It always makes me happy to see another lover of Alice in Wonderland. Everyone, please meet Rachel, she is the author of Rachel in Veganlnd and this is her first guest blog post. Here’s a bit about her: Rachel Fesperman is a vintage loving crazy cat lady living in the High Country of North Carolina. Her blog, Rachel in Veganland is just over a year old and chock full of (vegan) food, photos, and antics that range from rants on food politics to the adventures of Beans the Wonder Rabbit. You can follow Rachel’s posts through email, and find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Welcome Rachel!
Lately, I’ve been feeling frustrated with the emphasis on weight loss, skinniness, and veganism as health craze. For me, my veganism has always been multi-factorial. Here on Veganland I’ve taken a pretty bold stance on animal rights, that has left little if any wiggle room for my reasons for this lifestyle. This is why I find the health fad surrounding veganism to be so incredibly frustrating.
No, I don’t eat refined sugars, fats, or carbs. Yes, I do include alcoholic beverages in my lifestyle, as long as they are cruelty free. I do salt (some of) my foods during preparation, but rarely at the table. Of course I am concerned with health, but I’m not monitoring my food intake rigorously. I choose the foods that are best for me and Maddie, and I don’t pick anything that I wouldn’t give a scrap or two (or three) of to Beans the Wonder Rabbit.
Processed foods tend to have complications that far succeed health. These foods are often very cheap, and if something is low in cost, it means that someone somewhere is bearing the brunt of that cheapness, usually animals, and workers both in the food processing/packaging industry as well as in the farming/growing industry. So why isn’t this our focus? Why aren’t basic safety, wellness, and (human/animal) rights at the center of our discourse? Why are we so compulsively attached to this health-based obsession centered on skinny=healthy=better?
While I am happy that people choose to go vegan, and am glad to see more and more people adopting a cruelty free lifestyle, I’m frustrated that our vegan community (especially the blogosphere) seems to focus almost solely on the healthy foods/lifestyle side of things. I’m glad that people will eat Daiya over cheese, broccoli nuggets over chicken, but I’d like to see our focus shift from counting calories and eliminating saturated fats to the exploitation of the beings who have to give us those lipids in the first place. I am glad to see healthy vegans, I am inspired by healthy vegans, but I am more inspired by a healthy vegan who has a healthy outlook rather than waistline. I fear that Naomi Woolf’s fabled “Beauty Myth” and our distinctly Western cult of thinness control the vegan psyche.
When you become vegan, you change your relationship to food. Well, now it’s time to change it again.
I am not a “skinny” vegan. I am a happy, healthy vegan not just in form but in mind and spirit. I care about issues far greater than my own body and health, though I know that the intersectionality of veganism and human health is not solely coincidental.
What kind of an example are we setting for the people who read our vegan based literature and for our (vegan) children? If we are compulsively healthy, won’t they be too? What kind of self-esteem does this build, for adults and children alike? Unfortunately the health-centric world leaves a lot to be desired, and often readers and others who watch from the wings might feel that they come up short.
I believe this dominant healthy obsession over the vegan blogosphere continues and upholds the fixation on women’s bodies. It is an obsession that enforces smallness and being tiny, slapped with the label “healthy.” Such a paradigm forces thousands of women to struggle with their relationship to food. I believe that our (vegan) blogosphere should focus on abundance not deprivation.
I invite you to comment, and if you’re a blogger I invite you to (re) blog about this issue. Please add to the discussion by sharing your thoughts, ideas, and responses via Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere.
Love when we have veteran posters come back! One such contributor is Tom of New Vegan Age. Please feel free to search the blog name on VBU! to read more posts from his lovely blog. Especially Kim Stahler’s post, featured on VBU!, caught a few people’s attention. Follow New Veagn Age on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and of course the blog itself. Welcome back Tom!
Would you be able to kill an animal? If not, and you still eat meat, you’re not living in alignment with your values.
Well, as one of my heroes, Harvey Diamond, first pointed out to me in his brilliant Fit For Life books, could you kill an animal yourself? Could you do what other animals do—chase it down, strangle or smother it, tear it apart with your bare hands, and swallow it raw?
|This deliciously-seasoned, nutritious,
colorful holiday stuffing is but one of
thousands of delicious recipes that
prove giving up meat isn’t a sacrifice.
