Vegan MoFo : Unthanksgiving Tofurkey Hunt

Much has been written in the blogosphere this past week about the elusive Tofurky, a mythical bird with meatless body and ricey giblets oft seen this time of year, so I thought it was about time I hunted one down and gave it a try.

Now I ain’t American (hence the ‘Un’ in Unthanksgiving) so I couldn’t be sure that any tofurkeys would have migrated their way over this way. But I do live in London, home to many a rich and fertile hunting ground, so if they had chances are I would find them.

I briefly toyed with the idea of staking out the Whole Foods Plains in the hope of a bite, but if I’d learnt anything from the Great Daiya Cheese Expediton of ’09, it was that the Whole Foods Plains were not the font of all things vegan. Instead a quick internet search brought up the possibility of a sighting at the fabled land of Planet Organic.

the tofurkey hunting ground

Armed with my Tofurkey Hunter Playlist (a nice bit of bluegrass to keep me going) I quickly boarded the 27 ‘express’ and soon found myself at the edge of a veritable cornucopia. Upon entry a cacophony of sights and smells wafted over me – mostly lentil soup and middle-class rah’s wielding over-priced veg – but I was not to be distracted. My mind was set firmly on the tofurkey! Making my way to the frozen wastelands at the back I came across my first piece of bird sign.

bird sign

I could tell right away that a tofurkey had passed this way recently; quite possibly a mother with it’s giblets. I carried on and sure enough there it was, nesting on it’s wire perch, the elusive tofurkey bird!

a nesting tofurkey

Larger than I had expected, with a heftier hunting tax upon it too (£26:99!), and being the last one remaining in the wild, I paused for a moment to consider the ramifications. But, faint heart ne’er won fair lady, so I snatched up the wily bird and made my escape.

Preparation of your tofurkey is simple enough. 24 hours in a refrigerator is enough time for the heavily frozen meat to ‘cure’ sufficiently for cooking. Then it is a simple matter of preparing it with vegetables and roasting it in an oven for 1 hour 25 minutes to bring out all the subtle flavours.

ready for carving

I tried putting the veggies in with the tofurkey as recommended by the game wardens, but if I go for it again I’ll probably do them separately so that they roast properly. I’d also be very tempted to do without the dumplings, as they didn’t really add anything to the whole experience.

my first tofurkey

All in all not a bad bit of grub. A little over priced maybe, but still very tasty and a good substitute for it’s elder brother the turkey bird if you’re craving in that direction.

That being said I think I’ll stick with the old nut roast this Christmas. Its a lot easier to find, a lot easier to prepare, and you can spend all the time you save watching movies and chilling out at home, rather than sitting on a smelly bus traveling at 5 miles an hour through Saturday morning traffic. 😉


Well known in certain circles, virtually unknown in others, Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi are two of the most moving and mersmerising films ever made.

Shot in 1982 and 1988 respectively Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out Of Balance, and Powaqqatsi: Life In Transformation, were ground breaking movies exploring the environment and man’s relationship to it. With a mixture of images from the natural world intercut with footage of man made environments, shot using a mixture of techniques, and accompanied by a beautifully haunting soundtrack by Philip Glass, both these movies weave a spell over you that it’s hard to ignore.

It’s hard to explain the draw of two films that have no plot to speak of, no definable structure, and are ultimately just a collection of sound an images, so I’m going to show you what it’s all about.

Believe me when I say these clips are just two small parts of an amazing collection of music and imagery, and you’ll benefit greatly from watching the whole thing in a non-compressed format. They’ll change the way you see the world, and our place in it, and ultimately you’ll come away with a greater appreciation of the beauty of life and how we should do everything we can to be in harmony with it.

For anyone wanting to know more there’s an Official Qatsi Website.

