Pride

Once or twice a year I pull out the lame tights.

Lame, pronounced with an ‘a’ at the end. Not stupid tights. There is nothing stupid about these tights.

My old roommate has a plethora of lame, which is somewhat confusing unless you know Patty. She is a roller derby girl. She has Hollywood hair. She was a Mexican wrestler for Halloween. She loves comic books and nerding out with her boyfriend, yet looks like a model. Hipster glasses and all.

She has lame in all shapes, sizes and colors.

I have used the tights, booty shorts and the gold bikini top for a smattering of events ranging from Halloween to Rocky Horror and, most importantly, the Pride Parade.

There is something so wonderful about seeing hoards of people gather in the streets of Seattle to celebrate diversity, tolerance and love. This year, the city expected 150,000 people. When 500,000 people showed up, records were broken, and the people celebrated with dancing, nudity and so much love you felt it if you came within a mile of the city.

To march with my co-workers for a hospital that proudly supports ALL families was overwhelmingly awesome. I was filled with giddiness about marriage equality in my state and the potential for it to spread nationwide.

I spent the day marching, shaking my groove thing and collecting a stash of buttons, sunglasses and beads. I can’t say no to free things—I even took a rainbow striped rubber duck (just what I need after giving eight boxes of stuff to the goodwill… woops)

Needless to say my weekend was epic, which I made even more epic by whipping up an unusual tomatillo chile and jalapeno cornbread. All of this deliciousness came from Veganomicon—a cookbook I am growing to love more and more. The recipes can appear somewhat daunting with their two page lists of ingredients, but they have always turned out really tasty. They also have an awesome index in the back of the book with menu plans, and they give nice tutorials on the basics of vegan cooking. Sometimes it is nice to have a cookbook that tells you how to correctly cook bulgar, you know?

The two authors seem like really cool ladies. They seem like the kind of gals that intimidate you with their hipness and then woo you over with their warm heartedness and mad skills in the kitchen. You should probably check out all of their amazing recipes

Vegan Chili Verde with Jalapeno Cornbread

I recommend getting all of the chili going and then making the cornbread while the soup simmers and the flavors start to tango—the longer the simmering, the tastier the soup.

Adapted from Veganomicon

Chili Verde

1 tbsp olive/coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt (more to taste if you would like)

¼ cup dry white wine

1 lbs tomatillos, paper removed, washed and diced

3 cloves of garlic, diced

3 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and diced

2 Pablano peppers, de-seeded and diced

¼ cup green onion, diced

2 granny smith apples, cored, and cut into chunks

1/3 cup cilantro

2 cups veggie stock (add more depending on what kind of consistency you want for the soup)

½ lbs of small, white potatoes

1 can of small white beans (I used cannellini)

Jalapeno Cornbread

2 tsp olive oil

3 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and diced

1 small yellow onion (which I forgot, and used a small shallot—worked well), diced

2 cups corn meal

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup oil

2 cups soy milk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup frozen corn (optional: I love having bits and pieces of corn mixed in. Surprise!)

  • Start the potatoes: add chopped potatoes to a pot, fill the pot with water to cover the potatoes, bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to med and cook for 20ish minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  • Heat one tbsp of oil in your soup pot on med/high heat. Saute onions, jalapenos and pablanos for 5 minutes until the onions get that mouth watering smell and start to soften. Add in the cumin and salt.
  • Add in garlic, green onions, cilantro and tomatillos and saute for another 3-5 minutes, than add the white wine. Let everything saute for a few more minutes.
  • Add in the veggie stock and the apples. Turn heat to medium/low and let simmer for 20 minutes, this is when you start on the corn bread.

CORN BREAD BREAK

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside to let it curdle (yum).
  • Saute cut up shallot/onion and jalapenos in the oil. I did mine in my cast iron, and then you don’t have to wash it—as you bake the corn bread in there too! Winning!
  • While those are sauteing, sift together all the dry ingredients. Stir together and then make a well in the middle to pour the soy milk mixture into.
  • Mix together and add in the oil.
  • If you haven’t removed the sauteed onions/jalapenos, do so now and then add the batter into the warm and oiled cast iron. You can either top the corn bread with the onions/jalapenos or you can mix it into the batter before you pour it all back into the cast iron.
  • Pop the cornbread into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

BACK TO CHILI!

