The Impossible Burger


I am icked out by most burgers…

I think it’s icky to kill cows.

I think it’s icky to grind cows up so that there are the parts of more than 100 cows in 1 burger. (That’s right, Karen! It’s icky!)

I think it’s icky to feed corn to cows – partly because they weren’t created to digest corn and partly because it’s a super inefficient and wasteful use of corn.

I think it’s icky to force them to live months on end standing and laying down to sleep in their own feces.

I think it’s icky to destroy our planet in pursuit of Big Macs.

 

There are other reasons I’m icked out, but those are the big ones for me. And before I go saying what really keeps me from eating most animals, let me also give you the disclaimer that no one can be passionate and active about every issue. I don’t have anger towards individuals who eat meat, especially if the individual is passionate and active about at least one other issue in the world.

We all contribute to global ickiness.

I’m convinced it can’t be prevented without complete withdrawal from modern society. And… in attending law school, I’ve taken on the mantra that every person only has so many shits to give. So, don’t make it your mission to save cows and the planet. That’s cool. Instead, save children, immigrants, crime victims, whales, minorities, the local bookshop, whatever. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t give a shit about the things that matter to me, so long as you don’t waste your life not giving a shit about anyone or anything.

So, for the record, I’m cool if you want to eat a beefy burger right in front of me. The chances of you seeing me eat one in front of you are real slim, but you do what you need to do.

The thing is, it’s actually an issue of stewardship in my mind. It’s about caring for the planet and creatures God has entrusted to us.

God spoke the planet, animals, and us into being. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said…”

I love the first chapters of Genesis. They are gorgeous and poetic, which is fitting because creation is gorgeous and poetic. I have been blessed to experience some truly sublime pieces of creation: glacial lake, horses and hills, canyons, mountains, trees, saguaros, the ocean, Moose. Cows.

I try not to be judgmental or to press my own theologies onto others, but I believe it is sinful for humans to destroy and disrespect creation. I think factory farming is destructive and disrespectful. I think people who eat factory farmed animals are complicit in the destruction and disrespect of creation.

I also try to understand that there are matters of conscience and whether to eat meat almost certainly falls into that category. So I try to rein myself in with that thought.

 

So… to the true topic of this post: The Impossible Burger

Friend Hannah posted this thing on FB a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t really get why the labeling issue really made much of a difference.

I used to avoid fake meat and have only recently gotten into the idea of fake breakfast sausages and whatnot. They don’t strike me as particularly necessary or helpful to my diet, except that they have a stomach feel that I sometimes miss. I don’t really miss the taste of meat. Protein really isn’t difficult to find in the plant world, despite the fact that EVERYONE who finds out I’m a vegetarian stresses to me that I need to make sure I get enough protein. *Scroll down for a side quest if you’re interested.

So, yesterday evening, I grabbed dinner with Sameehan and ordered The Impossible Burger. It came to the table and it looked like a beefy, dead animal burger, despite the description stating that it was a veggie burger. I tasted it and it tasted like a poor dead cow, only better. It tasted pure. Like nobody was (or at least fewer people and beasts were) mistreated in its creation. I later realized it didn’t sit in my stomach for two days, weighing me down like I’d gained 20 lbs. overnight. It was delicious and perfect, but I wondered if it was made of dead cow. That’s how authentic the taste really was.

Then, today, I read this article about alt meat. And I gotta say, I hope the article is right; I hope in a few generations the cows and creation will be suffering less.  And I totally get why meat producers might be fighting label battles. I don’t love the idea of genetic modifications that make the Impossible Burger taste better than the Beyond Meat burger, but one battle at a time. Also, I’m glad to know I didn’t accidentally eat a dead cow last night. It’s just a totally legit veggie burger.

Thanks for reading

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*Side quest: Not to be a jackass, but I think you carnivores are obsessed with protein and are generally getting way too much of it at the expense of other vital parts of your diet. In fact, I think carnivores generally (not all of you, but most) are way less healthy than I am.

You do not need six servings (let’s be honest, you probably aren’t limiting your portion size to one serving per meal)… You do not need six servings of dead animal a day in order to get out of bed in the morning.

