Friday, June 24, 2011, came and went almost without notice except for the fact that it was Roger Haeske’s birthday. It was also my anniversary but it’s a different one now than when it began. In the beginning, it was my anniversary of being 100% raw vegan. It was attended with a lot of hoopla and people wondering how on earth I could do it. Now, it’s a quieter one but no less an anniversary. It was the sixth anniversary of my vegan lifestyle. I can’t claim that I only eat raw food any more.
The fava beans were the gateway cooked food. You’ve heard of gateway drugs. This is similar but different. I’d had a few other cooked items along the way but not full out cooked meals until poke came into season. You’ve heard of poke sallit, I’m sure. It’s a staple in the diet of many a Southerner and I grew up eating the leaves parboiled in several water changes and then fried plus fried poke stems. With the meager resources my mother had, it was sometimes what stood between us and going hungry. She often told me the managers of coal mines would try to settle strikes before the poke was big enough to eat. The miners could hold out indefinitely with it on the menu.
The poke was waving at me one afternoon when I came home from work. Not many things tempted me but that poke did. I gathered a “mess” and cooked it. It was divine. Okay. I’d had my poke fling. It was back to being raw except for the medicinal fava beans. I thought.
When the poke had time to grow back, the yen for its unique flavor did, too. This time, I accompanied it with sweet potato mash and stewed onion. It was a cooked meal. I’d added a drop of the vanilla DD had made and sent me for Mother’s Day and a dash of cinnamon to the potato and it was delicious. I enjoyed everything immensely.
I was back to being raw with my salads in the evening after my fava beans and kelp noodles. Then a baker potato loomed on the horizon. It was huge and I could imagine how it would taste, baked to perfection. I bought it and brought it home.
With nothing added, the scrubbed potato went into the oven. I’d pierced it with a fork in several places so it wouldn’t explode. It better be good, I thought. It cost enough at around $1 a lub. It didn’t disappoint. All I put on it was salt and thought of the days when I would have slathered it with butter and sour cream. There was no need. The flavor of the potato with sea salt shouldn’t be masked.
A few days later, I bought a couple more smaller potatoes for a little less a lub. They met their fate the same way the other one did and were equally as good.
I wasn’t quite to the point of having a sit-down cooked meal consistently until DD arrived on June 13. On the 14th, I cooked lentil soup and we dined together. She said it was weird to see me eat cooked food. She had her wheat crackers with hers. I had my raw flax crackers with mine.
We had a cooked meal together every evening, eating fruit during the day. It was very pleasant. I don’t eat raw veggies very well but I can sure tie into cooked ones. Roger would say they were dead. Toxic. Poison.
DD went shopping for me and I added two artichokes to the list. I hadn’t had an artichoke for over six years. Early in my raw days, I had bought one to try to fix it without cooking but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere that was doable. When I suggested having artichokes one day, she let me know that they were something she had often and they really wouldn’t be a treat for her. They were still in the fridge when she left.
The next day, I cooked my first artichoke. I hunted all over the World Wide Web for a recipe for cashew mayonnaise (I used to eat artichokes with Hollandaise but I haven’t found a vegan version) and finally found this one. It was rather amusing that I’d looked everywhere except my own backyard. With the balance of flavors just right, this can taste exactly like the mayonnaise you buy in a jar in the supermarket.
I sat down with my cooked artichoke, baked potato and raw vegan mayonnaise and enjoyed every bite. I was hooked.
For several weeks now, I have been eating cooked suppers. I posted in my journal on the forum that I’d been doing that and Shari wanted to know “So, how do you feel? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically?” I replied, “I feel fine. Eating cooked isn’t a sin. The sin would be if I ate it and lied about it. So I’m not lying.”
When DD and I went to visit DS2 and the rest of the crowd, I ate some of my DIL’s hummus. It was nice to be part of something and not on the outside looking in. I’m sorry. Eating only raw food is alienating to other people. Eating together is social and raw is anti-social unless you are with other confirmed raw eaters. It’s sad but it’s a fact of life. And now for another fact…
I’ve revised my ticker so instead of reading “X days since 100% raw” it now says
I know I delude myself about a lot of things but this is something that, to me, it’s important to be completely honest. So…there WAS that time years ago I had a sore throat and I sipped some garlic lemonade sweetened with a little honey.
While I still believe that eating raw for almost five years was of great benefit, I never really achieved 80/10/10 raw vegan except for the first year. I’m convinced that it would be the best diet for most people. I’ve stated on more than one occasion that I would never go back to eating cooked food. Once again, I have to remind myself, “Never say never.”