A2 Vegan

A middle aged vegan living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a small mid-west college town.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Just Because....

Just because it is Saturday...
Just because I love cats....
Just because I love rockabilly...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Vegan's in the News

Vegan diets more enviromentally friendly than meat based diets is an article by News-Medical Net. It goes into how the foods we eat can and do affect the ecology.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Paramount Pictures will be releasing the movie An Inconvenient Truth on May 24, 2006. Please see the attached link to a site that gives more information about the movie.


The preview is here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tofu in Vegan Oyster Sauce and Dirty Rice Done My Way

This was an experiment that didn't quite work out. Either dish on it's own would have been good with something else but together...nah.

Dirty Rice Done My Way
is super simple and easy to make out of end of the week kitchen supplies. The Tofu in Vegan Oyster Sauce is beyond simple. Just saute cubes of chinese tofu until lightly browned then add a couple spoons of the oyster sauce and cover for a few minutes over low heat. I like to drizzle a little of the oyster sauce over the cubes when I serve it. Usually I serve the tofu with sauteed garlicy green beans or brocolli and plain rice. Next time that's what I'll do instead of the Dirty rice. Well ya live ya learn.

GRRRRRR It's Raining Again!!!!!

Another day of rain! Enough already! I don't want to hear that April showers bring May flowers anymore. The weatherman promised sun tomorrow...and he better deliver.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ecology and Recycling in Ann Arbor

Probally should have put these in yesterday but...I am a perfect example of an imperfect person.

The Ecology Center has a great list of resources and events as well as way anyone can participate.

Some of my favorite places to go are Recycle Ann Arbor and The Scrap Box. I like to go there before I head out to buy any decorating or craft supplies. There is an amazing assortment of usable objects that need a new home. Also, the Scrap Box has parties for children that I have seen and the children have a blast!

Another place I enjoy walking around is Leslie Science Center. They have a lot of educational yet fun activities. They also have a Discovery Garden and hiking trails. Great place for children of all ages to hang out.

These aren't the only places of course but just some of my favorite ones!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Earth Day!!!!!

I really wanted to find a video or something to post Edgar Winter's "Save the Planet". I think it is on his White Trash album. Couldn't find it to post though. You don't hear it that often and it is really great.

I did find Joni Mitchell performing "Big Yellow Taxi" though! That is one of my favorites and for today it fits perfectly! Don't you think?????

Friday, April 21, 2006

Maggie Up Close

Maggie Up Close

She was really upset with me for taking this picture. I woke her up to get it...oops! Still trying to get the hang of this digital camera and am being a bit annoying. She does have such pretty eyes though.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lacey in the Window

Took this picture of one of my kitty girls watching me when I was outdoors. She never seems to want to go outside but oh my is she curious about it!

Lacey in the Window

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!!!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bagel Fragel Morning!!!

Woke up early this morning and the first thing I could think of was fragels. Fragels are kind of a cross between a bagel and a donut. They are cinnamon raisen bagels that are fryed instead of baked and then rolled in lots of cinnamon sugar. Oh they are so good. Many a child has been bribed into good behaviour with them.

Above is a shot of Bagel Fragel where the fragels are made. I think you can still get them on the U of M campus too. They originally were made by Barry's Bagels and for a while at least they were being sold in Lansing also. Heard through the grapevine that the fragel is no longer available in Lansing though.

I tried to pose the fragels so they would look pretty. I love these things. Especially fresh and warm. They didn't last too long after this picture was taken. The scent of fresh fragels wakes up a household.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vegan Easter Dinner???

Well, it is that time again! Time to march into the kitchen and astound everyone. Yeah, right. Normally I am a spur of the moment...what is in the cupboards...what is in season...kind of cook. Easter and other holidays I feel the need to dust off the cookbooks and search the web for the 'perfect' recipe for a perfect meal.

Tough choosing too! There are tons of vegan recipes on the web these days. Some are very easy, some require some skill, and others require a degree in chemistry. I lean towards the very easy myself. Oh, and please no ingredients that require my having to bribe custom officers. Those recipes that require more than 10 ingredients aren't happening either.

So this year it looks like I'm going with a few recipes from Bryanna Clark Grogan . What I really like about her recipes is that at first glance they look rather complicated but then she breaks it all down so they are very easy to make. She also gives suggestions for substitutes to use, if someone is allergic to say wheat or soy for example. I am being seduced by the idea of making a 'vegan ham' and that coconut cake just screams EASTER!!!

