Archive for RL

E-mail to the No-Kill shelter who were going to kill my Dog.

Yet again, this is shelter who was going to kill my lovely boy party because of temperament testing. I decided to write them about Party in the hopes that they might change their mind about killing adoptable animals on the basis of temperament testing, which is set up for dogs to fail. According to the test Party was positive for rough play, food aggression and possession aggression. He has neither.

And what is almost worst is that dogs who actually have these issues can be rehabilitated and become perfectly loving dogs too.

Anyway here is the letter:

Hello,

This is Amanda Dickie, you redeemed a dog to me last November he was a young rotti named Party. I just wanted to let you know that he is the sweetest dog out there. And despite what your tests may have indicated, he does not have possession aggression or food aggression. He met my mother for the first time on the ride home and was eating chips out of her hand the whole way back.

When we arrived home we had him sitting and waiting for his food, once or twice he jumped the gun and started eating before he had permission and my 54 year old mother was able to pull him back off his food with no protest. After he got settled here everyone approaches him while eating and he is fine. My mother and I regularly take his food dish from him while he is eating and he is just fine with waiting for us to give it back.

He is learning to take treats gently from people and whenever he is to rough we always take them back and try again until he gets it right. He has never growled, snapped or bitten anyone since leaving your shelter. We also have four cats, who occasionally eat out of his bowl and he will sit back and wait for them to finish. He is patience and still waiting for the day they all accept him.

There is a constant flow of new and strange people in and out of our house and party is excited and happy to meet everyone of them. He no longer jumps on people when they come to the door, and is happy when strangers approach him even when he is tied on outside the home. He also loves small children and is extra gentle around them.

He regularly brings his toys over to people to play and even if he’s gone off in a corner to play alone will give up any toy when asked. Everyone at one point or another has had to take toy pieces out of his mouth. Our older and smaller dog is able to take any toy he is playing with and she occasionally eats out of his dish and he waits until she leaves to resume eating. Party and Claire (our older dog) share a water dish and he is usually left waiting for her to finish before he drinks. However, at times when he is drinking she will push her way in and they will both drink together. They eat and get treats next to eat other, Party is always last but he waits patiently and never tries to take hers away.

The more comfortable cats have begun drinking out of the water bowl while Party is drinking or sniffing them. And even when the tense cats hiss or swat at him he remains calm. He doesn’t even bark when people come into the house.

He hates having his nails cut and teeth brushed but he remains calm during the whole ordeal. Even when I accidentally quick him.

This dog is one of the kindest, gentlest and friendliest dogs I have ever met. We do things to him that would have my older lovely girl seeing red. Kids pull his tail, blow in his ears and pull on his cheeks nothing bothers him.

We just wanted to pass along this message in the hopes that you might reconsider using temperament testing as it is an unfair system that sets perfectly adoptable friendly loving dogs up for failure.

Thank you,
Sincerely Amanda
506-849-3950
With Love, Amanda Dickie
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer,Writer, Nobel laureate (1904-1991)

I just get so fustrated every time I think that they were going to kill him because he was “dangerous”, “aggressive”, etc. When he is the sweetest boy I have ever met. GRRR

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Out of the Apron and into something Political

As some of you may have heard, Obama has back tracked on his promise to adopt from a shelter and has sadly gone to a breeder. I took some time to write him a letter and would suggest if this or anything else upsets or disappoints you that maybe you take the time to write one too.

I just wanted to let you know how disappointed I am that you went out and bought a dog from a breeder. There are plenty of hypo-allergenic dogs literally dieing for good homes across your country and you’ve signed their death warrant. Sir, you may only be one man, and one family providing a single home for your new dog and closing a single door for the other dogs in need, but with your example being broadcast globally your actions have far greater effects.

As the president people across this earth look up to you, and will likely be following your example. You had a real shot to make a difference, but instead you have let us down. Thanks to your example finding loving homes for homeless dogs across this country just got a lot harder.

Sincerely disappointed,
Amanda Dickie

p.s. Although the specific breed you are inquiring about may not be as common as abandoned pitbulls or labs, you are the president and any dog fitting your specifications would have been reserved, held and adopted into your loving home within seconds. So please do not try to blame this on it being to difficult, because for if finding a homeless dog in America is to hard for our president, then we are in deep economic trouble sir.

The ugliest scones the world has ever seen


With the help of my good lacky James, we made the pumpkin cranberry scones from Veganomicon, minus the pumpkin as I did not have any. Instead we used a cooked and pureed carrot and some apple sauce. We also made these into drop scones because the batter was wet and we are lazy, hence their hideous appearance.

