I’m getting excited! And not for our wedding reception either, because all this planning and cleaning is making me wish we didn’t like our families and friends enough to throw them a huge party after we already did the hard work of getting hitched. No, I’m getting jazzed for PCRM’s 21-day vegan kickstart! YAY vegan immersion! It’s just like learning another language, only tastier and without goofy accent marks.
“It’s all well and good for you to be excited,” you might be thinking, “but what about the poor husband that you’ve coerced into this, you vegan minx?” Well, fear not. I coerced him about as much as I’m coercing you right now. Red has made noises off and on about going vegetarian, or more vegetarian, etc. He gave it a shot back in January, but faceplanted pretty quickly—I think because he didn’t really have a game plan in place, he reverted back to ordering lunch at work and his good intentions went downhill from there. He’s pretty much vegetarian at home. He keeps cheese in the fridge, but happily eats whatever I cook. (Aside: last night was yellow squash-corn fritters, adapted from 30-Minute Vegan. Awesome with Tofutti sour cream.)
As you can see, he’s been taking tentative steps towards this for a while. When PCRM sent me an email about the 21-day challenge, I forwarded it to my family and double-dared them to try it. (‘Cuz everyone knows you can’t turn down a double-dare.) Well, Red mentioned it to his coworkers. When one scoffed, “Yeah, I bet you couldn’t do that,” it was ON LIKE DONKEY KONG. His coworkers are also way harsher than I am: I was willing to give him a dispensation during our reception, since it’s been planned for months, but the Grand High Council of Cubicle Inquisitors has declared that his mouth will be a no-fly zone that day. Damn, coworkers, that’s cold even for me. Upside: we’re no longer having cheese trays at the reception.
Red has asked me to do it with him, so I can have access to the message boards and recipes as well. We’re active on the PCRM’s forum already, meeting new people and shoring up support for when the challenge begins on September 8th. I’m holding myself out as reassuring vegan earth-mother, brimming with encouragement for the newbies taking the plunge. (Ego much?) I shared this post from Vegan Freak after someone bemoaned the difficulty of giving up cheese, and she said it helped her avoid the temptation to indulge in a cheese-fest. So maybe this earth-mothering thing will help a few people after all.
Red’s stubborn streak will serve him well during his three-week vegan odyssey. Not only is he determined to succeed, he’s also determined to exact tribute from his doubting colleagues. (Last I checked, his prize for completing the challenge is a lunch of his choosing. Whether this lunch will be vegan remains to be seen, but I’m hopeful.) He’s also said that he won’t be giving up cheese once the challenge is over, because it would invalidate his Italian card. We’ll see how my attempts at cultivating patience work out, because living with an omni grumpy because he can’t have cheese or milk chocolate and is sick of reading labels might strain my nerves. I’m already reminding myself that it will be the cheese withdrawal talking. Rest assured, there will be plenty of updates as we navigate this new cheese-less territory!
The famed casu marzu, maggot cheese of Sardinia. Still want cheese?