My friend Jacqui (who I did a Q&A with about becoming vegan last year) spent a week volunteering at Jacob’s Ridge (better known as The Pig Village) and you can read all about it here. Thanks, Jacqui!
My week at Jacob’s Ridge (or Excuse me Miss, but there appears to be a pig trying to get in my tent)
Early last summer, when I was a relatively new vegan, I posted on a vegan Facebook group asking if fellow vegans could suggest suitable food that I could cook while camping in Norfolk. One of the responders, Lynn, told me to forget Norfolk and instead to get myself over to a place called Pig Village, an animal sanctuary based at Jacob’s Ridge in Southern Spain. This vegan idyll offered opportunities to volunteer with the day-to-day care of the animals, sleep in a glamping style bell tent and eat lashings of home prepared vegan cuisine. I didn’t need to be told twice, so I contacted Jacob’s Ridge for more information and, when the dates were announced in September for the upcoming summer season, I was one of the first in the queue to book.
What do you do when you’ve got half a block of puff pastry and half a vegetarian haggis in the freezer, a leftover field mushroom in the fridge and a cabbage in your veg box delivery? Make vegetarian haggis, mushroom and cabbage pasties of course! I love finding leftover pastry in the freezer as I haven’t found anything that isn’t improved by being wrapped in pastry. Well, ice cream might be a bit rubbish, I suppose, but the combination of vegetables and pastry is always a winner.
The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen cookbook has only one thing about it that annoys me – Veronica Lavenia uses a few cheeses that are NEVER vegetarian and not once does she suggest a vegetarian alternative*. I don’t know what will happen when/if we leave the EU and whether we can happily sod their laws and make our own cheese and call it what we want but, at the moment, as any self-respecting vegetarian can (and will) tell you, Parmesan/Parmigiano-Reggiano is an EU Protected Designation of Origin product and has to be made using calf rennet, therefore making it unsuitable for vegetarians. And if you don’t believe me, you can read The Vegetarian Society’s cheese fact sheet which also points out that Gorgonzola (also used in the book) is never vegetarian either.
[*The author, Veronica Lavenia, has seen this post and here’s her reply:
I would say this is the first in a new series of monthly round-ups but, knowing me, it’ll be a haphazard monthly series that doesn’t appear monthly as one would reasonably expect a monthly series to do. This haphazardness is especially likely as I had planned to start my round-ups with a round-up of May’s recipes, reviews and samples at the beginning of June, but when it got to the 28th of June, I thought that was probably a bit too late for a May round-up. (Update: Writing this post has taken far longer than I thought it would when I started it on 6 July – it’s now the 11th.)
I used to resent quiche. I resented it for looking like a pizza but having neither the taste nor the texture of one but I mostly resented it for usually being the only thing available to a vegetarian at a buffet. It was also – to my mind – the realm of little old ladies who had that little old lady smell about them. Therefore, I avoided quiche for years and it’s only been in the last few years I’ve been able to eat it without feeling like I’m punishing myself. I still ignore it at buffets though as a matter of principle.
Usually when it’s courgette season, I live off courgette soup and stuffed courgettes but now I’ve got my spiralizer, I can live off courgetti, yay. I’d made a gorgeous spinach pesto (I’ll blog about that another time) last week to go with a spiralized salad but today I fancied making a thinner, creamier type of dressing.
I dropped some tofu jerky on the kitchen floor the other day. This saddened me because it was the last of the current batch and even though I scooped it up within the three-second-rule thing, I know how often the kitchen floor gets cleaned and therefore I apply something more akin to a three-foot-rule thing as far as any food/floor contact goes. I wiped the jerky with a bit of kitchen roll but I still didn’t fancy my chances and I wasn’t about to bleach it then eat it, so into the bin it went. Sniff.
A spiralizer has been the must-have gadget for a while now and supermarkets have cottoned on to this trend by selling their own ready-spiralized vegetables for three times the price the veggie noodles would be if you made them yourself. I can see the attraction of the ready-spiralized veg though – no getting any gadgets out, no cleaning up afterwards and if you’ve got arthritis or something else that means your grip’s not great, then it’s the only option available (on the assumption you’re not rich enough to pay someone solely to come around and spiralize a couple of carrots for you while you doss about watching Loose Women on the telly).
You’ve seen the words ‘HIGH IN OMEGA 3’ screaming out at you on bread packets. As a non-fish-eating vegetarian or vegan, you might even have bought one loaf of bread over another because of its claims. But did you know you’d need to eat around 23 slices of bread to get the recommended daily amount of omega 3? That’s a lot of bread.
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who receive a weekly vegetable box delivery, you probably spend a lot of time wondering what to do with carrots.
I’ve blitzed them in smoothies, dunked them in hummus, and mushroom pate, cooked them in stews and bologneses but most of the time, because they go limp quickly, a lot of them end up in the compost. Last week after yet again receiving a big bunch of carrots, I decided to do something more ‘carroty’ with them and use them as the basis for something, rather than just added to something to simply use them up.