There is an energy here, in this kitchen, on this bench. It is an atmosphere where you are frequently surrounded by people and constantly surrounded by dirty dishes. The people stay long after they leave, like the stain on the counter from the puddle and the cast iron pan. Beside my computer lies a ceramic bowl of peanuts, a wide mouth mason jar with water, a head lamp, and the lid from that organic chipotle habañero pepper sauce Geoffrey brought from home.
Inspired by this place, these people, and my passion for food and all the sludgy stuff that comes with it, I am writing. I am a sophomore and this is the second term that I call Farm House my home. I have learned so much from my housemates, who have learned so much from housemates long gone, who learned from the housemates before them and the beautiful cycle persists. An unquenchable fire –fueled by music, storytelling, biscuits, and love.
On a more personal note, I will be writing about my commitment to be vegan for one term. Birthed and aged in Northern Wisconsin, milk and cheese pulse through my veins. Venison is treasured and shared in all forms; steak, sausage, bacon. Butter melts well on biscuits, gives grilled cheese a crisp but greasy golden brown bulwark, and is the only important ingredient in pie crust, especially pumpkin pie crust. Did someone say Cold Stone Creamery “coffee lovers only”? Like it? No, I love it. Especially because the name makes you feel like you are in an exclusive club.
So why am I being vegan this term?
1) Pent up frustration that bubbled over break. After living at farm I returned home hesitant to cook meat but eager to cook more. Vegetarian spring rolls, lentil stew, sushi, pasta, and biscuits and gravy were served with love but faced with distaste from my parents. My Dad (whom I love even though he can not fix his own sandwich) would look around the table and ask, “Where’s the meat?” Although they were satisfied after eating my meals they couldn’t overcome the idea that something is missing.
2) I am not an activist, yet. Food, culture, trees, carrots, air, snow, rights, and waterways. My energy has been focused on doing things that are behind the scenes. I worked at a pizzeria, I monitored private waste-water systems, I grew vegetables. I was quiet and I am ready to be loud, to elevate the volume. And not just my volume, but other people’s volume as well.
3) I live in Farm house. The most welcoming environment for dietary experimentation. They didn’t gape their eyes at me when I insisted we make 15 gallons of sauerkraut (that later became so acidic or alive or angry that it ate away the paint on our back porch) and they don’t gape their eyes now.
Here’s to the thin, invisible layer that covers my body and keeps the negative repressive energy out. I think it’s thickening.
Here’s to vegan milk in all forms; coconut, soy, almond, hemp, and my new personal favorite Moo Juice.
Here’s to fair trade espresso dark chocolate melting in your mouth and a swig of cold bubbly local fermentation to wash it down.
Here’s to winter term 2013 and shriveled up cayenne peppers that have been sitting on the shelf for 4, or maybe 5 months.