Forever would not have been enough

This post is dedicated to Peanut

baby Peanut
baby Peanut

Peanut was born on Christmas of 1996 and entered our home a week later, on New Year’s Eve of 1997. He’s been part of my family for 19 years. We basically grew up together. I promised him I was always going to love and take care of him. Peanut is a very special cat with an enormous will to live. Back in 2005 he got really sick. He got an internal ear infection that even the vets couldn’t originally diagnose, his head was constantly full of pus, and poor Peanut had 6 surgeries in less than a year. In 2006 after 10 surgeries total, and after 4 different diagnoses from different vets, we were told that the best thing we could do is put him to sleep. Thank God we didn’t. We put him in a clinic instead, had a million tests and MRI scans and got his one ear removed. A few months later, and after two polypus, we had to remove his other ear too. So now, 12 surgeries later, little peanut was basically deaf but healthy again. Still very active and playful, still very strong, still very lovable and adorable, always wanted to be petted and happy to live!

Peanut with my mom
Peanut with my mom
Me and Peanut
Me and Peanut

My story with veganism started here, as I was really sad that Peanut had to go through all this trouble and it got me thinking, why do I love one animal, and eat the others? But you can read more about this on the about me page.

Baby Peanut just few months old ...
Baby Peanut just few months old …

Following those two last surgeries, some of his nerves were damaged, his one ear dropped, and his one eye was always open. We had to put eye drops 5 times a days for years, yet eventually his eye got crystallized, he couldn’t see anymore and he was in a lot of pain. So in 2013 he had his last surgery, his one eye removed. Still with one eye and no ears, he was a very adorable and active kitty!!! Unfortunately earlier this year, at the age of 19, he was diagnosed with cat alzheimer’s disease. He wanted to eat every single hour as he kept forgetting he already had a meal, he meowed all day and all night long and he had to take pills and fluids in order to avoid a kidney failure.

peanut1

Then the bad thing happened. No, he didn’t pass away. I was (not really) a bit prepared for that. He left. I was shocked. Peanut was gone and nowhere to be found. I put posters up, ads everywhere, thousands of social media posts and shares, contacted every vet clinic and pet store, all cleaning road services, 24 hour gas stations and searched for weeks day and night. I still cannot believe this happened. My little peanut is gone.

peanut age 3

I hope… I know… I am sure that someone found him, immediately loved him and that he has a new home now. Because he is a very strong cat, and because he has a will to live, I can’t accept that something bad happened to him. I won’t lose hope, and I will never stop searching for him… Until we meet again…

Let me tell you more about Peanut. Peanut liked to travel. Over the years I did more than a hundred trips with him. He was the best travel companion I could have. He liked to sit on the passenger’s seat and he wouldn’t mind a non stop 6 hours trip with a car.  Peanut liked to eat plants. Flowers, greens, grass… it really didn’t matter! He was always so happy running around my mom’s garden. Peanut loved the snow. He was like a kid at a playground when I’d let him walk on the snow. But he didn’t like the cold. So once he got back inside he would warm his butt in front of the heater. Peanut liked hanging around other animals. His best friend was Almond. They loved playing around and sleep the one on top of the other. Peanut could feel every time I got sad and he would cuddle next to me for hours. Peanut liked to have a seat on the table at dinner parties and be part of our gatherings.

1 2 8 4

 

He was the best companion anyone could ever wish for….53 6 7

To my Peanut… I want you to know that life is not the same with you. I love you and I miss you every single moment. I miss those little things. Like your wake up calls for food. Your thankful nose kisses and the sound of your little pitter patter of paws on the floor.

peanut last

a couple from his latest photos
a couple of his latest photos
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pumpkin velouté

I don’t consider myself a big fan of soups, but somehow I end up cooking soup at least once a week. This week, as I am still in holidays mode, I made this wonderful pumpkin soup.  We are spending the holidays at my mom’s house, in a small village in North Greece. Peanut loves it here but for Almond was his first trip. I am very happy to see them getting along that good. They both love my mom’s old burner stove and they spend all day sleeping or playing in front of the fire.  I can talk about these two for hours.

my adorable kitties enjoying the heat

Anyway, my mom’s garden is still full of huge pumpkins so the first thing I did once we got here was of course to pick and cut one. It’s been a crazy pumpkin week. Except this creamy and flavorful pumpkin soup, I also make Greek style pumpkin pie, a pumpkin new year’s cake and many many cookies. Will post all the recipes in the next few days, but let’s start with this one first!