The DRI suggests 46 grams of protein for me each day. There are other reputable sources to look to for protein recommendations and they vary. You can calculate it as a percentage of your daily calories if you want, but 46 grams for women seems to be widely accepted. I may need a little bit more than that, because of my weight, activity level, muscle mass, etc…

If you google this ish, you discover the following: a cup of walnuts has about 18.28 grams of protein, a cup of black beans has about 15.24 grams, an avocado has about 4.02 grams, an ounce of cheese has about 7 grams, an egg has about 6.28 grams. Let’s be honest, I’m probably not limiting myself to one ounce of cheddar or one egg per meal, so my common practice of eating a bowl featuring a can of beans, some rice, an avocado, and three eggs over-easy is plenty of protein for a day. The fact that I love eating a whole pizza, with a crap-ton of walnuts on it is also enough. The amount of nut butters I eat, the cashew milk I put in my coffee, and even my spinach intake are enough to more than equip me for survival. There is no need to worry about my protein intake, so it would be great if people would stop talking to me about it.

Also, 3 ounces of beef has about 25 grams of protein. 3 ounces of chicken has about 20. So if you eat two chicken legs for a meal, you have gotten about 40 grams and if you eat a t-bone, you’ve probably gotten somewhere between 50 and 100 grams of protein depending on where you bought the thing. If you eat meat 3 times a day, you are likely getting about 3 times the amount of protein that’s recommended, and that does not count the cheese you’re eating on your burger, the avocado you added, or the beans on the side. It doesn’t count your oatmeal, the protein bar, or the damn protein powder people buy. So, realistically, you carnivores are probably getting more like 4 or 5 times the recommended daily protein intake, depending on the day and your particular habits.

Thus… it would be nice if I could somehow murder the misconception that vegetarians are generally protein-deprived. Getting enough daily protein is not difficult. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it wouldn’t kill folks to go meatless every now and then.

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Is this What Mansplaining Is: Non-lawyers Who Keep Telling Me What It’s Like to Be a Lawyer


Sorry to write about specific people, but it still bothers me that when I told my dad I was going to apply to law school, he said, “You know that’s competitive, right?”

No way… really? I thought it was going to be a piece of cake! Every movie I’ve ever seen makes it seem like anyone could do it.

“You know it isn’t always being in a courtroom and doing trials. There is a lot of paperwork.”

Again… really? I’m shocked!

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Text conversation with new guy… who I have yet to meet, by the way…

Him: “Are you in summer break at school?”

Me: “Yep, although it’s more exhausting to me than being in school because with internships it’s more like the ordinary grind of a normal work week. There isn’t much flexibility in the schedule and it’s a lot of time sitting at a desk.”

Him: “When are you doing your internship? How much longer do you have ahead of yourself? You know that once you graduate you will have no life and will be working 70+ hours a week right?”

Me: (Blinks several times)…

Me: …

Me: …

Me: (Blinks again)…

 

 

It takes every bit of humility in me not to find the most sarcastic, biting retort and send it to him.

 

Funny thing… every dude I have met online tells me that he once wanted to be a lawyer, but he usually decided it was too hard either before even taking a practice test for the LSAT or just after taking one. I met one guy who did some paralegal stuff, then took the LSAT and got a low score, then gave up. The one I met who got the furthest along the law conveyor belt dropped out after his second year of law school. (All of these choices are completely valid, by the way… it’s fine not to be a lawyer. It’s not for everyone.)

 

So, question: why on earth do all of these dudes think they are in the right position to tell me what it will be like for me once I graduate? Plus, they always do it in this manner that’s marked by a condescending benevolence, where they act like they are doing me a favor. It’s as if I have completed two years of law school, but somehow am wearing rose colored glasses. Like I am just a precious, naive, delicate flower who needs a man with less education under his belt (and little or no legal education or work experience) to swoop in and save the day.

 

Is this what mansplaining is? I haven’t really got it figured out when the word mansplaining fits. It fits here, right?

 

 

 

Summer Sriracha


Hi there!

I haven’t had much time to post anything for the past few weeks. I started my summer internship and love it. I cut the hell out of one of my fingers and had to get stitches (I like to complain about it every chance I get). I’ve been on several dates. And I’ve cooked. I even made some sourdough bread, which was delightful.

So… I thought I would post on something I have made that I have never known anyone else to make: homemade sriracha.

Last summer, I ran across the recipe and it ended up being one of the greatest things I have ever made, mostly because I used it all year. I eat a lot of rice with roasted veggies and eggs over-easy, and sometimes the best thing to do is drop a bit of heat into a meal like that. It keeps it from feeling boring.

The sriracha can also be turned into other things… I transformed a portion of mine into Mango Sriracha Caramel, which I used as a coating for toasted almonds (Ninja Nuts).

