Saturday, February 02, 2013

Diary of a New Bunny Mom

(White bunny diaper pins my mother saved from my babyhood. I found them in her jewelry box after she passed.)

Recently, I was honored to have this article published in the Wisconsin House Rabbit Society's quarterly newsletter, and since the newsletter is only available to members, I thought I would share the article here.

Diary of a New Bunny Mom

December 30, 2010

At last, Charm and Peridot are here! So exciting!! We brought them home from Mounds Adoption Center this evening, huddled together in one carrier. It wasn’t terribly cold, but we still covered them with a towel and blasted the heater. They look so little and white and bewildered in their cage, large as it is. Natasha Kitty is terrified of them, and is clearly not happy that they have taken over the little study. Sergei Cat doesn’t mind them.

January, 2011

Natasha has finally decided that maybe the rabbits aren’t the scariest creatures in the world, but she still runs past the doorway of what is now known as The Rabbit Room, even when they are in their cage, which isn’t often. You’d think they weren’t a mere four and five pounds, but jackrabbit-sized. Their red eyes were kind of disturbing at first, but that was one reason we adopted rabbits with red eyes, because some people won’t. Now that I’m starting to get used to them, I kind of like them. And their eyes aren’t even the same---Peridot’s are paler and more almond-shaped, Charm’s are rounder, a deeper red and inclined to look a little skeptical. I think she’s not too sure about us yet.

We thought Peridot was spending a lot of time under the recliner because he was nervous---turns out he was nibbling the fabric, so we moved it out to the living room. Much more interesting, anyway, is The Tube, one of those six-foot long concrete-forming cylinders, where they both like to hide and nap. Placed an online order for loads of chewy wooden toys, treats, a basket, and a fuzzy bed with a built-in swag for them to lean against. They’ve already got balsa wood blocks, and a plastic drum toy with a bell inside, and plastic baby keys. Charm has already thrown those around a bit, it was just like I’d hoped! Lots of chinning going on, too.

Summer, 2011

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables… I’ve tried eighteen different vegetables, and the only ones they like consistently are kale, collards and broccoli, none of which they should have very often. (I’m not counting carrots, which I almost don’t even think of as vegetables anymore. Of course, they will happily eat carrots until their little pink noses turn bright orange.) On the plus side, we are eating more vegetables than ever before. Now we’re all vegan, and it’s just easier this way, but I wish they’d eat more vegetables. All they want is hay, pellets, carrots and treats. I know they can’t get too much hay, so that part’s good. Their nails need to be trimmed, but picking them up is still a no go. And they keep peeing in the little bed, no matter where we put it, so the cats are enjoying it on the couch.

Fall, 2011

Living with animals you can’t pick up and hold whenever you want is a humbling experience. I’ve always had cats, who (with exceptions) don’t mind being scooped up and hoisted into the air, and are more than happy to cuddle on the couch while you read or watch a movie. Charm and Peridot don’t really seem to need us. They have each other. When I sit down to pet them, the first thing they do is run away. Can they be afraid of us? I’ve stopped trying to pick them up---not that I was trying to do it that often. They never have to go into the cage any more, except during the weekly vacuuming and cleaning of The Rabbit Room. I’m almost tempted to lure them into the cage at night, just so I can retain some feeling of control over the situation. Steve can only stroke them from time to time, but he’s fine with that, and snuggles happily with the cats. They do seem happy just hanging out together, and that’s what counts, I guess.

August 5, 2011

Peridot’s first birthday today! I wonder if Charm ever thinks about having given birth to Peridot and his three siblings. I got him a rainbow colored plastic Slinky and a large basket, but resisted the urge to make him a carrot cake. He had to settle for just plain carrots and a barley biscuit. Charm is more interested in the Slinky than he is, but they are both already digging at, chewing on, and throwing the big basket around, which is hilarious to watch.

Fall 2011

Got a pick-up-the-bunny lesson today at Dane County Humane Society from Joan, their awesome foster mom and the senior animal caretaker there. She brought me into the room full of rabbits awaiting adoption and took one out of his cage. What a contrast between big Timothy and our nervous little bunnies! He waited patiently, and then practically scrambled up into my arms. Attempts at home didn’t go as well, but I think we made some progress.

January 2012

Horrible discovery : Dried blood smeared inside the tube! I crawled around on the floor and got as close up as I could to see if either Charm or Peridot had any bloody spots. Nothing. But it has to be nails. They’re not curving under, but they are long. The Book says…well, clearly, it’s time for a nail trim. Joan agreed to trim their nails at the Mounds Adoption Center, but I couldn’t lure them into the carrier, so she kindly came to the house. She just walked up to Peridot and scooped him up, easy as pie. Trimming went quickly and easily, and then she gave me some more picking-up-bunnies lessons. Afterwards, Charm hid under the living room couch for so long that I finally picked up the little hay hut she was in and carried it into The Rabbit Room. Then the weirdest thing happened: Peridot chased her all around and even roughed her up a little! Never seen anything like that between them before. By the next morning, though, calm and harmony had been restored, and they were sharing everything happily, as usual, including the round oatmeal box, aka the best bunny toy ever. (Must find more oatmeal recipes...)

February, 2012

Okay, they are DEFINITELY not eating all this hay that keeps going out into the compost! I added a second litter box, switched to newspaper for litter, and now there is a second hay rack, too. They don’t use the new box as much as the preferred one, but it helps me monitor the hay consumption better, and they use less as litter. At least they aren’t diggers: what goes in the box stays in the box.

