Thursday, January 19, 2012

The first flop...

Well, we had our first flop of the week. I had class until late tonight, so by the time I came over to Carrie's house, the tofu stir fry was cold. God bless Carrie. She tried very hard to doctor up this dish and make it worth eating, but if given the choice between that stir fry and sushi from a gas station, I'd probably be yodeling in the porcelain canyon by now. I did try some of the noodles and tofu smothered in soy sauce, and quickly decided it was time to make a run to Jamba Juice. This posed a problem however, because the Jamba Juice in San Luis Obispo clearly fails to recognize that smoothies are a viable dinner option, and thus had decided to close its doors before my arrival. I think I'm going to write a letter.

I felt slightly defeated until I realized I had some zesty vegan black bean burgers in the freezer. Since is was well past 8 p.m. at this point, I made myself a bean burger and made some sweet potato fries. The burgers weren't that great in my opinion, but the sweet potato fries made up for it. Delicious!

After fiddling around the house for a while and getting a few loose odds and ends tied up, I went to go push up feed to the cows on the Cal Poly Dairy. I had been on campus for ten hours and after eating this dinner, all I wanted to do was sleep. A Jersey cow had a different idea. You see, she had chosen this moment to go into labor. It seems that the less appropriate my clothes are for dealing with animals in the middle of the night, the more likely they are to need my help. I looked down at my red basketball shorts and rubber boots and realized I had made some more sound decisions in the past with regard to my work wardrobe. The cow needed assistance, so I jumped in and helper her deliver her calf. By the time I returned to the house, it was already a quarter to midnight. Despite my exhaustion and initial frustration, this delivery turned out to be great. I've done a lot of cool things in my life, but delivering a live baby calf has got to be one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment there is.

It's pretty late now, and I didn't get nearly the amount of work accomplished that I wanted to this evening, but delivering and caring for that calf was probably the highlight of my day. This is why I'm involved in the agriculture industry, because I get to experience mini triumphs like this every single day.

Vegan Food Diary Day #4
Leftover black bean quinoa
Ritz crackers and salsa/hummus
All fruit smoothie from Lucy's on campus
A couple bites of Carrie's failed stir fry
Vegan black bean burgers
sweet potato fries.


  1. If you don't object to ready made foods, try MorningStar Farms BBQ Riblets or Sesame Chik'n - the former is great to make into a sandwich or have as the entree for your dinner. The latter is a complete frozen dinner. They also have unseasoned chick'n strips that work great for making fajitas. Sorry the black bean burger was a disappointment - but personally I have never had anything made with black beans that I found truly appetizing. I go for great northern, navy, and pinto beans myself - just think they are tastier.

  2. And that is exactly why you are a good dairyman, David. Despite the hour, the bad wardrobe choice, the interruption of your schedule, you stopped to help the cow. The cow comes first. It is important to remember that on dairies, big and small, the people working with the animals know this is the cardinal rule. And they are happy to oblige not just because they are told to, but because they know deep down that they love to. I'll grant there are probably a few that ruin the apple barrel for the industry, but we don't like them any better and are willing to call them out.
    I remember pushing up hay for cows after coming home from somewhere, or just having to crawl out of a nice warm house to go to the barn. It's no fun at first, but there is satisfaction in a job well done. And I grew up in Minnesota!
    Hang in there!

  3. I helped Caramel (my first and favorite - shh, don't tell the others - cow) deliver a calf at the Merced Fair once. Probably one of my favorite memories with her!

  4. Cooking fails aren't fun, that's for sure :(

    If you ever want to attempt another stir fry, you need to drain, then marinate the tofu or it won't taste like anything. Put it on a plate, then tilt the plate so the water runs off for about 10 min. Then add marinade to the original tofu container. Put the tofu into this container. I suggest this because it's the perfect size for the tofu, so you don't have to make a ton of marinade. Make sure the marinade gets into the spaces between tofu slices. Let sit for 10 min, moving the marinade around once in a while. My teriyaki like marinade = about a tablespoon each of: soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) plus some minced ginger & garlic (or powdered/granulated if you want to save time) & a small amount of sugar (optional).

    It only takes 10 min to marinate because it's not diluted w/ water like most marinades.

    for a successful stir fry, fry up the tofu first. You can even do this in a regular frying pan. Set the tofu aside. Fry up your veggies (adding the ones that take longest to cook first). Once they are done, add the tofu back in & some of the marinade until it's heated. If you are adding noodles to your stir fry, you can add them to the wok at the end to get everything all mixed up.


    Oreos are vegan, in case you wanted a cookie, but don't want to bake. Same w/ Nutter Butters.

    Here is a great chocolate cupcake recipe. Don't open the oven door until the minimum cooking time has passed. This tip is true for all cupcakes, vegan or not.