Sriracha is also the kind of thing that’s screaming out to be made in the desert summer, when Sprouts puts pounds and pounds of jalapenos on display. I’ve decided Summer Sriracha is going to become a tradition and I would consider it to be a part of my food culture as well. 🙂

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Credit where credit is due: the recipe I started with is for “Homemade Badass Sriracha,” from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. It’s a great cookbook and totally worth buying. The Mango Sriracha Caramel and Ninja Nut recipes can both be found in that cookbook as well.

The original recipe calls for 4.5 lbs of red jalapenos or Fresno chiles, 20 medium cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup molasses sugar or coconut sugar, 1/4 cup salt, and 1.25 cups distilled white vinegar.

If you follow the recipe, you chop things up, put all of it but the vinegar into a food processor, then stick it in a covered bowl to ferment for 3 or 4 days, stirring once a day. After that, you add the vinegar and food process it again, strain all of the pulpy ish out, then reduce it over medium heat until it’s smooth and the right thickness for you. They recommend reducing it for about 10 minutes.

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Kate’s recommendations:

  • Try different peppers and combinations. I’m not an expert on peppers, so I just bought several types and way more than I needed. I tasted each of them raw before deciding what to use. I also threw in one red bell pepper, because… well, I had one. Also, if you want your sriracha to turn out red, you should use mostly red peppers. I don’t mind mine being green. My only real goal this year was to tone down the heat just a scoash. Mine is still fermenting at the moment, so who knows if I’ve succeeded?
  • Don’t worry about the weights and measurements… just get in the ballpark. It will be okay. The first year, I could only find 4 pounds of jalapenos. This year I used 2.5 pounds jalapenos, 2 pounds Pasillas, (approximately?… I guesstimated) 1/2 pound of Serranos, and 1 red bell pepper. Also, I don’t really understand what people mean when they say medium cloves of garlic. I actually used thirty cloves, but didn’t worry about the size. Some were big, some were small. I didn’t worry about it.
  • IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t chop hot peppers!

The only thing you want to do is cut hot peppers in half and use a spoon to get the seeds out. Some peppers (like Serranos) are too small for this. Trying to get the seeds out of those will result in inflamed hands. You will feel like there are flames underneath your fingernails. Hot peppers will also release fumes as you chop them. The fumes get in your eyes and throat. Consider using gloves if you’ve got them and perhaps a bandanna for your nose and mouth… or, just don’t mess much with the hot peppers.

For peppers that are milder, do whatever you want. Leave the seeds in, even. The recipe has you leaving the jalapeno seeds in, but I found that doing so left me with a sriracha that was too hot for most people. A lot of the heat is in the seeds and white fleshy stuff.

  • Keep the pulp! After the peppers have fermented, you dump the vinegar in, re-process, and strain… the book doesn’t mention doing anything with the strained pulp, but I ended up using mine to replace canned green chiles, which I use a lot to season black and/or pinto beans. It’s worth saving the pulp and being creative in how you use it.

Fair warning, if you make this recipe, your kitchen (and several other rooms) will, and should, smell like fermenting peppers, because… well, you will have fermenting peppers in your kitchen.

And that’s all, folks!

Let me know if you try the recipe. I’d love to know someone (anyone) who is weird enough to spend 4 days fermenting jalapenos. 🙂

Kate’s Kitchen: The Long Disclaimer & How I Learned Things


I feel like the kitchen is an intimidating place. There have been times in the kitchen when I’ve felt inept, judged, and even betrayed (an incident with a wooden spoon and a blender).

Also, each of us has her own relationship to food and I don’t want to go sticking my nose into anyone else’s kitchen without invitation. Food is intimately personal and important. There is a spirituality with food, even for people who would say they are non-spiritual. There is a sense of community and beauty and dolce far niente (“the sweetness of doing nothing”). I’ve had meals which seemed to overcome the power of time, forcing it to pause and wait while we laughed and tasted.

On the flip-side of the coin, I struggle with my relationship to food. That’s one of the reasons I’ve spent time thinking about it and learning to cook. I obsess about food. I think about what I am going to eat at the next meal every moment of every day – sometimes several days in advance. I fantasize. I torture myself trying to be thin. My New Year’s resolution this year was not to weigh myself, because I always want to know my weight, every day, multiple times each day, just in case.

For those reasons, writing a series of blog posts about the kitchen is super intimidating to me. I want to write it, and I want to write it in a sort of instructional way, but a large portion of people who read this blog also cook. They know things and I fear telling people who already know things about the things I know.

Yet, I love food. I love cooking. I think food and cooking are delightful, and I hope to write some delightful posts.

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As I can’t seem ever to shut off the Hermione in me, my response to feeling intimidated and vulnerable in the kitchen was to study.

