Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tiny Bubbles

Last night, we went to a 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. Our friends had rented out an entire restaurant, and very generously treated their friends to a celebratory feast. It was at The Gorbals, a restaurant in downtown LA that is probably a pretty hip place, but I had never heard of it. It's not the sort of place that would be on my vegan radar. It's one of those places that REALLY likes cooking up pigs and lambs! I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous about what my evening was going to be like. As a vegan, I pretty much dread any event with some kind of sit down, planned meal. Because no matter what, it's awkward, and even though I swear I'm not obnoxious and demanding, it stresses carnivores out to have a vegan in their midst. I was told in advance that the restaurant had been warned about me (as well as some other vegan in attendance and a couple of vegetarians) and were prepared. I was still skeptical, especially after I saw a copy of their "vegetarian" menu, which proudly featured an item with "anchovy butter." In my book, this means that you have no idea what vegetarian means, let alone, vegan. So, I was prepared to end up sitting there, nibbling on crudite and making everyone around me uncomfortable. ;-)

Well, I have to say The Gorbals knocked it out of the park! The servers were very aware of what I could eat, and always told me whether a dish was vegan or not, without me having to be an Annoying Asker. There were at least 7 or 8 of the various dishes I could eat, and they were all really great! They even brought me a special dipping sauce to use on my potatoes, when everyone else got aioli. Aside from the fact that I had to build a barrier of glasses and bottles to block my view of a troubling plate of prawns, all of which were fully intact, including their little eyes, I think I made it through the evening without having to be That Pansy Vegan.

This meal reminded me of why I am exactly doing this whole process of liking everything vegan. Last night, I actually liked everything that was vegan (there were dishes with broccoli, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, chickpeas, avocados, etc.). But I watched other people turn their noses up at many of the offerings, both of the meat and of the veggie persuasion. And I was SO GLAD I didn't have to be one of those people! Can you image me sitting there, being offered a vegan selection, and refusing it because "I don't like that"?!?! That would be exhausting for everybody involved! I was glad I could eat everything vegan with pride and gusto. THAT is what this whole adventure is all about!

But that is not what this whole blog entry is about! I ended up having a rather effervescent evening! Since this was an anniversary party, obviously, there was a champagne toast. I drank the whole glass of champagne without any objection! I won't say it tasted good, but it didn't taste bad either. I think I'm on my way to finally winning my champagne battle.

And I had another chance to ingest even more bubbly beverage last night. On the tables, there were bottles of both still and sparking water. I must have drank about 5 glasses of the sparkling water. I'm over it, it's not a problem any more. If I go to Germany again and they insist on giving me their bubbly water, I can now handle it. I'm not quite over mineral water yet, but regular old sparkling water doesn't pose a threat to me any more!
Unfortunately, this was one Bubbles I didn't encounter last night. I guess he was locked in his sister's basement and couldn't make it.
 In closing, I have big news! I'm done! That is, I'm done entering all of the recipes I have collected into my recipe app!* And I have gotten rid of the ones I don't think I will use. The entire shelf that used to house all of my binders and folders full of paper recipes has now been repurposed. OK, so it has been repurposed to hold the cookbooks that used to not be able to fit in the kitchen, but still! Progress, people!

* I still have about 100 paper recipes I want to enter, but they are all from Vegetarian Times, and I've been having some issues using their website. Over the past month, they have added some banner ads that always crash my recipe app.... and for some reason, they have neglected adding ALL of the recipes from their magazine to their web archive. I hope they will resolve these issues soon, so I can finally get these recipes into my nifty app!

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