Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vegan on Vacation!



First of all, sorry that I haven't updated the blog in awhile. I traveled to St. Louis over the past weekend and it has taken me awhile to get back on track with the cooking and blogging. There are some meals that I have made that I do have to perfect and hope to do so in the next few weeks so that I can have more recipes for you. These dishes are a tofu scramble with fried matzoh, also known as Matzoh Brie. It's very delicious and usually made with egg and matzoh. And, I still have to perfect Potato Latkes. I plan to have these to you within the next month. I also plan on making a schezuan noodle dish as well as a tempeh and veggie piccata over the next few weeks.

Going to St. Louis was a much needed vacation. I was able to spend time with my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousins that I don't see very often. I didn't find it so hard to be vegan on vacation considering my cousins, Lauren and Brittney, are both vegetarians, and Brittney used to be a pretty strict vegan. I stayed with my aunt and uncle, so they went ahead and made sure to pick up food such as cereal, bagles, and other things that were animal product free. That was very appreciated. When we went out to eat they made sure to help me out with what I could or could not order. It was difficult at times because I wasn't used to my surroundings. I have pretty much figured out the Orlando area as far as what places are vegan friendly or what things I can order at certain places when going out with friends, but I had to start all over in St. Louis. So, I tried to call places beforehand and plan my menu out when I was there. I did just fine, but I did find that St. Louis is not the most vegan friendly city. Regardless, I was really happy to spend this time with my family and feel much closer to them now. I am going to make more of an effort to see them more often. Perhaps that should be my New Years Resolution.

Second of all, The Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, is coming up. It starts on sundown Monday, Sept 29th. So, over the weekend I am going to put together just a few of my favorite holiday dishes for the next week. What I plan on are: Kasha and Shells with Vegan Gravy, Apples and Agave, and a vegetable dish.

If you aren't familiar, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. The new year (5769) is a time to plan a better life and look back at the mistakes of the past year, and to plan the changes you will make in the new year. During Rosh Hashanah one of the traditions is dipping apples in honey, which symbolizes a sweet new year. This year I am going to use agave in place of honey. Another symbol of this holiday is the hearing the sound of the Shofar blown in the temple. The Shofar is a rams horn, which is blown like a trumpet. I am not quite sure of what the symbolic nature of this is. I looked it up, but I actually found that The Bible gives no specific reason for this practice except that it has been suggested is that the Shofar's sound is a call to repentance. Does anyone have any insight on the symbolism of the Shofar and how it ties into the new year?

On another note, while I was reading this, I all of the suddon found it kind of upsetting that a rams horn is used. I did a small amount of research on how to obtain a Shofar and I read that they can be obtained from slaughterhouses. Maybe it's time to start a new tradition and use another instrument that doesn't come from an animal.

The holiday that follows the new year is called Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is probably the most important Jewish Holiday, and is a holiday where you are supposed to stay home and fast from sundown to sundown. During this time, one focuses on the sins or the mistakes that they have made over the past year and repent and make amends. Yom Kippur only atones sins between you and whatever or whoever you consider as a God, not between you and other people. If you feel like you have committed sins with another person, you must personally talk to the people to make amends. The fasting is supposed to cause a feeling of suffering while you focus on theses mistakes within the past year. Once sundown has arrived, it is traditional to get together with family and friends and have a big dinner to break the fast. Even though I am not very religious and have not attended temple in a few years, I always observe the holidays on my own and fast on Yom Kippur. I do focus on things that I want to change from the year before and I do talk to people that I feel like I may have upset for any reason and apologize. I actually don't stay home from work, but I do observe the holiday. I find it to be cleansing and I feel ready for the new year.

After Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there are other holidays to follow, and I plan to expand on my menu of traditional Jewish dishes vegan style for those holidays as well.

So, please keep checking for updates on my blog, and if you want notifications of updates, please check out my myspace and become my friend. http://www.myspace.com/thenewvegan

Have a fabulous weekend,

Monica

1 comment:

Beth said...

I loved this blog. I enjoyed reading about the holidays and your take on the Rams Horn. Perbaps they wait until the Ram dies a natural death before they take the horn. That would be the best thing. Enjoy the apples and honey. I thing we will have some too.