But I began to see that veganism was complicated. I had to read labels. Powdered whey in cookies was a reason not to buy them. But neither did I want to eat them if other people had bought them. The perfectionist aspects of veganism began to dawn on me.
I know that being a perfectionist isn’t healthy, but I am one anyway. In this respect, veganism suited me fine. I was a perfect vegan, for about a year. Then I got married to a wonderful vegetarian man, who wanted, on our honeymoon, to treat me to what he considered the world’s best cheese omelet. Never, in the preceding year, had I run up against a conflict like this one. And perfectionist that I am, I am also weak. I ate the omelet, and then began ten years of being a vegan except for when it was too hard to say no.
My wonderful vegetarian husband, who is now my ex-husband and best friend, became more of a vegan while I became less of one. We decided to be vegan in our respective homes, where we could control things, and vegetarians on the outside. I became a not-too-bad vegan cook, and introduced many guests to the wonders of tofu mayonnaise and mystery Parmesan.
But, to reveal yet another flaw in myself, I am easily bored. And I was getting bored with my culinary repertoire. Not that I wanted to cook meat again, or even seafood. That was definitely over. But I had once spent two years learning classical French cuisine and I missed, I don’t know, crème anglaise.
So I began to do that. I used the Internet and my formidable label-reading skills. I called 800 numbers. I asked people at the farmer’s market how they treated their animals and found that they were absolutely happy to tell me. And then I made a lemon tart for my friends that both I and the hens involved could feel good about.
|Mark Bittman. |
(Suzy Allman for The New York Times)
-- Mona Williams lives and cooks in Bridgewater