8(!) years ago I secured the domain name lazyvegetarian.com to share some simple recipes. Ah, January 2005. Simpler times. Youtube didn’t even exist yet. And back then I was a lazy vegetarian. So lazy, in fact, that a few years of sporadic posting I could no longer be bothered, and shuttered the site altogether. I never let go the domain name though. It was just too groovy.
Fast forward to the end of 2012, and I find myself trying to get my arms around all the recipes I’ve created, tweaked or stolen outright – recipes the databits of which I’ve scattered hither and yon, in text files and bookmarks and Evernote notes and Springpad notes and even *gasp* meatspace paper – and I think to myself, “You know what you need, you big lazy dummy? You need one place to put all this crap. One repository you can refer to. A home for recipes, some successful and some not yet so, you’ll inevitably revisit.”
So here you go. In hindsight, I sure wish that back in 2005 I would have made a video sharing website instead.
I like to cook. Cooking is cool. It’s both an art and science. It’s also a challenge, and I love a challenge. Indulge me for a moment:
When I bought my first house I didn’t know much about DIY, despite having worked previously in both construction and insulation. When things would inevitably go wrong with my house I’d call a professional. I’d call the plumber, the electrician, the roofer, the contractor. I’d pay them to do the work, and I’d watch. And every time without fail I’d realize that, with a little research and a fair amount of sweat, I could be doing what I was paying someone else to do. Further, I began to warm to the idea that a person should know how to do this stuff. Self sufficiency is good stuff. Generations previous to my own, they knew how to do shit. They didn’t exasperatedly throw up their hands and reach for the phone when a few shingles blew off their roof or the mower wouldn’t start or their oil needed changing – they did it themselves. And they did it without the wondrous tool that is the intartoobs to guide them. I wanted to be this sort of person. I wanted to fix my own roof, remodel my own kitchen, replace my own windows and doors, fix my electrical woes myself. So I did.
This mindset has crept into many other facets of my life – including food. Being a vegetarian, and an occasional sufferer of IBS, I was already checking ingredients religiously. I began to look at ingredient lists in a whole new light. “What is all this shit? I can’t pronounce half of it. Do I need it? Should I be eating it? Should I be feeding it to my kid?” And then, most importantly, “I bet I can make this stuff myself. Even better, maybe.”
So I try. We don’t buy Goldfish crackers – we make cheese crackers. We don’t buy ravioli. We make it. Ditto everything from sauces to breads. I know what’s in our food – because we put it there. And I’m quite happy about that. The experiment has slowly evolved into something even greater. Now we try our damnedest not to contribute to the overwhelming plastic problem this planet has. We buy it loose. We buy it unwrapped. We buy it in bulk. We’ll pay more for it, if need be. But we don’t buy it in plastic if it’s at all possible.
My dream is that we’re one day the family that makes it all – and grows as much of it as we can as well. That’s the next stage of this experiment. We’re not there yet.
Oh, don’t ask. The answer is complex, ever evolving, and by turns elitist, nihilistic and just plain irritating. Let’s leave it at this: while I am primarily an ethical vegetarian, I’m not interested in changing your mind or your diet. I mean, it’d be nice if you would, but I know that I’m not going to be the catalyst for that change. Make light of it if you will, but our diet is an extremely significant thing. It’s inexorably intertwined into our culture, into our very existence. Making a permanent change to it is a profound act. Such a change is only going to happen, and only going to stick, if you lead yourself down that path.
Insofar as this site goes, I just wanna share some recipes I like, and know where I can go get ’em if I need ’em.