We reduced the liquids a little to account for the added moisture of apple sauce, but obviously we could have reduced further. They also burnt a little on the edges (too close to the bottom element).
For an added twist (and because we lacked Pepitas to place on top) I ground some walnuts and brown sugar to sprinkle on top).Either way they taste great, and were delightful alongside coffee and allowed me to use my remaining soy cream.
Also here is just another shot of the coffee because it has been far to long since I last had some.

Ah, coffee my one true love.

Pizza porn

The quick, easy and always a great fall back mid week meal. The pizza. Here in Canada, we are blessed with something called Danny’s pizza crusts (now come in WW too!) so our freezer is stocked with pre-made crusts topped with sauce. Now this isn’t anything fancy, but it is convenient and cheap. So here we go.

Trying to hold onto my teenage years, my favorite pizza combo is still toffuties vegan slices with yves pepperoni and some herbs. But being as how I haven’t bought vegan cheese in a while (and superstore seems to have stopped carrying it {FUCKERS!}) here is a healthier alternative.

Appearing: Green and red bell peppers, carmalised onions (I did this with sugar, because the internet told me too, although good next time I will just cook them), mushrooms, canned pineapple, vegan pepperoni and tomato slices.

Please excuse the lighting, but in these parts dinner is served at 8.

Better than grilled cheese


This is one of Zoe’s favorite sandwiches, which I had the pleasure of eating the other day. If you’ve never tried this, I recommend you change that asap.

The sandwich is stuffed with sauted vegetables (onions and garlic mandatory), then the bread is spread with hummus, stuffed with the vegetables and grilled. Served hot and steamy.

When is coveting ok?

We know it’s apperently uncool to covet your neighbors wife, but what about their Crockpot? Slowcooker? Maybe I should have been a 70’s child, but I’ve always wanting one of these babies. Soups, stews, chillies, seitan, and beans… oh yes, the beans.

I’ve always wanted to cook dry beans, but mine are always coming out crunchy. And nobody, I mean nobody likes crunchy beans. I want some thick, soft, held together, saucy, rich bean. And now for the saddest story you may ever hear.

This is the story of the crockpot that was nearly mine.

After years of wanting, pining, lusting for one of these ceramic gods. I happened upon a yard sale find, a working order, cleaned, functional, glorious crockpot from the 70’s. Price tag 1$. One fucking dollar, I beg pleaded with my mother to lend me the cash, the women offers to give it to me for free. I gather all the change, get enough to buy it. Glowing and beaming I carry my new found love out into the car. Three feet from the door, it slips. Falling towards the driveway, shattering…. entirely. I was so close, only to have it all fall and crack away. I could have cried. Everyone was sympathetic. But nothing could take away the hurt, of having loved and lost.

so that is my story.

Just a photo

Today I bring you:

Cookbooks, Organized by colour.

Some Tips and Tricks to stretching your food dollar

Simple things that we all know, but sometimes fail to due for convenience, peer pressure and who knows what else. Like buying dry goods in bulk, cooking whole grains like brown rice over white for more nutrient bang for buck and the classic using dry beans. Dry beans, are supper cheap and if you plan a little or even cook a bunch on a day off and freeze for later, the can save you loads.

Buy dry goods in bulk. Again, don’t go over bored and make sure you have lidded containers to store them away from moisture and bugs.

some other tips and tricks I often use when I need to save money and still eat well which may or may not be obvious.

Jarred sauces, stocks, soups, condiments and whatever else, they aren’t cheap. In fact, most are pricer than making things yourself. Which you likely know, but hey everyone loves the convenience and ease of opening a jar, so my only tip here is to use all you buy. You’re going to be recycling the bottles anyway, which means you have to rinse them.

Rinse and save: Whenever I use the last bit of tomato sauce, tomato juice, salsa, veggie broth /whatever it may be, take a small amount of hot water into the bottle. Close the lid and shake to get out every last bit of content, and add this diluted mixture to whatever it was you were making. The small amount of water won’t hurt. I do this with ketchup, soymilk and well everything.

Another point, with leftovers EAT THEM! Sure the same food in a row might not be super exciting but you can recycle these too.

Diluting purees/blended soups: If you make a blended soup, make it stretch and change it into something different by adding liquid of choice.

E.g.: I made corn chowder the other day and for lunch today I took out a cup of the thick blended goodness and added it to a soup pot with a bottle of V8 (using the water/rinse trick too) and cooked until combined with stirring. Now this trick would be better with a vegetable soup, but it’s still good with the corn chowder. Sure it’s still soup, but now its a lighter vegetable soup. This is also great if your feeding more people.

