I don't know about you, but I think about food all the time. On my morning walks, I think about ways to enliven old recipes or how to put the ingredients of my refrigerator into some wonderfully exotic dish. By the time I get home, I've come up with lots of yummy vegan options to try out. Becoming vegan has sparked my imagination and opened my palette to a whole new world of food combinations. Which is why I always feel completely flumoxed when someone invites me to dinner, and upon discovering that I'm a vegan, is stumped at the notion of what to serve.
One very sophisitacted (or so I thought) neighbor mentioned that she wanted to have my husband and me to dinner very soon. My husband mentioned to her that I was a vegan. Immediately her brows furrowed as if he'd just told her I had cancer. I thought it was an odd response and then she proclaimed what a challenge it would be to come up with something vegan. My face must have revealed an uncomprehending look because she immediately back-peddaled and started saying that she's cooked tofu before. Then she asked what I eat most of the time. It was hard to whiddle down the variety of foods that I eat, so I just began telling her that most ethnic foods had lots of vegan options, and that beyond those choices, there was a stunning array of foods. I said, "Think of all of the plant foods out there. Meat is so limiting, really, when you think about it, but when you begin creating menus with only plant sources, the options are fairly unlimited." She agreed, sort of. Then changed the subject.
This whole conversation came on the heels of my having read an article in the Style section of the New York Times...you know, the newspaper with all the news "fit" to print? The article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/fashion/rsvp-ps-no-gluten-fat-or-soy-please.html?pagewanted=all is all about whose responsibilityit is, when vegan, gluten-free, soy-free or some other "picky eater" is coming to dinner, to provide the correct foods? The author seemed so limited when it came to foods that I began to wonder why she was even hosting dinner parties at all. Seriously? I'm sure if she paid her good friend and part-time vegan (is there really such a thing?) Mark Bittman a visit , he might have a few recipes up his sleeve.
I guess in the whole scheme of things, I'd be hard-pressed to serve meat, dairy or eggs at a dinner party, so it looks like I won't be throwing any any time soon...except for maybe a few vegan friends, or vegan-friendly folks. In the meantime, I'll keep walking and dreaming of all the new and exciting foods I'm going to create...and eat!