I don't know if you have tried it yet but Cherry's Parsley Soup has some great recipes too. I'm thinking of starting with the Parsnip Soup for Easter dinner. There's a great Lemon-Lime cake that sounds great too. Well, it is Easter so more than one dessert is allowed...right? Maybe I should make Cherry's Carrot Cake instead????? Aaaahhhh....decisions, decisions....

You know maybe the next time someone asks me what vegans eat I should just give them a list of web sites?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ehhhh darn it!!!!

Screwed up the taxes....darn I actually owe...sigh. Good news is it wasn't all that bad this year. Still...sigh....

On the other hand I learned a fact today that I never knew before. I was watching Alton Brown on the Food Network. I like to watch him even though he isn't vegan. A lot of great facts about food and stuff like that, and he is kind of funny. Anyway, did you know that lobsters are actually bugs? No, really, they are! More closely related to grasshoppers than cockroaches but bugs none the less. I can't believe people actually eat them. Bad enough they are living creatures but bugs????? Ewwwwww.....

Another think I learned today is that my kitty girl, Lacey, likes brocolli! Yep, turned my back for a minute and part of my dinner disapeared. Ok, maybe my mind slipped, I was thinking, but no Lacey had brocolli breath!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Finished My Taxes!!!!

I have been putting off doing my taxes. Figured I would have to pay so why not just wait???? Hello!!!! I'm getting a refund!!!!! Ok, not much but at least I'm not paying this year!!!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Thinking of What I Should Be Doing

I really should be doing something today. Besides taking naps and yawning in front of the TV.

There are tax forms waiting to be filled out. I probally should send another e-mail off to that theater in the UK. Cleaning the house is always a something to do also.

Instead I am munching on bagels that I've been smearing with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and snuggling with my kitty girls. Ahhhh, well, it is Sunday...day of rest and all that.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Been dealing with a lot of ignorance lately.....

Been dealing with a lot of ignorance lately...from a lot of different sources. Spent the night howling at the moon in frustration...at least felt that way. So tired of people spouting off but then not able to back up what they say.

Ahhhh, well a good vent and I better get back to it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The UK cinema response to my 2nd e-mail

I will try to respond to all your points.

The movie-going experience is about cinema. The economic reality of running a cinema includes snacks and screen advertising. Indeed without popcorn there would be no cinema.

Popcorn is not a particularly noisy snack. Crisps are. The UGC contracts for crisp sales is being phased out once it expires since crisps, although profitable, are not a quiet friendly movie snack and even worst because of their wrappers.

Butter flavoured popcorn makes up less that 10% of our sales. Most popcorn sales consist of sweet corn without butter. Butter (absorbed by the popcorn) , chocolate and soft drinks in a lidded paper cup are neither messy nor destructive products if cleaned daily. The natural acid in fruit IS lethal in a public and dark venue. Our juice containers are sold in sealed tiny straw boxes for this reason.

We are currently compiling a list of all our product content but our corn is popped with coconut oil and our butter flavouring contains no dairy products but may contain animal by-products. You need not put butter on your popcorn and most people in the UK don't.

Random checks are required by law in all public places. These have been escalated in many cinema locations as a result of cam cording. We reserve the right to search all bags and rucksacks and may deny admission to anyone who refuses. It during these searches that we have discovered many of the foods that cause us accidents and cleaning problems.

The policy on searches varies by site (100% checks in Stevenage) but are mostly random and without criteria or customer profile by design. Large bags will usually be checked and our staff will not touch personal items. Camcorders are banned from our screens and waiting until the crime occurs is no longer an option.

We do sell nachos (pre-packaged cheese in portion controlled containers) and in some cases other hot foods goods that can be consumed at cinemas with large bar facilities but not in the auditoria. These includes salads, baked potatoes and sandwiches.

Although we are constantly experimenting with food new options, the clean quiet film experience comes first and most customers still buy a popcorn and a soft drink regardless of the options available so that it what we offer at smaller venues.

I hope this answers your concerns. Our CEO is:

Steve Wiener
Cineworld Cinemas
Power Road Studios
Power Road
Chiswick, London
W4 5PY

Sending another e-mail to that UK cinema...

Mr. Alvarez, thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail. I must admit the attitude in your e-mail has left me a little bewildered. In your first paragraph you say you are only snack operators and in the next site Cineworld as being a film exhibitor as well as a food operation. At either rate you are business intent on making money and to do so you will need customers, preferably repeat customers. As either or both a food operation and/or film exhibitor you in fact act as a host to a group of people who are paying you for an what they are hoping to be an entertaining experience. Correct?

