In some ways, I live an old-fashioned life. I borrow books and movies from the library (no TV or Netflix), I almost never shop online, and I don’t like bacon (okay, that last one will make sense in a minute).
It’s rare when a package lands on our doorstep, and when it does, it’s a big event for us. Tuesday, I found a package addressed to me and our son, just the two of us. Maybe because I squealed, he squealed too and wanted to squeeze it to make it crinkle.
I texted a picture of the mailing label to my husband to share the excitement and got the scissors, but he texted back: “We should open it tonight. Don’t you think?” After the briefest of hesitations, I decided to wait until he would be home too, but by then, the kiddo was in bed. With the package addressed to him too, we couldn’t really leave him out. Finally, Thursday morning, we were all awake and home at the same time. (See what I mean? Package = Big Event. We either find deep joy in the simplest of things, or we’re just weird.) I got the scissors, and here’s what we found:
Woohoo! I’d just returned this book to the library long before I was ready (one downfall of having a popular library; good titles are always on hold for someone else). I’d brought the book to show our friend HKC when we saw her a few weekends ago. We loved everything we made from the book: baked tofu and cashew cream sauce, but the bacon …
Okay, so I don’t like bacon at all. Pig bacon, I mean. Even before I became vegan I did not like bacon. Now that I am only 90% vegan and eat meat a few times a month, I still don’t want bacon, which is only hard because in Portland, bacon-passion is in full swing, like a reaction against kale-love. People wear t-shirts with bacon images on them, order ice cream and chocolate bars with bacon in them, and wear bacon cologne. (Okay, that might be only rumor, or only among the young and single who are not afraid of dogs.)
HOWEVER, the bacon in Dreena Burton’s book … HKC and I could not stop eating it. The recipe turns large coconut flakes into salty, savory, crispy flakes of amazement. Each time either of us walked past the bowl of “bacon,” we’d eat a piece or two. I don’t know how we had enough left for collard wraps at lunch and for breakfast the next day. (Maybe it was because I automatically doubled the recipe. I trust Dreena’s recipes that much, plus I was hungry.)
As we made these totally plant-based, satisfying dishes, I reveled in having a friend who is such a great cook and who is interested in vegan meals. Now I have the book to remind me of happy friendship, a rejuvenating weekend, and the adventurous fun a vegan-ish life offers.