Pumpkin Velouté

Ingredients

1 kg/2 pounds fresh pumpkin cubes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 carrots,  cut in small pieces
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups soy milk
1 cup chestnuts cut in small pieces
salt to taste

Pumpkin Velouté

In a big pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and the spices. Add the carrots and the pumpkin and saute for a minute. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 40 minutes, until the pumpkin is fully cooked and soft. Add the soy milk and season with salt to taste. Blend the soup using an immersion blender adding more vegetable broth or soy milk depending on how thick or think you want your soup to be. Serve topped with the crumbled chestnuts. Enjoy!

peanut warming his butt
almond posing as Mr. T

Vegan MoFo Day 16: canning weekend

That’s what I’ ve been doing this weekend….

Canning roasted pepper and tomato sauce

tomato sauce

Canning fruit jam, roasted eggplants with tomato meze, spicy pepper pickles, green tomato pickles, eggplant sauce, roasted pepper sauce, mushrooms, pickled veggies…

cannning things...

I also visited the local farmers market and I was surprised to see apples being sold for only 40 cents per kg (20 cents per pound)…

apples 😀

I also visited my mom’s pumpkin field and stole a couple of pumpkins.

mama's pumpkin field
more pumpkins

Almond loves his big pumpkin!

Almond and his pumpkin

And of course Peanut is back home! My sweet pumpkin head 🙂

Peanut Love

What did you do this weekend? 🙂

PPK Vegan Survey

As you can see this is not a recipe but a survey run by the ppk forum.
And a photo of my little peanut! isn’t he adorable???

Q: What’s your favorite spice or spice blend?
A: Garam masala!

Q: You have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices). what do you buy?
A: tomatoes, lettuce, spring onions, carrots, zucchinis, eggplants, spinach, broccoli, avocados, lemons, bananas, apples

Q: What’s your favorite way to make tofu?
A: Baked with lemony potatoes

Q: Vegan guilty pleasure?
A: Cupcakes!

Q: If you could make anyone vegan, who would it be?
A: My husband. That would probably make my life easier

Q: If you could only read one other vegan blog, what would it be?
A: http://www.veggie-wedgie.com for the food creativity and the great photography!

Q: Were you always interested in cooking, or did veganism change the way you saw and interacted with food?
A: Ever since I remember myself, but I enjoy it more since I became vegan.

Q: Excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn’t have as an omni?
A: Seitan. Pretty much that’s it. I preferred vegan food even as an omni.

Q: What is the one vegan staple that everyone seems to love, but you can’t get behind?
A: Seitan… it just doesn’t work for me. Not my taste…

Q: What was your first “wow, I’m such a stereotypical vegan” moment?
A: When I yelled to a friend that wanted to kill a roach… it was quite embarrassing…

Q: First recipe you veganized?
A: Meat and potatoes became tofu and potatoes. And it tasted quite the same as my omni friends said so.

Q: What would you like to veganize, but haven’t yet?
A: My moms walnut cake which I don’t think I will ever try as it asks for more than 5 eggs… snif snif

Q: Favorite kitchen utensil/appliance?
A: Tofuxpress! Tofuxpress! Tofuxpress!

Q: Most disastrous kitchen failure?
A: steaming seitan… I forgot about it, my pot run out of water and soon it turned black. Disaster!

Q: First vegan cookbook?
A: How it all vegan by Sarah Kramer

Q: What question about being vegan do you HATE answering?
A: How do you get your protein? Or why no milk? I think the second one annoys me more

Q: If you could tell the world one thing about vegans, what would it be?
A: We are so “abnormal” 😛

Q: Funniest vegetable?
A: Brussels sprouts

Q: What is a family recipe you have veganized?
A: Mousaka

Q: Weirdest food combination ?
A: Beetroot chocolate cake

Q: Favorite ways to prepare tofu, seitan, tempeh, any other vegan proteins?
A: Stir fry, baked, scrambled

my little peanut
my little peanut

Q: Are your pets vegan? if so, what do you feed them? tell us about having vegan furbabies!
A: No. my little peanut eats pretty much everything

Q: Favorite non-dairy milk?
A: Soy milk in general but I prefer almond milk for desserts

Q: What’s one “vegan myth” you’d like to squash?
A: That milk is the only source for calcium