nor was it mentioned in messages the following morning.  It was clear that she was ignoring my little text.  When I rang her, I got the following response, “How long will this phase last for?”.  This was of course accompanied by an exasperated tone.

I’d like to dismiss her scepticism.  But she does have a point.  I was one of those fussy children that would spend ages pushing food around the plate, until I had successfully eradicated any bits I viewed as ‘alien’.  Spaghetti Bolognese was a lengthy affair — onions and mushrooms had to be picked out before I could eat any of it, not forgetting the dreaded tomato!  The fussy stage was followed by many others.  There was the ‘no-piggy’ phase.  This was the result of a science lesson involving the dissection of pig organs.  I did not eat any meat from a pig for about four years. Bye bye sausages!  There was also the ‘no cheese’ phase.  I made an abrupt decision that I would not eat cheese anymore.  This wasn’t ideal socially, especially when one’s friends at the time had an unhealthy obsession with Pizza Hut.  There has been the ‘Fair Trade phase’, the ‘survive-on-a-yoghurt-a-day phase’ and the ‘OCD Skittles phase’.  The phase that turned permanent revolves around happy chickens.   The ‘free-range chicken phase’  involved me contributing to meal-time conversation with horrific tales of chickens laying dead in their own faeces.  During this time, I told a shocked R.E. class that I would give up my life for the cause of chickens.  I suppose I considered myself to be the Joan of Arc of poultry.  Whilst I no longer lecture people about our feathery friends, I still stand up for them.  There is no excuse to still be buying produce from caged hens. 

Despite my shady history with food, I am surely too old to go through any more phases now?  This is why I feel that I will be a vegetarian for life, not just for Christmas.  Mother asparagus, I think you might be eating your words this time.  The response from Papa asparagus is yet to come, but it is certain to be comedy gold.

Well, in the unlikely event that you had not considered me slightly odd before, you probably do now.  However, I can assure you that I am perfectly sane.  Tomorrow’s post will be less of a ramble and I will be throwing lots of ‘veggie’ facts at you.  I know you simply can not wait.

Quorn Kisses,

the somewhat silly asparagus.