I have read tons of cookbooks and watched tons of cooking shows. I have yet to take a cooking class, but that is high on my list of to-dos when I’m no longer a starving college student.

So… Kate’s rules for cookbooks.

Cookbooks

1. Cookbooks should actually be read… cover-to-cover, if possible. For a long time, I was skipping the introductory stuff and looking ahead to the recipes. Recipes are great, but they provide instructions for cooking one dish. Introductions, on the other hand, explain cooking in general. They also usually present a food philosophy, which I think every person ought to have.

2. Cookbooks are not Bibles, nor are they even text books. I used to feel like I was supposed to follow recipes exactly and perfectly on every jot and tittle. Doing that was too stressful for me and it kept me from learning to improvise. It kept me from feeling joy and artistry in the kitchen.

3. Kitchen tools can be like jeans or like wedding dresses, so don’t go buying crap you’ll only use one time. Make sure you know the difference between the items you will use and the ones you won’t before forking out the dough. Most cookbooks include a list of everything everyone ought to have in the kitchen. The lists include items ranging from pots and pans to spices to pantry ingredients to gadgets and gizmos. I read everything on those lists, but I have never, not even one time, had everything on one of those lists. Having that stuff isn’t usually important, because where there is a will, there is a way. It’s better to improvise once, even if you get it wrong, than it is to buy an expensive gadget that’s eventually going to be donated to Goodwill.

4. Use the public library and used book stores before you use Amazon. There is no reason to buy a cookbook unless you know it’s going to be helpful to you. There is also no reason to buy a cookbook new. If you do it right, you are going to dump flour and drip EVOO all over the pages of your favorite cookbooks. Buying them new is a waste of money.

5. Apps and e-books are good for lounging on the couch or in bed, not for the kitchen. Often, you need to look at a recipe RIGHT NOW, not after you wash and dry your hands. It’s better to touch a hard-copy with greasy fingers than it is to touch a screen. If you must use an app or e-book, print stuff out.

6. Have a variety of cookbooks, including one for beginners, one that seems old-fashioned like your grandmother probably used it, one that’s aspirational, one specific to your food philosophy and dietary restrictions, and one that’s sort of niche.

  • Everyone should have a cookbook for beginners, because they don’t feel as terrifying as the rest of the cookbook world. They explain techniques that seem intimidating (like blanching), as well as ingredients that seem intimidating (like spaghetti squash). The recipes are foundational and become staples of everyday life. They often replace boxed foods, like mac ‘n’ cheese, and nothing is worse than that powdered Kraft cheese crap that was created in a petri dish.

 

  • When I say old-fashioned, what I mean is Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, or something similar. This type of cookbook is usually binder-style, so you can pull out individual recipes. It includes an uncommon variety of recipes concerning both difficulty level and dish-type. They have recipes for dessert rolls that take a million steps to make and for veggie broth, which is super easy. They are easy to navigate: they’re tabbed, with tables of contents for each section. They also include food that works for any and every occasion.

 

  • Aspirational cookbooks are the ones with the recipes you always want to make, but almost never do. They are usually the Julia Child/Wolfgang Puck books that seem great for all of those fancy dinner parties you intend to throw but never do. They are the wedding dresses of the cookbook world, and everyone ought to have one to pull out once every five years and impress people.

 

  • I usually go with vegan cookbooks for my food philosophy/dietary restriction books… even though I’m not a vegan. Half of the recipes in most cookbooks are wasted on me since I only rarely eat fish and eat no other meats. Vegetarian cookbooks are fine, but they seem to spend less time and emphasis on understanding food than vegan ones. Vegan books explain that they’re using nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute, which helps me improvise down the road. Also, it’s easier to add cheese to a vegan recipe than it is to take cheese out of a vegetarian one. Vegan isn’t the only way to go, though. There is a cookbook out there for every food philosophy… keto, paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, raw, etc…

 

  • When someone asks what your favorite food is, what do you say? Indian food? Israeli? Chinese? Popcorn? Ramen? Coffee? … this is what I mean by niche cookbooks, and what I like about them is the variety they bring to my favorite things. I know how to pop popcorn, but having a cookbook dedicated to popcorn allows me to try new and different things with it AND these types of books are great for hosting. Having a popcorn bar where people choose how to flavor their own food is super fun and easy.

 

  • A note on food memoirs… I don’t like them. They seem to be sort of indulgent navel-gazing that hasn’t helped me at all in my kitchen. That said, there is one book that I would place in this category called The Everlasting Meal. It’s totally helpful and worth it. Plus, the Pima County Public Library has a copy, so you can read it without having to pay anything.