Freezing vegetable ends. Whenever you chopping or dicing vegetables save all those skins, end pieces, stalks or anything else you would usually compost and freeze them into a plastic bag. Then when your bag is full use the odds and ends to make a flavorful and tasty stock.

More on recycling leftovers

Burgers: Just about any leftover can be made into patties or burgers by adding breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, corn flour, regular flour or some kind of grain and maybe a binding agent. Beans and rice make great burgers just smash with a potato masher and add crumbs as needed to form patties. Soups particularly the thicker kinds can be transformed into burgers in the same way, as can casseroles, chillies, stews, pasta dishes and even braised/roasted vegetables.

Casseroles: Like burgers casseroles can be made out of almost anything. Grains, veggies, legumes, burgers, soups, anything can be made into a casserole. Depending on what it is, you could add some grains , broken crackers or mashed potatoes, some gravy or sauce and you have an instant casserole. Again this is a good way to use up leftovers or if your simply stuck on what to make for dinner. Generally a starch, sauce, veggie or protein (or both!) and your half way there.

Burritos: Basically take anything you have in your fridge and add it to a tortilla and viola, instant burrito. Rice and bean dishes or curries are particularly good served this way but most any left over will do. Vegetable stir fry or sloppy vegans or chilli even your burgers can be added with some lettuce for easy transport and a tasty lunch the next day.

Bulking up: If your making soups, stews, gumbo, sauce or really anything that you feel could do with a little more adding grains is an easy and simple way to make dishes stretch further and feel more filling. Same with blending cooked veggies to add to sauces, spreads, soups or anything you fancy. This adds flavor, nutrients and bulk. The same can be done with beans, once cooked simply blend and add to anything you like.

Mashed potatoes: another cheap and easy solution. Can become a meal in and of itself with the addition of blended white beans and blended steamed greens. Or added to sauce, stews, soups etc to thicken and bulk. It can also turn most leftovers into a burger or casserole and makes a great burrito or breakfast patty if friend with veggies.

So go out and eat something!

Despite the lack of photos, I have been eating.

See.

That mushroom I mentioned last post was finally put to use, and maybe even benefited from the extra marinade time. Lacking a BBQ I baked it in the oven for 25 (ish) minutes at 375, and it was just as juicy and tasty. The marinade was a take off of Joanna‘s (Yellow Rose Recipes), take off as in this is what I wanted to make but I’d forgotten to buy the ingredients so I wound up using rice wine, red wine vinegar, and presumably a few other things I can no longer recall. Very tasty.

To serve I sliced the mushroom over top of Tofu Basil Ravioli in a sweet marinara sauce with vegan soy cheese melted over top. The Ravioli was not home made, although I would recommend you make it yourself as although easy, tasty and filling. The soy boy version is too bland for my taste. The ravioli would be better filled with a vegan Ricotta recipe like the one in Vegan with a vengeance or even if the tofu had been marinated at all. But with a tasty sauce and mushroom pairing the blandness can be over come into something great for a working lunch.

Planning vs executing

As some of you may know I have been planning, promising, making and more or less rarely posting various dishes and creations. My issue is meal planning, heck menu planning. Even veganmofo for all the good it is doing in forcing me to think of what I will be making ahead of time, still has me dreaming up Vegan Iron Chef Entries, sometimes even making it to the store to purchase ingredients. But farm life always seems to swipe the execution stage right out from under me.

Tonight we venture to Green star (which is an apperently super awesome mega co-op), but do I need anything? Not really. My fridge is stocked with veggies who are venturing towards the dark side, more snacks than anyone should consume and the odds and ends to a thousand and one great veganmofo ideas.

For example, there is a large container of apple sider for making apple cider doughtnuts (but no yeast or flour yet), I have the makings of my planned pb pear stuffed french toast for the second iron chef challenge whose deadline has already past. There is a Portabello thats been marinating in there for at least 2 days. Corn from possibly way to long ago, to make into corn chowder to feed the house and we are going out to dinner tonight.

So readers, if any of you fabulous foodies have tips, ideas or suggestions on how to plan better or get your ass in gear post em, blog about em, leave them in the comments. Because something here has to give.

Another prime example is the Oyaki Post in progress. I’ve made them, I have the step by step photos on a hard drive in my room. Who knows when it’ll get finished, hopefully some day soon (sorry john!).

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