Why ebook readers will never totally replace paper: The Vegetarian Epicure

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have not been posting because I haven’t been cooking; I’ve been working.  Today was my day off and in between errands I found a “first edition” (which means not a lot in this case) of The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas while walking by Mutiny Now!, a used bookstore down on Broadway.  (If you are local, you should go, just to check out the guy’s hair.  Very suave.)  (I also snapped up an 8th printing of The Tassajara Bread Cookbook, also an epic cookbook not on my shelf that should be.)

The Vegetarian Epicure is one of those groundbreaking pro-vegetarian books that those of us who don’t eat meat should own/have read.  Kinda like Silent Spring and the Moosewood cookbooks, the ‘classics’ of my gastronomic heritage.  I didn’t happen have this one, however, until today.

I sat at Tommy’s Thai this afternoon, eating tofu satay and perusing….this cookbook is  fanTAStic.

I was born in 1971.  I went veal-less 14 years later (not that this was difficult, but it was my first conscious decision about how I chose to eat), and began in earnest becoming vegetarian in 1992.  The early 90s were the Clinton years, when “aerobicizing” as a term was already passe’ and factory farming had become normal.  Just Say No was this embarrassingly out of touch thing Nancy Reagan did, but really, people only smoked pot in college and even then, when they were at Oxford…with much sniggering over the ‘not inhaling’ thing.  So proper vegetarian cooking is healthier, lighter, and easy on the eggs and dairy.  Yes, lacto-ovo vegetarians can eat blintzes and omelets and fluffy pancakes for breakfast every day, but healthy lacto-ovo vegetarians more often go for fruits and oatmeals and small servings of yogurt and stuff like that.

I have never known full-fat pre-factory-farm vegetarian cooking.  This cookbook was published in April 1972 and it looks FABULOUS.  And it’s even funnier to me that in the Entertaining section, Thomas is careful to suggest between which courses you should smoke your “grass”.  (Best to have multiple courses, then the two-hours-later course after your post meal smoke.)

Every dang recipe seems to have at least one of the following:  several tablespoons of butter, cream, a not-kidding cheese such as Gruyere, Brie or Camebert (or Edam or Swiss or Roquefort…etc….etc), no less than 6 eggs, or booze.  And sometimes all of the above.

I am definitely cooking from this cookbook, and I am definitely waiting until AFTER the wedding and I look fabulous in my dress, which will fit me.  After that, I can be married and it’ll be the holidays and I can cook like that.  (Right?)  (Okay, at least a little bit once in a while.)

In the meantime, gentle reader, you’re seeing a dearth of posts because I am either:

  1. Working
  2. Having a day with Chase while Mark works
  3. Eating a very virtuous salad with a chopped vegetable, 3 tbsp of some kind of nut and fat-free sugar-free sesame ginger dressing.  With a minimum of 1.5 liters of water per day.  And snacking on a power bar at 10 in the morning, and sugar snap peas in the afternoon.  (Today got to be tofu satay because of the virtuous salads for the past few days and the nothing-but-peanut-butter-toast-and-water thus far today.)

A month until the wedding.  I’ll be cookin after that, promise.

  1. Hey, was wondering what happened to you! Love your posts and will be so glad to “see” you when you’re back! Happy wedding preparations, in the meantime!

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