Hello My Beautiful Lovelies

It’s true y’know, the only constant thing in life is change. A couple weeks ago I had no idea what I was doing. Now, all of a sudden, clarity has come. First some thoughts:

1. Inventing recipes and blogging about them in no way means that I should write a cookery book. Why not just have fun?

2. There’s no point moaning about work, they’re gonna get as much out of you for as little as they can. It’s just the nature of business.

3. Changing jobs will not solve the problem of work. However, if you do something you love you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.

4. If you don’t enjoy the journey you won’t have any fun when you get there.

5. Always know what you want when you go get your hair cut, otherwise you’ll end up with something… weird.

So, you can see where my heads been at for the past week or so. Work has taken a decidedly ‘interesting’ turn recently, with changes in procedures, hours, and working practices, meaning it’s gonna be a lot less fun to be there from now on. I’ve been looking at finding a new job elsewhere doing the same thing, but why bother since I don’t want to be doing this anyway? So I might just chuck out the odd application, see what happens, but really I’m going to spend my free time writing, see if I can’t make a go of that somehow. Because that’s what I’d rather be doing if I’m honest, spending my days doing something creative, not this TV drivel. It would also be a flexible enough job that I could fit it in around all the rest of the stuff I want to do.

Still on with the yoga. Had lesson two a couple of days ago. She worked us harder this time. More stretching, and holding, and grunting and groaning here and there. I’m still doing my sun salutations in the morning but it was a bit of a struggle today. Had to force myself a bit. Still, I felt much better after doing it than I would have if I hadn’t, so there’s that to think about.

Keep an eye out for a new recipe from me shortly, as well as another film recommendation. It’s been a while since I’ve done either of them. For now I’d like to leave you with a wee link to a mini playlist I’ve done called “In The Land Of Kiki”. It’s just a random selection of the last 10 songs I added to my iTunes (where there was an album I chose one as representative). I hope you like it. Should give you an idea of what’s going on in my head space at any given time. 😉

Time to think

Took a mini hiatus from doing anything to think about what to do next. Here’s what I came up with.

1. Cook more. Gonna stop buying pre-prepared sauces and do more recipes, especially other people’s. Should expand my horizons a bit as well as increase my skill set.

2. Write more. This is actually a no-brainer as it’s what I’m doing already. Just need to make sure I keep making time to do it.

3. Yoga more. Loving the early morning sun salutations. Really looking forward to going to class tomorrow.

And that’s it really. No need to over complicate things. If I can do all of that I’ll feel like I’m getting somewhere.

And now for a couple of links:

Terry Wogan hosts Never Mind The Buzzcocks
I’m not one to push TV programmes, but I just watched this and it’s f-ing hilarious. Only available to bods in the UK I’m afraid, and then only until Sunday night (ah the vagaries of the BBC iPlayer).

Jill Bolte-Taylor’s Stroke of Insight
After re-watching this talk I’ve had to re-write this paragraph. This is the most amazing tale of one woman’s insight and understanding of the day she had a stroke, the profound effect it had on her life, and the monumental understanding of the Universe which she took away from it. Watch it! You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be touched by her story. I guarantee it!

Share and share alike

Sometimes the world is so full of interesting stuff you just want to put it in a bag and run around showing it to everyone. In lieu of that, look at this…

This is well funny. Those of you who live in London will have a good chuckle at this superb summing up of a certain type of ‘yoof’. For those of you not in London please consider this a public service announcement. Enjoy.

“…we all play synth!” (duh-duh-duh-durr-durr) …hahahaha… 😆

Next we have something you don’t see every day, a talk show host speaking from the heart. This’ll give you something to think about.

And finally, a bit of beautifully crafted fun that I think is just brilliant.

Hope you liked ’em. This is what I do all day, lol. 😉

Week 44 : Frustrations

I’ve been trying to decide this week whether to continue with this blog or not. As I come up to 1 year of blogging I have to admit that My Brand New Life has pretty much failed in it’s mission; ie, to generate a brand new life. I’m still in the same job, in the same flat, still single, and still uncertain about where I want to go next.