- You find the sight—or even idea—of a butchered animal or slaughterhouse unsettling.
- You sometimes sense a “vague uneasiness” when you buy, order, or eat animal products.
- You sometimes feel like you’re not living in alignment with your “true self.”
Today on VBU! we have a brand new contributor who is excited to celebrate her one year of veganism. She was kind enough to give VBU! the Sunshine Award. Please meet Karla of Vegan La Raza. “My name is Karla. I am Mexicana/Salvadoreña and have been a vegan since October 2011. I started this blog to look at my identities as a woman, a person of color-specifically a Latina, and a vegan. Because of these identities I have experienced oppression in many ways during my lifetime. As someone who carries a history of injustice and violence, I choose not to perpetuate violence and exploitation towards other living beings, including human and non-human animals. Something has to change. I want to be part of that change.” We can all agree with Karla’s sentiments. Click here to find her blog and here for her Facebook account. Please welcome Karla!
¡Vegan La Revolucion!
A revolution is the overthrow of an oppressive system and replacing it with a more just, humane one.
I started this blog as a result of the cultural push back I experienced when I became a vegetarian and later a vegan. Compassionate eating felt like swimming against the current— I was made to feel like I was working against something bigger than myself.
Meat has been a part of my identity since I was an embryo and it played a central role in the happiest moments of my life through celebrations and traditions.
I was deeply moved and committed to el movimiento when I was in college and loved learning the “other history”, the non-white history of Los Angeles. I looked forward to spending the month of December at La Placita Olvera, not because I was a devout Catholic, but rather because I loved being around la raza, mi gente. I didn’t question the irony of animals being blessed in the center of the church plaza while everyone else devoured beef tacos.
Birria (goat meat) was the thing to eat at bautizos and weddings. Sometimes, I heard friends would go to church for a baptism, then to celebrate would kill a goat in the backyard and the party-goers would eat it. And yes, this all happened in Los Angeles. It’s hard to understand why learning about an animal being killed in a backyard would make a person cringe. How is that animal different from the thousands of animals being slaughtered everyday? Different from the hundreds of animals dying as I type this sentence?
Vegan La Raza was intended to be an outlet to express my experiences as a Latina vegan in a culture of meat. I’ve continually justified meat eating as a culturally Latin@ thing. Gandhi believed in leading by example not by preaching or ranting. I have successfully done that, but the other day, I was having lunch with a group of vegetarians and for once did not feel censored. This awareness made me realize that eating meat and using it as an excuse that “it’s embedded in Latin@ culture” is a weak and dismissive attitude lacking analysis.
Meat plays a central role in a patriarchal culture that objectifies and dehumanizes women by reducing our bodies to meat. Being a man consists of eating a chicken wing while being served by a woman with teeny orange shorts and a shirt that says, ‘Hooters’. Should the historical and cultural connection between men and meat continue to uphold patriarchy in our society?
World hunger could be addressed if the grains given to nonhuman animals were given to humans. Instead, we (all who exist within this system) choose to give clean water and food to animals who are waiting to be tortured and slaughtered. Should world hunger continue exist because we cannot go a day without eating a slice of bacon?
Deforestation in order to produce grazing land is a major environmental problem. So to all the “environmentalists” out there, planting a tree or starting a community garden is worthless unless we are working collectively to keep corporations from destroying natural resources to profit from factory farming.
Animals are killed by the millions in order to make money. Quality, regulation, life, workers, and the environment are irrelevant—profit is everything!
So, when people of any culture choose to uphold death and consumption in order to justify or cleanse their conscience, I hope they think twice about everything else the dead flesh they are putting in their mouth stands for — herstories and histories of oppression, death, exploitation, and capitalism.
It’s time to become conscious, empowered beings. If humans are considered (self-proclaimed) the brightest animals on earth, let’s take a step forward, put defeatist attitudes of self-control behind us and overthrow dominant cultures.
¡Vegan La Revolucion!
