Posts tagged “nomaste

A Vegan/Vegetarian Diet as a Practice of Faith?

Playing catch-up for last year’s Pagan Blog Project. I figured I’d try and finish up the rest of the alphabet in order to get myself back into the habit of writing about paganism regularly. I’d considered joining the Pagan Experience (basically a replacement for the Pagan Blog Project), but there are a lot of other things demanding my attention this year.

divider

Week 44 (V): adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet as an extension of “Harm none”

Many of you are already familiar with the “harm none” adage that some Pagans follow. But have you ever thought about whether this extends to other areas of your life?

I was re-reading some old forum posts recently and stumbled on this one that discusses a vegan or vegetarian diet being necessary for Pagans who adhere to the “harm none” rule. To be clear, this is not something that I do or an idea I subscribe to. But it did get me thinking. Why do I believe that it is my duty as a witch to harm none, but still eat animals and use animal products?

you find weird things when you google "animal rights"

you find weird things when you google “animal rights”

Full disclosure: I’m an omnivore who loves bacon. For me, it’s far more important to buy local, sustainably raised, humanely slaughtered meat whenever I can than to abstain altogether. Because of a number of personal factors, restricting my diet, regardless of reason, is just not in the cards for me.

Upon further examination, I suppose it’s more accurate to say that my goal is to harm none if there is no justifiable purpose. I don’t send out curses willy-nilly, but if I believe that someone has deeply wronged me, I’ll absolutely invoke Kali and stand back. Like most humans these days, I don’t go around slaughtering animals or hunting for fun*. I have never personally killed an animal, though I have participated in two chicken slaughters at a local farm. What is far more important to me is that I am not inflicting harm irreverently.

Being respectful of the animals you kill is another big part of my interpretation of “harm none”. I try to eat animals with respect. I do not buy factory farmed meat. I purchase milk and cheese made from cows that are not pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. I consume plants much the same way; I try to eat locally and seasonally. That is what “harm none” means to me in the broader context of my life.

 

* Before anybody goes nuts, “for fun” is the key part of this sentence. I’m contemptuous of people who hunt for sport, but if you’re using most of the animal for necessary things (food, shelter, etc), then I’m pretty ok with it.

Advertisements

Eostre Quiche

I did this last year on a whim, and I think I’ve found my new Eostre tradition: making quiche. Since eggs are a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, and Eostre derives from a root that means “to shine”, what better way to celebrate than making a quiche that showcases the excellence of really good simple ingredients? So happy Vernal Equinox, Eostre, Ostara, Spring, whatever you call today!

If you think you don’t like quiche, let me tell you: this is not that soggy, goopy, disgusting thing you’re thinking of. This is rich and just the right amount of salty and can be served any number of ways: hot, cold, warm, room temperature, whatever. My girlfriend hated quiche before she tried mine. Now she requests it approximately once every two weeks.

If you like this recipe, credit me and link back to this entry. Feel free to republish or add it to your personal collection. Modify and share as you like (per my Creative Commons license for all the contents of this blog). And, of course, eat.

dividerEostre Quiche

Ingredients
Crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup canola or olive oil (or other type of oil, if you’re feeling fancy)
2 T milk

Quiche:
6 slices bacon
1 onion, diced and caramelized
1½ oz microgreens
7-9 oz asiago fresco (or your choice of cheese)
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt

To prepare the crust: stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the oil and milk. Mix thoroughly and pat into a 9 or 9.5″ pie pan. If you have one, a quiche pan would also work beautifully.

I decided to prick the holes in the shape of a pentacle, because I could.

I decided to prick the holes in the shape of a pentacle.

Prick holes in the crust and bake at 425°F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

To prepare the filling: cook the bacon, caramelize the onion, and grate the cheese. Clearly you must do these all at once or else the recipe won’t work. (Totally kidding.) Once the crust has cooled, sprinkle about half the cheese over the bottom and top with fillings. Spread the remainder of the cheese on top of this beautiful mess.

IMG_20140320_195623

A layer of cheese & caramelized onions + bacon piled on the cooled crust.

Whisk the eggs, milk, and cream with the salt in a bowl with high enough sides that you won’t get it all over the counter. (Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…) Whisk energetically until the edges are frothy. Pour this over all your lovely fillings.

The eggs, milk, & cream will look strange. Don't panic.

When thoroughly beaten, the egg mixture will look strange.

Bake at 350°F for between 30 and 40 minutes. When it’s done, the edges will be set, but the center should still jiggle a little. Cool the quiche for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it (trust me), though letting it cool overnight is ideal. I think quiche is best when served cold or reheated, but maybe that’s just me.

The green will hide the obscene amount of bacon you added, don't worry.

The greens will hide the obscene amount of bacon you added, don’t worry.

You can customize this quiche pretty much any way you like. Don’t have microgreens? Wilt some spinach or add some pea shoots. Don’t like onions? Artichoke hearts are great. Vegetarian? Add mushrooms instead of bacon. Pretty much any kind of cheese works; I’ve had excellent results with various goat cheeses, cheddar, Gruyere, and Manchego. Duck bacon was fantastic in place of regular old pork bacon. Got some extra herbs to use up? Add a small handful of sage or thyme. If you’re feeling fancy with dried spices, smoked paprika is amazing too. You get the idea.

Pair with Joy the Baker’s peanut butter bacon cookies, since you didn’t want to put all twelve slices of bacon in the quiche. Or maybe you did. This is a judgment-free zone.

This recipe is a slightly modified version of The Kitchn’s foolproof quiche recipe, combined with my mother’s press-in crust. Usually I use canola oil, but with the way the olive oil version turned out, I think I’ll probably be using olive oil again.


Eating Locally

Consider this a bonus post for the Pagan Blog Project; we’re on E anyway this week. I bought into my first farm share this morning, so I’m excited and I wanted to share.

I live in an area that has quite a few farms. I’m not talking giant factory farms, where you’re not sure what the animals are being fed or where chemicals are essentially poured into the soil. I’m talking small-scale operations, many of which are what’s called community-supported agriculture (CSA). Basically it’s a way of distributing food grown locally to people who live nearby. Most CSAs that I know of are very concerned with sustainability practices and organic farming, both of which are important to me.

romanesco (or, that weird spiral-broccoli thingy)

romanesco (or, that weird spiral-broccoli thingy)

If you live somewhere that you can participate in something like this, I encourage you to do it. (You can search for a local CSA here.) Supporting local food sources is a pretty smart move in my opinion, as are shopping at things like farmer’s markets. There’s something amazing to me about being able to buy direct from the person that’s responsible for growing the food I get to eat later that same day.

The way a farm share from a CSA works (at least in this area) is this: you pay a set amount of money up front, in advance of the actual growing season. Then, whenever the first batch of crops comes up (usually the first week of June around here), you can pick up your first share. From June through October, you go to the farm every week and pick up whatever’s ripe that week. Most farms will give you a box, though some use bags, and you fill that with as much fresh, organic, locally grown produce as you like. For some crops, there’s limits (e.g. you can only have two potatoes this week because there weren’t a lot, but you can have unlimited kale), but mostly it’s just about filling your box with whatever strikes your fancy.

winegrapes

wine grapes, from that time I helped with harvest at a winery

I got my CSA from Next Barn Over, but there at least four other options nearby (it was really hard to choose one actually!). Next Barn Over grows things like bok choy, leeks, peas, and parsnips, as well as a whole slew of other crops. Come June, I’ll get a box of fresh produce (veggies mostly, but I hear they have pick your own herbs and strawberries too) every single week, through the end of October. I can’t wait!