7. Food blogs are great for consulting, but not for reading. I know there are some great food blogs out there. I just don’t really like any of them. Partly, it’s the screen thing. Hard copy is always superior to me. Partly, there are so many of them that it’s hard to separate the good from the bad. Partly, they feel too much like food memoirs. Partly, it’s the fact that good food blogs eventually put out a cookbook anyways.

I know… this thing that you are reading is a blog post. Thank you for reading, but reading a good cookbook would be more worth your time. 🙂

8. Magazines and newspapers that write about food are for consulting. They’re fine. They sometimes have great recipes. I love that the N.Y. Times includes a recipe on their daily briefing, and have read many a recipe they have posted. But they strike me as having similar problems to blogs (minus the navel-gazing usually).

*I suppose if you kept a nice file and printed out the recipes of the Times or a good food blog, it could be as good as having a cookbook, although, I don’t think it would actually save you much money, you should probably laminate them, and you would be lacking a coherent body of recipes that are united under one food philosophy.

9. Ask people in your life for their recipes. I’m not very good about this one. My grandmother, however, used to send me a recipe in every letter or card she ever sent me. I think she would get them for free from somewhere, and they weren’t her type of cooking so she’d mail them off to me. Her type of cooking was more along the lines of: dump sugar, salt, flour in a bowl, add some water, stir for a bit, shape and stick in the over. She just knew how to do things in her kitchen and would try recipes only occasionally. For years, I didn’t think it was exciting to receive her cast-off recipes, but I did keep all of them. I mostly used them as book marks. When I started cooking, though, I also started trying some of the recipes she’d sent me. None of them has struck me as spectacular, but they have been a nice way for me to keep a piece of who she was as she gets older. My mom often laments the fact that my grandmother has reached a stage of life in which she only eats Little Debbie boxed desserts and the occasional microwavable mac ‘n’ cheese. At one time, she was the best cook I knew.

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Finally, specific book recommendations.

My number one recommendation is any of the Thug Kitchen books. There are a few different ones, but start with “The Official Cookbook.” It’s the best one. Thug Kitchen books are delightful. The writers curse at you all the time (subtitle: “Eat like you give a fuck”) and they explain exactly the right amount of things. The recipes are wonderful. Hands down, this is the cookbook I have used more than any other.

For niche books, Jerusalem. Again, this one is at the Pima County Library, so free. It’s got a great intro, even getting into how history and geography has played into the food. Plus, it’s got an excellent shakshuka recipe, although, I have to admit, I combined it with the N.Y. Times recipe, mostly because I wanted to do it in a cast-iron pan and stick it in the oven. I’m not a fan of the runny yolk for shakshuka, although I know that’s the way most recipes recommend going, and it’s probably more traditional that way.

For an aspirational food philosophy book, The Wicked Healthy Cookbook. The intro is excellent. It’s got just enough about the writers and their stories to make you feel like you know the philosophy and the the whys behind what you’re doing. Woody Harrelson wrote the foreword. Also, even though the recipes are complex and challenging, they taste amazing and are well worth it in the end. Fair warning, though, this is a situation where the recipes build on each other. The first recipe I tried was for Ninja Nuts… basically almonds that are toasted in the oven after being coated in a sauce. The sauce, mango sriracha caramel, was delicious, but it required that I first make (or buy, I suppose) regular sriracha. It took me a week to make the sriracha itself, because of fermenting, and it took me another three (ish) hours to turn a bit of it into the mango caramel stuff. I felt super accomplished after the fact, though, and Ninja Nuts have become my go-to snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate’s Kitchen: A Summer of Writing About Food and Developing a Food Culture


All I have written about on this blog for the past two years is the law and dating. Both have been pretty important in my life, but I’m feeling like this semester is the first in which I have been sane about both school and dating. I haven’t even felt the need to check my blood pressure this semester, because I’ve been so calm. I’ve been wanting to get back to blogging again. I often miss it…

Thus, this summer, I intend to write about food.

This post is about food culture and food philosophy.

I grew up mostly eating foods that were either purchased from a restaurant, microwaved by me, or came with little or no assembly required.

I’m not complaining. My mom is (was? because she has sort of retired) a nurse. She would work long days and be tired and none of the rest of us helped out with much of anything at home. She would walk in the door to find piles of dishes in the sink, piles of laundry, and the rest of us lounging in front of the tv eating Chex Mix.

