After listening intently at President Obama's inaugural speech, as did millions of others, there was certainly a sense of change, a breath of fresh air- a taste of renewal and anticipation for things to come. I, like many, clung to phrases like, "choosing hope over fear" and "holding ourselves accountable for our problems."
For me, it was a reminder of why I became vegan- pushing all excuses aside and doing what was not exactly popular (or simple), but what was based on truth... and hope. It was also a reminder that we ALL have our own fears, and if I could become vegan and be completely honest about what I put into my body, then I could also break down my other fears in the same way, and move forward towards growth.
More than anything, Obama's speech uplifted my resolve to make a difference. I have been feeling, as I'm sure many of us have, deflated and discouraged about the level of change I am truly making- for the state of the planet, the treatment of animals, and the severe decline in the health of people, especially in our country. All the jokes, hateful comments, and overall disapproval of the vegan lifestyle that I read on many mainstream online sites, didn't help either!
But ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that everyone MUST come to their OWN truths, and that it is so much more effective to guide them towards the truth, rather than slap them in the face with it. Anger and force will draw resistence more than calm, intelligent reasoning. And, if the person still won't listen- it means that they're just not ready to hear, which is okay! The whole, "you can lead a horse to water..." saying holds true, and it's important to not get rattled and just move on. The important thing is to remember that rejection doesn't mean that I am a "reject," and the hope that I have dies only if I allow it to. Setting a good example is the best that we can all do to spur change in the world, and I think that's what Obama's speech was all about.
So... in celebration of this important day in history, what could be more American than some traditional comfort food! For the company meeting tonight, I made some hearty (veganized) Mac'n'Cheeze, which I had posted before, and some Carmel Apple Pie Tartlets.
... To the mac'n'cheeze, I left out the potato and carrots (because I was out), and added one block of Follow Your Heart vegan mozarella, along with 2 T. nutritional yeast. I also topped with thinly sliced tomatoes and artichoke hearts, sprinkled with bread crumbs, then drizzled with melted Earth Balance buttery sticks (about 2 T.).
I broke down and used pre-made vegan pie crust that was already rolled out. Cut them into quarters and lined a multi-tartlet pan with them, pressing gently to form a "cup." Baked them at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, or slightly golden.
5 peeled and sliced apples
2 T. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. Earth Balance buttery sticks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Toss the apples in the flour. In a large, deep skillet, melt the margarine and mix in brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the apple mixture and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, then cover and turn down the heat to simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until fork tender. Take off the heat and let cool a bit. Spoon mixture into prepared crusts and serve with vanilla soy ice cream or Rod's non-dairy whipped cream (in picture).