I was reading the news the other day about Costco dropping pork produced by Iowa Select Farms due to a video made by Mercy For Animals documenting some of the most heartbreaking animal abuse I’ve ever seen and I was feeling proud that I no longer contribute to the continued torture, abject misery and sadness of these animals and then I realized that I was actually feeling a bit, well, superior as well. As I think I’ve mentioned before this is somewhat unusual for me. I have long believed that the rest of the world is thinner, prettier, more successful and generally better at whatever it is they do than I am. This is a belief compounded by the internet, a place where I can’t see the pot-bellies, double-wides and mullets of the world. Not even People of Walmart seems to disabuse me of this nagging suspicion. So it’s a bit of a surprise to me that being vegan has helped me to claim a bit of the “I’m better than” for myself and not always handing it out so freely to others. Hard as it is to give up so many things that I love ( and I DO stumble), finding reasons to be proud of myself and proud of my choices is turning out to be better than what I’m giving up. On another sort of related side note, giving up television has turned out to be much easier than I had hoped. I not only find I don’t miss it at all but I find myself actively excited about our evenings now… reading together in front of the fireplace, having friends over for dinner and coffee more often, time to work in my art studio. I never realized how much even limited TV had sort of insidiously hypnotized me into not noticing the things I was missing. And at last count I have read 56 books since January.
So what did you do for the fourth? I cleaned and cooked mostly and worked out household/teenager issues with the other CV. Not exactly a 10 on the excitement-o-meter but good nonetheless. We did stick to a vegan diet for the day except for some non-vegan peanut butter cookies that I justified under the excuse that they were made by a very good, and expensive local bakery and normally unaffordable but since these were on the day old rack… and now you see another way I justify sabotaging myself? Our “official” holiday dinner menu consisted of a vegan sausage and potato salad, a sour cucumber onion and dill salad, watermelon and homemade french bread. The potato salad was so darned good that I didn’t even miss having barbecue!
- 1 pound red potatoes
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces vegan kielbasa or Italian “sausage”, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup walla walla or vidalia onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 clove garlic, large, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole potatoes; boil about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
In a large skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Brown the vegan sausage (I used Tofurkey kielbasa). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add sausage to the bowl with the potatoes along with celery and onions.
For the dressing, in a small container use a hand blender to whip together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper until thick and creamy. If you do not have a hand or wand blender you can use a whisk. However using a hand blender produces a thick creamy product like a flavored mayo while whisking will not. Add the dressing, celery and green onions to the potato mixture and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.