Happy Monday everyone! Hope you’re starting off the week great. Here’s a post from one of the Virtual Vegan Potluck contributors – Galen of OMGosh I’m Vegan. Here’s Galen in her own words, “My name is Galen and I’m AHmazing! Haha, but really — I love to cook, bake, and share your treats with friends, coworkers and loved ones. I also enjoy taking vegan cooking classes and going on adventures!” Visit OMGosh I’m Vegan via blog and follow Galen on Twitter. Welcome Galen!
Just when you think I’ll zig I zag. Oh so tricky. I decided to make the real deal and have a proper Cubano Vegano! Thanks again to Mandee of Cupcake Kitteh for the inspiration. The cubano vegano sandwich is from Viva Vegan!.
|Ready to eat|
I made white seitan and while it tasted great I think something went wrong. It didn’t really expand much from the original size. Next time I’ll boil it instead of steaming as that sounds like it works for this recipe too. After the seitan was done and cool down I sliced it into thin pieces. Then put it in this amazing citrus marinade. Wow to die for! And baked it in the oven for a bit.
|Ready to grill|
This just kicked the seitan up a notch. What remained of the marinade was put on my sandwich with lots of other goodies. A few minutes in the panini press and I was good to go. I don’t know that I have the words to properly describe this sandwich. It is easily my favorite sandwich now!
What have you made from Viva Vegan? Favorite recipe? Is it sad that as I look at these pictures I’m drooling just a little and wishing I had another sandwich? Don’t judge!
Happy Monday everyone! The holiday season is upon us and some of us will be buying gift baskets and what better way to shop than to be informed of how those products are made. Thankfully our returning guest blogger Rachael, author of Saving the World One Bite At A Time has contributed a post about cosmetics. Please see her previous posts: her trip to Traverse City, a recipe for Enchillasagna with Cauliricotta, and the wildly popular post about Vegan Nutrition 101. Join Rachael on her blog and Twitter account. Welcome back Rachael!
“We’ve decided not to start selling Urban Decay products in China because we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles.”
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) has certified over 400 cruelty-free companies, with more added every day. They created the Leaping Bunny logo and an app for iPhone and Android so when you’re out shopping, you have all the info at your fingertips. If your phone’s not so smart, PETA has a download-able .pdf list, or just check the product label for the leaping bunny logo!
- Red Apple Lipstick – Vegan, Gluten-Free, amazingly rich and hydrating. I like it better than lip balm! Red Apple feels so good going on; the first time I applied it, I knew I’d never go back to those horrible, dry, waxy lipsticks I used to wear. Red Apple is luscious! I love the colors, too; mine are “Sunkissed” and “Rebel.” The slight scent in the Sunkissed summer shade reminds me of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls I played with when I was little.
- Bare Minerals Original SPF15 Foundation by Bare Escentuals Not all of their products are vegan, but this powder foundation is pure minerals – mica and iron and zinc. Nothing weird. Just ground-up rocks. They even make a shade light enough for my fairest winter skin.
- Synthetic Full Size Kabuki Brush Because I don’t particularly want to rub the hair of dead goats on my face. Goats are cute.
- MyChelle Deep Repair Cream Unscented Organic, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. Because I’m paranoid of getting wrinkles and because my skin requires extra hydration in the winter. Plus, this stuff has kombucha!
- I’m waiting on my Beauty Without Cruelty mascara. It’s one of my birthday presents and should arrive any day.
- Chandrika Soap - I really like the way it smells. It’s green. It’s Ayurvedic. It’s been made of plants for 72 years. Awesome.
- Kiss My Face Moisture Shave - Kiss My Face is on the Leaping Bunny list. Gear likes this shave cream on his face, and I like to kiss his face after he shaves, so aptly named.
- Giovanni Eco-Chic Hair Care – Organic, vegan, Leaping Bunny certified. I like the Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo and the Smooth as Silk conditioner, as well as the Direct Leave-in Conditioner on really staticky days. I have long, fine, straight hair; the direct leave-in is great for preventing tangles and taming flyaways. Gear likes the Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor for repairing sun damage.
- Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Shea Butter Shampoo - (and Conditioner) – Fair Trade, vegan, no animal testing, no mineral oils. Gear likes this kind because it helps untangle and gets out all the grit after a day of constructing. He also occasionally uses the Curl Defining Gel and Curl Defining Tonic, and I have to say, he has gorgeous hair.