My dad could cook, but he wasn’t the type to cook dinner every night. He was the type who might wake us all up at 4 a.m. to eat homemade cinnamon rolls. Junk food was really his thing. Peanut butter candy, cheese dip, party mix, layered candy bars, etc… Those were his things. If he was responsible for getting dinner on the table, he’d order a pizza.

Also, I was a jock. While I did take a home-ec. class once, I really, truly wasn’t interested in being a homemaker. I occasionally tried to cook things, but it was like once every two or three years that I even felt the need to cook anything.

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Fast forward.

When I got my own place, I distinctly remember my first few trips to the grocery store, because I didn’t have any clue what the hell I was doing. I definitely only shopped at Walmart for probably four years, because I felt like Trader Joe’s was pretentious.

My mom made sure I had the basic kitchen things when I moved out: dishes, pans, spatulas, etc… and when I came home from the grocery store, I came home with the edible basics: Marshmallow Mateys, Lean Pockets (trying to be healthy, you know), and cheddar cheese.

For a few years, I stuck to microwavable foods, with the occasional real meal added in. I was fond of a chicken and rice bake I found in my Betty Crocker cook book (another basic Mom supplied me with). I sometimes did salads. Sandwiches. Pastas with store-bought sauces. It honestly wasn’t until I bought my own house that I started to cook real food for myself on a regular basis.

And I started reading books about food.

Lots and lots of books about food.

And dvds about food.

One of the books (I can no longer remember for sure which one) started out with a chapter stating that the problem with the American diet is that we don’t have a food culture.

On the one hand, that’s not entirely true. We have southern cooking, which is its own culture within the larger American culture. We have Thanksgiving, which seems to me the most valid piece of food culture we’ve got, although I also hate it and was called the Thanksgiving Grinch last year. We have burgers and french fries for the Fourth of July. And I’m sure there are other quintessentially American meals that I’m forgetting. Go ahead and remind me of them in the comments, if you like.

To me, pumpkin pie seems like all we can really claim in the way of food culture.

So I set out to develop my own personal food culture. That was probably something like five years ago.

This summer, I’m going to post the things I came up with.

As a general overview, I should say that I’m either a vegetarian who rarely, but occasionally eats fish or a Pescatarian who rarely, but occasionally eats fish. Neither label seems fully satisfying, but it’s how I’ve been for about 4 years now, and it’s a big piece of my food philosophy.

Steve, Lori, and I had a conversation quite awhile back about the theology of food, and I generally have a problem with factory farming in large part because of that conversation and food documentaries like Food, Inc.

I firmly believe that we are poorly stewarding the earth, in no small part, due to factory farming. I am opposed to the idea of feeding corn to cows. I’m opposed to chickens so fat they can’t walk. I’m opposed to eating a burger that is made up of meat from bunches and bunches of cows instead of just one at a time.

Also, though, I have reached a point where my practice actually exceeds my beliefs. I don’t think it’s wrong to eat meat. I just think it’s wrong to treat animals poorly (as well as treating the earth poorly) before we eat them. Yet, I am kind of grossed out by most meat now. When I contemplate eating meat, I can’t stop thinking of the animal it came from and how sad it is that it has died to provide something for me that I don’t even actually need.

Even though I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying a slab of beef from Whole Foods where you can select an animal who has lived a better life than lots of children in this world… I almost never have it in me to eat animals anymore (except fish for some inexplicable reason).

Because of my philosophy about stewarding the earth, I also have a leaning towards eating local, organic, and whole foods cooked by me at home, although it’s way too much work for me to be committed to doing that all the time. I also try to avoid foods that seem to have been invented in a petri dish… for instance, if I need fuel on a run, I tend to eat pouches of organic baby food rather than Gu, and I try to buy food with labels that make sense to me.

So… there isn’t much else in my food philosophy, but there are some staples in my diet that I’m going to try to write about this summer.

 

Eggs

Popcorn

Rice (and just about any whole grain)

Red wine

Avocados

Nuts (all types, but especially walnuts and cashews)

Coffee

Spices (especially paprika)

Spinach, onions, tomatoes, and certain squashes

Almond butter

Apples, berries, and frozen fruits

 

Additionally, I am trying to branch out and do more with tea, vinegar, homemade sushi rolls, and homemade sauces. I only rarely bake (unless roasting veggies and making pizzas count) and I’m not as interested in desserts as I am in savory foods. I also rarely cook for others, because I oddly feel like I am imposing on them by making them eat my food. This summer, however, I may try to host more so as to get more comfortable cooking for others.

 

I will try to post pictures, as if I were a proper food blogger.

 

Happy cooking!