  • Now that everything is all delish, whip out the old immersion blender. For those that don’t have this tool (you should probably get one), transfer batches of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until mixed. I left some chunks. I like things a bit chunky.
  • After you have reached your perfect consistency, add in the beans and the boiled potatoes and let everything warm up and mingle until the corn bread is done.
  • The ladies recommend adding in a tablespoon or so of sugar into the chili if the tomatillos are too bitter, I added just a dash and it was perfect.
  • Let the cornbread cool just a bit, smear some honey on that bad boy, top off your chili with some avocado and cilantro and then dig on. OH HOW DELICIOUS!!

All of that chili in my belly, all that support and rallying around love, so many smiles… it was a good weekend.

Make love legal, people. Make love legal.

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Shame on you North Carolina…

           I don’t have much to say today. I could talk about being in the kitchen, the potluck I went to where I met a lovely fellow vegan, or the fact that I went on the first hike of the season. (all delightful things, of course)
None of that sounds too appealing as the world turns upside down in North Carolina, and decisions are made based on judgement and hate.
So my musings on food and exercise are trivial when a basic human right to choose who to love and marry is denied to people across North Carolina. How this is even an issue blows my mind. Why, when and how does it matter who someone chooses to spend their life with? How is it that those who base their opinions on marriage equality from the bible are okay with picking and choosing which parts of scripture to adhere to and which ones to blatantly ignore?
It makes my blood boil. I consider myself a rational, grounded human being. But you bring up marriage equality and my cheeks get red, my hands start shaking and I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, “LET THE PEOPLE LOVE!”
Thank goodness that my state (GO WASHINGTON) just signed a marriage equality bill– I have never been so proud to claim myself as a Washingtonian—I was hoping the same would happen nationwide.
Big ol’ sigh.
I was about to lose all hope when I opened up the Huffington Post to the headline, “Obama Backs Gay Marriage”.
Even if this is a hot button issue that causes him to get ousted by Mitt Romney (because our country is full of hateful, hateful people– this is where I get red in the face), I have never been so proud. Finally, he stops toeing the line and claims, yeah… I do support equality.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” he said.

It’s about damn time.

Boobs and why the Susan G. Komen Foundation Fails.

Today I am riled up. As a woman who has (and loves) her tata’s, I was appalled at the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation did not renew their grant with Planned Parenthood.

These funds were being used to provide 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms over the past five years. Those are a lot of boobs being checked out. A lot of boobs that might have gone unexamined if not for the partnership of Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen.

Sigh.

So here is the thing. I have a history with both of these organizations. As a teen I went to PP for my birth control. As an uninsured adult I went to PP for my annual exam. I have always been so thankful that such a place exists for women. If we are to live in a nation where healthcare isn’t accessible to everyone (BIGGEST SIGH), we are truly blessed to have such organizations as Planned Parenthood.

A few years ago my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one of those moments where the air was taken from my lungs and I felt hope seep from my pores. I had been sheltered from the horrible arms of cancer reaching my family, and there it was. Staring us in the face and attacking my beautiful, young aunt.

So I walked. 60 miles through Seattle, Kirkland and beyond. It was fucking hard work. I didn’t train, and as my knee begin to give out and my feet felt like they were on fire I thought, “hmmm. So this is why you train for things…” I finished the walk with my team, Areola Borealis, and was so proud that we had come together to give the middle finger to breast cancer. I walked under the banner of Susan G. Komen because I believed that we, as women, were all in this together.

This whole thing has just left the worst taste in my mouth.

Reading article after article, I am trying to find a legitimate reason why the Susan G. Komen Foundation would do such a thing. I am hoping to find something that will lead me to believe they aren’t swayed by some horrible political agenda created by right-wing tea partiers who seem to be against human rights (SERIOUSLY?!) So far, this search has been less than fruitful. My oh my, Komen… are you really giving in to these bigots? I thought women’s health was more important to you. I am ashamed.

I believe that Patrick Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, whose wife is currently battling breast cancer, sums it up nicely:

“It sounds almost trite, going through this with Betsi, but cancer doesn’t care if you’re pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative,” Hurd said. “Victims of cancer could care less about people’s politics.”

Read more here.

So yes, today I am riled up. Today I am not going to ramble on about running or the soup I made, as all of that seems miniscule. Those of you interested in doing something about this, I recommend clicking on the links listed below that will allow you to voice your opinion and let the Susan G. Komen Foundation know that what they are doing is completely, utterly and totally 100% fucked up.

Save the Ta Ta’s… for real.

 

Links:

UPDATE: On a much, much, MUCH happier note—the Washington State senate just passed the marriage equality bill. TAKE THAT YOU HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO HAVE HEALTHCARE AND EQUAL RIGHTS. Sensibility always rules over crazy pants. I went from so pissed off to SO joyful in the last 30 minutes.

There is hope for humanity after all!!