- Earth Science Apricot Gentle Face Scrub - Never tested on animals, most of Earth Science’s products are vegan. I have very sensitive skin, and this face wash is gentle enough for daily use.
- Exfoliants made from plant ingredients don’t have any of the minuscule plastic beads that get washed down the drain into the ocean and eaten by tiny sea creatures that mistake them for food and then they die and the whales starve. Apricot shells save whales.
- On razors – I recently found out that the “moisture strip” on most disposable razors is made of animal fat, which is out of the question. Old-fashioned straight razors (there’s something really sexy about a shaving brush on a man’s sink) are ok, obviously, along with electric. I might try out the Personna Tri-Flexxx cruelty-free razor from The Vegan Store but I’m going with ye olde safety razor for now.
Meet Jeffrey, our newest VBU! contributor, better known as The Beet-Eating Heeb. Jeffrey is a Prius-driving, bicycle-riding, yoga-posing Jew who lives in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the Executive Director of Jewish Vegetarians of North America. Join Jeffrey on his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Please welcome Jeffrey!
Is the vegan advocacy and animal rights movement on the cusp of transforming society?
Will it soon take its place alongside the feminist and civil-rights movements as a source of genuine, positive and lasting social change?
The Beet-Eating Heeb is not quite prepared to answer with an unqualified yes.
However, after attending last week’s annual conference of the Farm Animals Rights Movement, BEH is feeling decidedly more optimistic.
Known as the Animal Rights Conference (ARC), the four-day event drew approximately 500 people to a Hilton in Alexandria, VA.
The Beet-Eating Heeb, in his previous career incarnations, attended more national conferences than he can possibly count, including some much larger than ARC, such as the massive AIPAC Policy Conference.
But never has he witnessed such energy, emotion and commitment at a conference as he did last week.
The exhibit hall bristled with activity as conference goers jammed the narrow aisles to buy vegan books and t-shirts, pick up brochures, and trade stories with fellow activists. Several speakers received rousing standing ovations as they discussed their work on behalf of animals. More than one speaker broke down in tears in describing the horrific cruelty inflicted on cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. A high percentage of the attendees, perhaps half, were under 40 years of age.
To paraphrase legendary hockey announcer Mike Lange, “You would have had to be there to believe it.”
So, what is the source of this vibe, this passion at a conference devoted mainly to vegan advocacy?
There are two sources, the way The Beet-Eating Heeb sees it.
One, vegan advocates are feeling the momentum as our movement accumulates significant gains. Veganism, relegated to the margins of society for decades, is suddenly becoming mainstream as more and more thought leaders promote its benefits and as vegan options proliferate in grocery stores and restaurants.
Two, vegan advocates are drawing energy from the sense of moral outrage we justifiably feel, aware as we are that 9 billion farm animals are being brutally murdered in the U.S. alone this year, aware that about 8.5 billion of them are subjected to lives of abject misery before they are trucked to the slaughterhouse.
The pieces are indeed falling into place to create a social-change movement of historic proportions.
As was the case with the historic social-change movements of yesteryear, there exists a deeply rooted, pervasive, absolutely unacceptable condition in society. And there exists a growing awareness of the problem.
“History will look back at veganism as one of the most important, transformative movements in human history,” Melanie Joy, a vegan author and psychologist, said at the conference.
A couple of week ago, The Beet-Eating Heeb might have dismissed such a statement as wishful thinking.
But after spending a few days with his fellow advocates, BEH can see the seeds of something big, very big, starting to bloom.
Which leads to a final, and, in The Beet-Eating Heeb’s mind, a very important question:
As the movement matures and gains ever more adherents, will people of religious faith be at the vanguard or on the sidelines?
There were several Jews at ARC. May there be many more next year. Compassion for animals is not just a Jewish teaching, it’s a core concept of our religion. Our Torah narrative, Mishnah and Talmud express exquisite sensitivity to the suffering of animals. We should be overrepresented in this new social-change movement, just as were in the feminist and civil rights movements of prior generations.
Will we be?