 

 

End of 2L Year


Hi there!

It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here, so I thought I’d write a bit.

I’m nearing the end of my second year of law school, and I’m pretty jazzed about it – just one year left to go and then I can be a fancy lawyer!

This year, the main thing I did is I wrote my Note/substantial paper/dissertation, presented it, and submitted it for publication. I researched and wrote about situations where kids who have been removed from the home because of parental abuse are court ordered to visit their abusers. It was rewarding and enlightening work, and I’m so happy that Karen talked me into changing topics. 🙂

I also secretaried a club, represented (sort of) four clients in the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, and mentored a 1L. This summer, I will be at TUSD, doing policy work in school law, which is exciting for me, although it’s not as fancy as it sounds.

Everyone in my life right now seems to be having babies and/or getting married, which is pretty cool. Shout-outs to (forgive me for only listing mommies and brides… daddies and grooms are important too) Kira, Sis, Lori, Kendra, Laura, Melissa (not Hernandez as far as I know). Also, my nephew is getting married and having a baby, and I don’t know his lady’s name, so shout-out to them as well. It’s simultaneously nice and horrifying to be reminded that I could still get married and make babies, even though I’m getting so old. 😉

In addition to getting old, I seem to be getting fat… I injured my Achilles in November and haven’t been able to run very much since. I’ve been pretty frustrated about it, so on Saturday I was angry-icing it and gave myself wicked ice-burn… so now, in addition to being unable to run, I also can’t walk in real shoes. Way to go, Kate. Still, I’m fully committed to completing my New Year’s resolution – not weighing myself for a full year, because of Bonhoeffer. I know, that’s weird.

The dating front continues to be a thing. I have become an expert first-dater – I don’t think I’ve been turned down for a second date in years… but it’s one of those things where I’m sad-happy, because people seem to be interested in me, which is a confidence boost, but the vast majority of them are clearly not a good match for me and I’m constantly having to tell them so… sometimes more than once… sometimes having to completely ignore their repeated attempts to contact me.

At this very moment, there is a text sitting on my phone from a nice guy who I rejected, but he has now contacted me again. Before you get worked up trying to get me to respond to him… he has lost 180 lbs, and wants to lose another 180, which isn’t a big deal except that he can’t talk about anything except the weight loss. Also, our first date was a Sabino Canyon road hike, which he wanted to do because he’s been hiking all the time in an attempt to train for a ten-mile summit challenge. Even so, he got blisters and hiked at the glacial pace of a decrepit snail. I tried to tell him we didn’t need to do the full 7.whatever miles, but he insisted we finish. On the one hand, who really cares? I don’t even really like hiking very much. On the other hand, if he’s going to do athletic sorts of things with me, he’s gonna have to keep up or let me run ahead and meet him at the finish line, and he doesn’t seem capable to either of those options. Also, he lives in Sierra Vista. Also, he lives with his mom, her friend, and his grandmother. Also, his date with me was his first, first date. Ever. Also, he kept asking me to give him constructive criticism while on our date. Also, he texts non-stop.

And, finally, I’ve saved the best news of the year for last… how could I possibly beat such an excellent first date story, you ask?

Drum roll, please…

I GOT WIFI… WOOHOO!

I actually don’t love having the internets at home, but I hit a point where I just hate being at school so much that I’d rather fork out the dough and be able to write memos while wearing pjs and drinking snooty organic cashew milk lattes.

I also have Netflix, and I think I’ve decided to keep it. I was on the fence about it. I got the 30-day free trial, and maybe I see the $8/month value in it… I hate that they keep advertising their NETFLIX ORIGINAL crap to me. Also, most of the shows I actually like are CBS ones and unavailable via Netflix. Plus, I’m having issues getting the CBS app thing onto my XBOX 360, but I’m not buying an XBOX ONE until they come out with another console that’s newer and fancier. But, hey, Making a Murderer was pretty legit (thanks, Lori) and since I haven’t had tv or internet access since it was provided via dial-up and cable in my parents’ house, there are a few shows I’ve intended to watch over the years that the library was unable to provide. Although, I have to say… it’s silly that I still have to go to the library for The Expanse, The Last Ship, and Game of Thrones.

 

Kate’s Rules for Enjoying Online Dating… & a Quick Life Update


I have somehow become a zealous proponent of online dating. I think people should do it and stop feeling ashamed. Here are some rules I have embraced in order to enjoy the experience…. also, this is advice I would give to anyone who is setting out on an online dating venture. No, I don’t think I’m an expert.

