Monday, March 17, 2008


I’ve been tagged by Lori over at Pleasantly Plump Vegan to give five random facts about myself. I’ve tried to make them as random as possible, and things that most people don’t know about me.
  1. I own exactly five pairs of shoes. One pair, hot pink, strappy high heels, hasn’t been worn in about two years. Two others, pregan clog-style Earth Shoes and hard plastic flat sandals I got for free from a clothing donation box, are worn very rarely. I have a pair of sneaker-like Payless shoes that I wear for biking. But, 40% of the time, I wear flip flops, and 50% of the time I’m barefoot.
  2. I have spent 160 hours under the sea (not counting snorkelling or swimming). I became scuba certified just before heading over to PNG for two months or hard-core diving, so I had to catch on quickly. I also learned to identify corals to genus level (some to species level). I haven’t been diving in over a year, since that trip.
  3. I have two tattoos. One is on my front right side, just on the inside of my hip. It is the symbol for my astrological sign, Scorpio. I got that one in December 2005, and it took about 20 minutes of pain. The other is a jasmine flower, on my upper left thigh. I got that one in January 2006, and it took nearly three hours. I gave the tattoo artist creative licence on that one, and it came out really, really great. I want more, but probably won’t get them any time soon.
  4. As cute as they are, I really hate green tree frogs. They make the most annoying noises when its damp out, and for some reason they love to croak just outside the bedroom window at about 5 am.
  5. I usually sleep on my side or my stomach. But every morning, between 5 and 7, Nacho stands on my pillow and stares at me with her purr on in a big way. She stays there until I roll on my back, and then she lays on my stomach for a pat. I usually like it, unless she kneads and uses claws. She usually only stays for 5 or 10 minutes, but sometimes she falls asleep there until the sun gets really bright.

Since I’m posting random things, I thought I would put up some random food photos.

Here is some tofu dill salad, from Vegan with a Vengeance. I thought this was really tasty on sandwiches and wraps, but it was quite dry. Unfortunately, I used the last of my tofu mayo when I mixed it up, so I couldn’t add any to the mix. I think it was so dry because I used frozen tofu and it sucked up liquid like a sponge.

And here is a fancy pasta dish, which I invented by combining two recipes from Vegan Planet. Fettucini is tossed with sautéed strips of capsicum and zucchini, and then covered in a cannellini-balsamic sauce. This was really easy to put together, and really very tasty.

A few weeks ago, we got a pressure cooker. I’m still playing with the timing for perfectly-cooked beans, but it comes in handy. Except for last time I cooked kidney beans. I think the pot was a bit too full, and I must have let the pressure off a bit too quickly, because I ended up with red liquid squirting out of the lid. Lovely. Still, it’s quick and relatively easy, so I like it.

Pressure cooker tips from experts would be much appreciated, though.

Now for some random links. Well, not really random.

I posted about this last week, but I think it's worth mentioning again. 400 kangaroos are set to be culled (read: murdered) by the Australian government. In protest, Aboriginal Australians are teaming up with animal rights activists and making a pretty big statement, even offering to take the lethal injection on behalf of the kangaroos. Said one Aboriginal member of the Tent Embassy, "If you could see the kangaroos through our eyes, you would see how important this is to me," he said. "This cull is genocide, because these kangaroos are my brothers, they're my sisters, they're my aunties, my uncles and my babies." Peter Garrett has said this is necessary--what a freakin' sellout. This article also quotes an AR activist: "I've heard the Government saying the cull is for conservation, but it's not, it's about development." That's the key, I think, it's all about development.

In addition to being bad for kangaroos, the Australian government isn't so good for sheep, either. After selectively breeding sheep with lots and lots of skin, sheep farmers have found that the excessive skin around a sheep's bum is a breeding ground for blowflies. They lay eggs in the moist wool and the maggots then burrow into the sheep's body and slowly kill it. It's pretty gruesome, so to avoid that fate the sheep farmers simply slice off the excess bum skin. It's called mulesing, and they do it without any pain relief or bandaging up afterwards. Peta has been pushing for a while to get this practice changed, and now a few European countries are banning Australian wool until the practice is made more humane. I think the focus should be less on making it more humane, and more on getting people to stop using wool. Ending one bad practice will make people think they've solved all sheeps' problems, but really, the methods of dipping and shearing don't look very nice from a sheep's perspective. Anyways, sheep are an introduced species which are really not so good for the Australian environment.


Sam said...

You and I have a tattoo in the same spot, right hip. Except mine is Alice from Alice In Wonderland and it took about an hours worth of pain. I love the flower though, so pretty!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Flip flops are the best!! And barefoot os even better :-)
I have been wanting another tattoo for awhile now, and this has brought it back to the front of my mind.
Reading about the kangaroos is breaking my heart. That is just too sad. Great to hear thought that AR activists and Aborigines are standing together to fight this. Keep us posted...

The Veggie Queen said...

It's best to make beans in the pressure cooker using the natural pressure release method which means that you let them sit until the pressure comes all the way down. Kidney beans take about 6 to 8 minutes at pressure if they've been presoaked or about twice that long if done from dry. I hope that helps. You can find cooking charts online,and I have a pressure cooking ?DVD. I encourage you to keep using it, wonderful tool for the kitchen.

kristy said...

The pasta dish sounds good, which two recipes did you combine? I have the cookbook.

pleasantly plump vegan said...

wow, ony 5 pairs of shoes. i have wayyyyy too many shoes. of course, i still have my non-vegan shoes, rarely worn now. funny though, i usually just wear flip flops.
i grew up in Fla, so surrounded by water but never went scuba diving. looks like fun. i'm a bit afraid of water creatures getting me so not sure i'll ever be guttsy enough to go.
my cat Peeny does the exact same thing too me, usually in the morning!

DJ said...

Pressure Cooker, eh? (cracks knuckles) Well what do you want to know?...
I, like veggie queen, cook my beans and then let the pressure come down naturally. Your beans will come out lovely and soft while still retaining their shape.

Cookiemouse said...

I always sleep on the side. That sounds awful, what they do to the poor sheep. Puts me off wool altogether.

Veggie said...

I watched a video (from Peta) a few months ago about the sheep and I just couldn't believe it.

the little one said...

Okay, so I'm seriously impressed with your lack of consumerism! 5 pairs of shoes! You're a role model.

textual bulldog said...

i have been wanting a pressure cooker forever. and thinking of getting a scorpio tattoo forever, too. yay, scorpios! we're the best!!! ;) p.s. i love that you have 5 pairs of shoes... i probably have 500. so bad.