Please welcome back Rachael, author of the blog Saving the World One Bite at a Time! Here’s a bit about Rachael, Rubber Cowgirl is named for her boots! Six years ago, she read Skinny Bitch and decided to go Vegan. Her life has never been the same! Her health improved, her jeans got a lot smaller, she learned how to cook and how to grow a garden. Going vegan is the most delicious way to secure your own health and protect our planet, so eat your greens! Follow Rachael on her blog, and Twitter. Welcome Rachael!
|Let them eat Kale!|
|Gorillas eat plants.|
|Protein-rich Plant Food|
|Clockwise from left: dried coconut, mixed rice, pumpkin seeds, red and white quinoa, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, green lentils, red lentils, French lentils; Center: madadamia nuts, chickpeas|
|Vitamin B12 and Probiotics|
|Sweet yellow onion, Yukon gold and Japanese sweet potatoes sautéed in lime-infused extra-virgin olive oil with fresh rosemary, sea salt + curry powder, served with fresh cherry tomatoes and steamed arugula. Healthy, colorful and delicious!|
Always great to meet new (to me) vegan bloggers. Please meet Cadry, she is the author of Cadry’s Kitchen, here she is in her own words: ”A longtime kale & chickpea enthusiast, you’ll find me cooking up delicious plant-based fare at my blog, Cadry’s Kitchen, which is also home to the only claymation cooking video on the web. I was a recipe contributor for Vegan’s Daily Companion, the online version of 30 Day Vegan Challenge, and The Compassionate Cooks Club. My other interests include making hand-built pottery, biking, hiking, and keeping my cats amply supplied with nutritional yeast flakes.” Follow Cadry on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. Welcome Cadry!
I don’t know how often you re-watch movies of the 1980’s, but my husband and I were flipping channels a few weeks ago and came upon Roxanne. For those of you who don’t know it, it was a modern-day take on Cyrano de Bergerac, with Steve Martin playing a man named C.D. who rocked an unusually large nose. Thinking that no one could find him attractive, he wooed the woman of his dreams through his handsome friend. In one scene, a man at a gathering called Martin’s character “Big Nose.” Martin launched into what became a stand-up routine of all of the better styles of jokes at his expense that the guy could have used.
Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger. Like… Wyoming.
Sympathetic: Oh, what happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?
Obscure: Oh, I’d hate to see the grindstone.
I’ve been writing a lot in these past few weeks about things you discover when you first go vegan, and one that definitely comes up is that you’ll hear a lot of jokes. I think there are many reasons for that, and one of the biggest is that jokes, as a tool, are used to diffuse an uncomfortable situation. When we, as people, are suddenly aware of ourselves or our habits in a way that makes us feel defensive or uncomfortable, jokes are an easy release valve. They’re a way of voicing that discomfort in a socially accepted way.
That’s understandable and something we all do in one way or another at times. However, when veganism is totally new to you, and you’re suddenly getting teased regularly at mealtimes, it can get… tiresome. Jokes also highlight beliefs that separate us and that unite us. Sometimes when you’re a new vegan and the only one in the group, jokes create an interesting us-versus-them power dynamic, which can feel very startling when you’re suddenly in the minority.
As a new vegan, what do you do? Become grumpy and have people think you’re a spoilsport? Or laugh even when the joke is at your expense? (I mean, to the bald guy, is the 10th bald joke funny? Probably not.) Plus, when a person is vegan for the animals, it can feel like the joker-in-question is not only laughing at you, but also making light of the victims of the meat, dairy, and egg industries, who you care about.
Something that worked for me when I was newly vegan and meeting up with people who were very vocal about their differing ideologies was to take it all in as if I were watching a documentary. The jabs and jokes didn’t really have anything to do with me, even though it could feel very personal. These statements said more about their views than they did about me. I tried, not always successfully, to observe with curiosity and without attachment. (This advice goes for misguided jokes. Obviously if someone is being cruel, that’s another story…)
This past summer, my husband and I went to a grill out at a public campground. It was with a group of people that we didn’t know well, most of whom I was meeting for the first time. We brought cookies to share and Field Roast sausages and vegetables to grill. We have a mini grill that we like to use on those occasions that we’ll be cooking out with people who are grilling animal flesh, especially when public grills are involved. I think it’s easier and more pleasant to have my own grill, spatula, and tongs, and then I can keep our food animal-free. Anyway, we set up our grill not far from where some guys in the group were also cooking. They noticed that we had our own grill and were inquisitive about why.