  1. Online dating is not shameful. Talk about it. Everyone in the world loves a good dating story and will be supportive. There is nothing funnier than a story about a bad first date.
  2. Lori was right: you need to pay the effing money. Free sites are fine, and you might find someone awesome there, but you change the dating pool in important ways when you fork out a little cash for a subscription.
  3. KISS – Keep it short, stupid. People don’t read profiles to find someone they want to date; they read them to eliminate folks they don’t want to date. The less you say, the less ammo you provide to anyone who is looking for a reason not to date you.
  4. People who write a lot are usually more intelligent than people who don’t, so don’t eliminate anyone just because they’ve got a TMI profile. (Yes, it’s contradictory to rule 3 and confusing.)
  5. Improve the online dating community by not being a JA. If a normal person messages you in a nice and normal way, but you don’t want to pursue anything with said person, respond. Thank person for the compliment of messaging you; tell person you’re sorry but you don’t think the two of you are a good match; tell person you hope he/she finds the right person soon; include a smiley. 🙂 It is really sad the number of times I have been thanked for responding this way. People totally appreciate it, because so much of the time, they message folks who ignore them.
  6. It’s a numbers game, so give everyone a first date (except creepers and those with whom you are 100% sure it won’t work). Disqualifying factors include murdered animal carcass(es) in the profile pic(s) and if a standard row boat would capsize with the person in it (wisdom from Michael Scott). The best first dates I’ve been on are ones I was not enthused about.
  7. First dates 101: Ferret out and eliminate the crazies. Don’t waste time worrying about chemistry, attraction, or whether you actually like the person across the table. You can figure that ish out later.
  8. First dates 102: Your job is not to impress the other person. All you really need to do is show him or her that you aren’t crazy. (Becki Scheel wisdom – she was talking about the goal of open house when you are a teacher, but it can be generalized to many pressure-packed situations in life).
  9. First dates 408 (this is a much more advanced skill than one might think):  have a nice hug, then walk away. Even if it is a spectacular first date, do not, under any circumstances, share saliva, your last name, or your address. Anyone who is normal and wants a relationship will be happy with this.
  10. It’s a numbers game. Give everyone a second date (except creepers, crazies, and those with whom you are 100% sure it won’t work). HOWEVER, you really shouldn’t go on a third date unless you’re pretty into the other person. Date #3 (to almost everyone) signifies something that’s relatively serious.

Life updates and some highlights from the last year of online dating:

The biggest highlight of my online dating experience was Stuart. My time with him was magical. I move forward with lots of warm, fuzzy memories about him, no regrets, and tons of lessons learned. I still struggle with being brokenhearted and angry about him. I feel resentment at everyone who hints that, “It’s better to have loved and lost…” because I’m pretty sure it’s better to have loved and not lost. Also, I’m not cool with romanticizing brokenheartedness. Bokenheartedness sucks.

Then there was Jason. I really only talked to my mom about him, but he is delightful, and I wish he hadn’t been the first one I met after Stuart. I was such a mess and didn’t intend to meet someone so quickly who I could be serious about. He is a great guy and I wasn’t ready for him at all. The girl who gets him is going to be super lucky.

Then I met Russ. He and I are trying to be friends. It’s a first time I’m making that attempt, so we’ll see how it goes.

 

 

On the school front, I’ve maybe changed my goals for what I want to do after graduation…. maybe education law…. probably something that involves less litigation and removes me a few degrees from trauma.

I’m pretty sure I’ve secured a summer internship with a school district, although I haven’t officially received an offer.

I submit the final draft of my note (dissertation/substantial paper) soon and present it in about a month. I’ll be happy to have that one behind me.

Next year, I will be a note and comment editor for my journal…. not as fancy as it sounds, but I’m still enthused to tell everyone that I am an editor.

Up until the end of last week, I had managed to keep up with EVERYTHING at school. I read every reading assignment. Met every deadline. I basically killed myself keeping up with everything. Was skipping church and Bible study. Canceling coffee dates with people. Not walking poor Moose. Venting on the daily to my mom. I was basically a lunatic again. But I’ve surrendered now…. not going to be prepared for everything anymore, but I will be ever-so-slightly more sane.

 

 

Looking forward to my mom coming to town next week. Sister having a baby. S & L adopted. Bought myself a Groupon for a deep tissue massage. Feeling like I’ve been healthier about several different things lately. Watching a ton of Star Trek. Voyager is pretty awesome once you get past the first season. Also, everyone should watch Father Brown. Just trust me. It’s going to feel sort of slow at first, but stick with it until you’ve finished the first episode.