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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Post: Lost That Loving Feeling

I'm still on a semi-hiatus from the Internet and mostly loving it! (It's only frustrating once in awhile.) I definitely miss the vegan blogging community, and I miss posting consistently, but I'm starting to get back on track. In the meantime, this guest post from my friend Elizabeth (whom you may remember from her post about New Orleans, vegan-style) certainly hits close to home: Losing your vegan cooking mojo.

Before I went vegan, my time in the kitchen was mostly spent toasting Pop Tarts and microwaving Lean Cuisines. Cooking was something other people did; those with time and interest in such an archaic act. It's not just that veganism required me to be more hands-on with my food, it gave me an actual passion for preparing meals. I've spent hours pouring over recipes, experimenting with dishes, making buffet-size messes in my kitchen. Seeing food in ingredient form coming together as a delicious dish just felt good.

But since moving to the Big Apple just a couple short months ago, I have all but completely lost interest in cooking. Perhaps I forgot to pack my cooking mojo in the move? You would think that living in the veritable vegan wonderland that is New York City, where nutritional yeast and fresh produce are no more than a block away in any direction, that I would have the same love for playing with my food that I once felt. But yet, I can't seem to make it into my kitchen save for glasses of water or fishing cold leftovers out of the fridge. If I'm not eating take out, I'm eating peanut butter out of the jar like a barbarian. A barbarian who eats packaged peanut butter.

I have some theories as to why this might be, but the most likely of which is just the sheer availability of premade vegan food here. The next street over has a mock duck massaman curry that I challenge you not to drink out of the container. The local deli has pioneered the falafel/veggie burger hybrid that is so good I save it for special occasions. Tofu cream cheese is an option at nearly every bagel shop. I live in the same neighborhood as Sweet & Sara's incredible vegan marshmallows. And this is just in Queens, people! Don't get me started on the options available in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Even still, I am starting to get antsy about making my way back into the kitchen, but I can't seem to get started. So I ask, have you ever gone through a cooking lull? And if so, was there any one dish that helped take you out of it? I could really use some suggestions lest I forget how to turn the stove on completely.

So -- got any kitch-spiration for Elizabeth? You can check up on her progress at her Tumblr, I Make Food

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