You state that carrots are noisy but I was of the opinion that popcorn as well as crisps are crunchy also. Your description of fruit as smelly, dangerous, attracting flies, destroying seat fabric, customer clothing and causing accidents makes it sound as if something like a fruit salad should be considered a weapon of mass destruction! You don’t think that buttery popcorn, soda and chocolates are equally messy and potential problems?

Please inform me of which of your food products are free of animal products. The chocolates contain milk, the popcorn may or may not use butter (dairy product) and other snacks gelatin (comes from an animal source). It would be interesting to find out if anything besides water was free of animal products.

I have never heard of random searches in a movie theater before! If you are so afraid of your customer you need to be in another business. Searching with cause by the police is one thing random searches by theater employees is another thing altogether. Just what are the criteria used by theater employees to decide which customer gets searched and which doesn’t? It very easily could be used as a means of harassment don’t you think? People carry an assortment of odd and sometimes potentially dangerous objects around that does not necessarily imply that they plan to use them. As for camcorders staff watching the audience during the movie should be able to deal with that when the person is leaving. In that way theater goers are not disturbed.

I find the list of foods not wanted in your auditoria odd as the most popular cinema here sells all those as well as stuffed baked potatoes, nachos and the like. In fact whole families will come and spend the day eating and watching movies at this cinema. The belief is that the longer the people are there and the happier they are the more money they will spend. The owners go out of their way to assure there is a variety of foods and entertainments to keep people interested and spending.

Thank you for your time. If possible could you please forward me the name and e-mail address of someone from the Cineworld corporation that is in charge of the Cineworld chain?


Jane M

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Response from UK Theater

The following is the response I recieved from the theater in the UK who searched a young womans purse for any foods she might be bringing in. I had sent my post as an e-mail yesterday. I pasted it here just as received...typos and all.

"Thank you for the email.

I have not seen any mention of staff addressing dietary issues as we are snack operators only and mostly get requests for sugar free snack products.

Cineworld is a film exhibitor as well as a food operation. Our snacks are carefully chosen for ease of preparation, noise levels, freshness, cleaning between shows and health and safety. Among the items we do allow in any of our cinemas are carrots (noise) and fruit of any kind. Fruit items in particular are smelly, dangerous when dropped in a dark screen, and attract flies. Fruit products destroy our seat fabric, customer clothing and carpeting and cause accidents.

Many of our food products, including popcorn, contain no animal products.

Our random search policies are not designed for food alone and vary from site to site. During these spot searches we often encounter foods we do not want in the auditoria such as pizza, burgers and fried chicken and ask customers to finish these before entering an auditorium. We have also found drugs, knives, laser pens, smoke bombs, camcorders and live pets in bags during spot checks.

All we ask of customers who decide not to purchase from our snack stands is to refrain from eating for a couple of hours while watching the film and respect our food offer as they would when bringing outside food into any food establishment."

I am considering what to write in response to this. Clearly they are not concerned with the customers satisfaction at all. Also, there seems to be disagreement concerning the popcorn being vegan. As far as I can gather the bottled water is the only item there that is probally vegan!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vegan Chocolate Covered Prezels

Endangered Species bar and some pretzels....hmmmm....put the two together and I get yummies!!!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Vegans and Movie Going????

Recently a young vegan woman in the UK had her purse searched for any food stuffs she might have been bringing into the theater. She was told that if she wanted any food she would have to buy food from their concession. As there was little if anything stocked in the concession that could be considered vegan she asked if there could be some sort of exception. She was told not too politely that her dietary concerns were not the problem of the theater.

Hmmm, ok, now I know that yes the theater is in the business of making money and yes, it is a rule that you should not bring in outside food. However, in my experience that outside food rule is rarely enforced. I can't remember any movie I've gone too that someone hasn't snuck in some carrots or fruit to snack on. In fact it seems to be the habit of some mothers to regularly bring 'healthy' movie snacks in their purses to give their children. To have a rule so strictly enforced seems to detract from the theaters appeal.

Also, what bothers me is the theaters remark that someones dietary concerns aren't their problem!!!!! You would think that in the interest of making happier repeat customers that alternatives to junky food would be offered. Apparently not in some cases.

At any rate the thought of having a purse searched in order to see a movie rankles me a lot. Anyone searching my purse is going to find my emergency stash of food too. I could understand concern over alcoholic beverages and the like but something like a clif bar or some dried fruit????

Ok, so I am starting to rant...well...maybe I was ranting all along. Just think that any theater with that kind of additude isn't worth patronizing! I would rather give my money to one that could be somewhat flexible and cared about their customers comforts!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What is a Vegan?

Ok after watching the below I came to the realization that there are so many people living in darkness. In so many ways I feel very sorry for them. Wake up folks! Ignorance is not bliss...it's just ignorance!