When I told them that we’re vegan one of the guys chimed in with, “Oh, so do you have room for a cow heart on your grill?” He said it as if it were a joke, but it’s kind of insensitive and aggressive when you look at the face of it. If I’d been like Martin’s character in Roxanne, perhaps this would have been the time I pulled out the many jokes I’ve heard over the years:
Classic: Oh, you’re vegan? I’m a member of PETA. People Eating Tasty Animals.
Culinary: Yeah, I love animals too. Next to the mashed potatoes.
Philosophical: If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them of meat?
Instead I smiled and said, “Nope. We don’t have any room for that.”
As has been common in these last few posts about veganism… It gets easier. First, the jokes slow way down. After a while, people run out of jokes or they’ve already said their best ones, and so it’s not an interesting topic anymore. It’s old news. Second, people get more comfortable with you being vegan. They don’t need to diffuse an uncomfortable situation, because they aren’t uncomfortable. Third, they realize you’re still the same person you always were and that you’re going to keep being vegan. There’s no reason to continue commenting on something that’s not going to change.
So now the times when I hear jokes it’s in one of two circumstances – when I’m just meeting people and it randomly comes up or when I’m with people I know very well and who are comfortable with me being vegan. In the first case, it’s easier now to give people slack. I get it. There was a time that veganism seemed very foreign to me too. The only way that I can communicate that vegans are warm, and open, and have a sense of humor is if I give the same compassion I want to receive and the same compassion I want the animals to receive. In the second, now when my close family and friends joke with me about veganism, it’s good-natured. They know I care very deeply about animals. They get it. And it feels entirely different when a joke is made that’s born out of long conversations and shared history. It’s the kind of joke that recognizes our commonality.
Oh, and one more little thing… Why did the vegan cross the road? Because he was protesting for the chicken, man!
As the weather changes so does our appetite. Janyce, author of Afro Vegan blog has a great fall inspired recipe that is sure to please with items you probably have on hand. Nothing like an easy to make filling recipe. You can see her previous VBU! recipe: Warm Brussel Sprouts Spinach Chickpea. Keep in touch with her on the Afro Vegan Chick’s Facebook page and follow her on Twitter. Please welcome back Janyce!
|Sweet and savory meet inside of warm squash for a delightful early autumn dinner.|
Lovely autumn is nearly upon us.
With the times of color changing leaves that create crisp madness underneath shoe heels, the warm, cooler weather, and a certain upcoming birthday, those are just some of the many reasons why this short, poetically beautiful period is my favorite season.
So at 2nd Street, I picked up a wonderful little acorn squash at 69 cents a pound and thought to try my hand at baking and complimenting the creamy “buttery” mass of yumminess with a delicious flavorful stuffing.
Acorn Squash Stuffed With Maple Brown Rice And Green Peas Ingredients
1 acorn squash
Maple Brown Rice And Green Pea Stuffing
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup green peas
2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
|Preheat oven to 400 degrees and stare dreamily at the beautiful gold green gourd about to be eaten.|
|Chop in half. Scoop out seeds and membrane. Bake for 30 minutes.|
|As the acorn squash bakes, prepare the stuffing by sauteing all in a balsamic vinegar skillet.|
|After they have baked for thirty minutes, fill the acorn squash with stuffing, being sure to mix in some sides of the squash. Bake for an additional thirty minutes.|
|Tops of rice are browned and acorn squash is noticeably softened.|
|Topped with a helpful dose of avocado and Italian seasoning.|
A soft, hotly moist interior that tasted similar to yams, the acorn squash was simply astounding and utterly rich. The decadent stuffing absolutely heaven, the maple syrup light but providing a well cherished sweet note in the background with the cinnamon and ginger and the green peas and avocado showcasing the savory flair.
Save for the rice being too crispy at the top (may add crushed walnuts or pecans next time!), it was a comforting, homey dish that provided dreams of falling joyously into leaves and making silly leaf angels.
It was that good.