It hasn’t been a complete loss. I’ve given up drinking booze. Yesterday was my 6 month anniversary of that (not counting a couple of mojitos I had a couple of months ago) and I’m happy with that decision. I’ve also done a lot more writing this year than usual, and I may have a script and/or book finished by the end of the year. And generally I’ve done lots more new stuff that I’ve found quite interesting (full report/examination on December the 6th). But is it enough?

Truthfully, the answer is no, it isn’t. I need to do more to be satisfied. But it’s a start, and that’s better than nothing. Is it enough to keep going with this blog though? Now there’s a question. I’ve already started thinking about doing a vegan specific blog, and if I decide to do a filmy one too what does that leave for here? It is a quandary.

I’d been pondering all this, then I came across this quote:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you will begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

I need to let go of what was and move forward from where I am now. Like I tell people when they ask about becoming vegan, you’ve got to forgive yourself. You’re going to make mistakes, what matters is where you go from here. Don’t use them as an excuse to give up, use them as a starting point to begin again.

And so…

I’ve signed up to do a 6 week introductory yoga course at the Sivananda Yoga Centre. I met them at the Yoga Show last Sunday and they were just so nice I had to pop along to their open house yesterday. Again, everyone there was really lovely. The course was very knowledgeable, the introductory lesson nice and simple yet challenging and concise, and I was generally impressed by their warmth, openness and understanding, so much so that I signed up there and then. I’ll have to swap some shifts around to make the classes but it’ll be worth it. I have a feeling I’ll be doing yoga for quite a while.

Vegan MoFo : Tofu Cheesecake pt 2

Just a quickie for Vegan MoFo (the Vegan Month of Food). This is a slice of a double quantity cheesecake I made from the recipe I did the other week.

cheesecake pt 2

It was, quite simply, doubly delicious, and all for the same amount of effort! I had to cook it for 40-45 mins rather than the original 30, but as for everything else just do twice the amounts and you’ll end up with what you see above. Good stuff.

Week 43

Well, it’s been a busy week. As you can tell from previous posts I’ve been experimenting with cheesecakes and mocktails (I just pulled a double quantity cheesecake out of the oven and it smells and looks fantastic), making new discoveries on the vegan cafe front, ‘writing’ porny poetry from found words, and trying to change the world $25 at a time. And all that with only 3 days off. It’s been ‘a good un’.

The only thing missing from last week was my trip to the Yoga Show on Sunday. I’ve been on the look out for something to do other than Tai Chi and yoga seems like a good idea. It’ll build on the skills I’ve got, and the two of them should compliment each other nicely. My friend Sabera managed to wangle some free tickets so I went along to see what was on offer.

yoga show haul

It was well busy, and well smelly too. Dunno what the obsession with Frankincense is these days but ‘pee-ew!’ gimme a break. I went to a couple of talks – one about meditation that didn’t quite float my boat, and one about ayurvedic cooking which was quite interesting – and I did one introductory session of yoga which I’m still aching from a bit (and it was just half an hour!). I have to say I liked it, and I’ve got a couple of leads on classes to check out, so things are looking good.

But best of all was the shopping. So much stuff to buy, and so cheap too. As you can see from the pic I got some nice teas, some very nice biscuits, 250g of maca powder for £6 which is a real bargain, a daylight simulation lightbulb to help deal with SADS, and my first ever statue of The Buddha which I couldn’t resist coz of his cheeky little grin. Honestly, I was spent up by the end of it, which is a real shame as there was loads of other stuff I wanted to buy, especially this bamboo t-shirt which I might just have to track down.

So I’m going to check out this yoga studio in Putney next weekend, then hopefully I can start some regular practice. I’ve put on hold the Thrive Diet experiment for another week or so. Just not in the mood right now, plus loads of stuff to eat first, otherwise it’ll go off, so next week maybe. There’s no rush.