Interesting discovery: If Charm is in one of the hidey cardboard boxes and I shove a timothy hay tube up against the front opening, and put some kind of hay chew toy inside of it, she has a great time chewing and digging her way out of that, AND she likes me to pet her while she’s doing it! Or at least, she doesn’t mind if I do…

June, 2012

First vet visit and second nail trim. It wasn’t easy to pick them up and get them into the carrier, but I did it! After we got back from the vet, I was able to pick Charm up again, and sat on the floor with her for probably half an hour, holding her against my chest and cuddling her. There was a big wet spot on my shirt from where she’d drooled---was she relaxed or scared? Peridot stayed out in the living room under the desk for so long I finally brought him a litter/hay box, and that’s when I saw where he’d peed on the floor. He was definitely scared! Barley biscuits brought him quickly back into The Rabbit Room with his mother, and they dozed off right away, lying close together.

July, 2012

Major toys discovery: Location, location, location! The same toys that they will ignore if left in the middle of the floor become favorites if moved into a box or The Tube. Same goes for the old phone book they had ignored for a year. Half the pages were scratched to ribbons within two weeks of being moved into a tight-fitting box.

Cleaning The Rabbit Room. Clouds of white fur wafting through the air. Didn’t I just DO this a week ago? How does so much hay end up all over the carpet when it’s supposed to be in the box? Oh, right…there are three woven-hay huts and mats and trays and chewy-hay-braid toys strewn about…

May, 2012

Now I get it. When Peridot runs to his favorite box and turns around to look at me, crouching down, he’s not running away---he’s letting me know he’s in his safe place and ready to be petted. I move closer to him, very slowly and carefully, chatting softly to him about nothing. He loves it when I rub his head and ears, and we’ve spent as long as half an hour like this---he with his eyes closed, head lowered, and me awkwardly leaning my back against The Tube, but very happy because I’ve finally figured out how to pet him, and where. Charm’s favored spot is the other box with the back exit they’ve chewed into it; once she’s in there, she doesn’t mind my reaching in, and her preferred rubbing style verges on what most big dogs prefer---a vigorous neck massage and scratching up her back fur.

Fall, 2012

Contented bunnies lying in their little bed. They barely flinch as I lean down to stroke their heads, first Charm, then Peridot. Yes, the same little bed that they were peeing in a year ago, now placed in the location where they prefer to lie, and covered with a towel that they rearrange to their satisfaction every day. A year ago, when I sat down right next to them, they would have fled. Now they enjoy long ear rubs or gentle head pets. They’re not on my lap, but they are next to me. And I think I even hear a little soft tooth grinding, a little bunny purr...


Here's a link to the House Rabbit Society's website, which is fun even you aren't in a position to adopt a house bunny. The Featured Adoptable Rabbit video they have up right now, of lop-eared Didi and Chuckie, is adorable.

Monday, January 21, 2013

January Happenings

Today was an ordinary day for Charm and Peridot until about 2pm, when their Aunt Denyl cameover to help me trim their claws. Since they so dislike being picked up, this is a real ordeal, but it does need to be done every 3 or 4 months to prevent their claws from growing so long that they curve back into their pads. Denyl is an expert at all of this, and I am not---that's where the problems came in. Rather than holding them while she did the trimming, I took the scissors. Even though she has dark nails, so it's harder to see the quick, I did fine with Charm's nails. Peridot was another story, even though he has light nails, and I hit the quick with the 4th or 5th nail. It took probably 45 minutes to get the bleeding to stop altogether, using pressure, flour and facial tissues. Fortunately, Denyl knew what to do. It was astonishing and a litle sickening to see how much blood there was, although he didn't seem to be in any pain. Now, we need to keep a very careful eye on him to make sure it doesn't start up again. And I plan to keep a veterinary stypic stick on hand for the future, and/or take them to the vet for their next nail trim, just to be on the safe side.
Other news of the week is that our friends Tara and Thad's shiitake mushroom farm that we got Thad for Xmas took off so quickly that they already have mushrooms---after only a week! Here's Thad contemplating the mushrooms and sampling some pasta primavera Tara made from them. I love the idea that you can grow your own mushrooms inside so easily. It kind of gets to be a habit. The kit came from Field and Forest in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, so it wasn't shipped from very far.
It has been so cold for the past two days (around zero F this morning) that it's hard to believe that just a few days ago, it was in the low 40s, so that we were able to let the chickens out into the yard for a while. Here's Frieda strutting across the snow, and Annie and Frieda sampling some collard greens from my hand while they take the fresh air. Carlie and Emily were more conservative, preferring to spend time outside in their covered yard. All four girls were more than ready to get back into their relatively warm coop in less than an hour. While they do want attention and need mental stimulation at this time of year, they don't want to go outside unless it's above frezing and there's not too much snow on the ground.
Some online research into family history this week led me to discover a website with Nebraska tombstone photos. It's easy to find whoever you are looking for----assuming they are in there, at least, and my father and paternal grandfather are not, yet---and I found this photo of my maternal grandfather. Since I've never seen the gravestone itself, it was an odd feeling to suddenly see it there on my screen. The next time we visit my cousins in Walthill, we will definitely go to the cemetary.
A Cooper's hawk visited the backyard for an hour and a half last week, just hanging out. I don't think the chickens could see the hawk (him? her?) from inside the coop. It didn't seem as though s/he even caught any mice, although there are lots back there to be caught.
While the chickens don't normally lay more than a few times during the winter months, I thought I'd post this photo of what we do with the chicken eggs: Breakfast of Chickens, aka eggshell omelettes. Steve does eat a few, too. I avoid them. The idea of eating chicken menstrual periods is pretty repellent.
We recently attended a memorial (we're there, in the background) at the Wisconsin DNR for the 117 wolves who were killed this winter by Wisconsin hunters. There were 118 candles lit, the one extra one for the wolves who were no doubt killed but not reported. It's a sad time to be a wolf, but we are hoping that the government will come to its senses, eventually.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Speak up now to preserve wilderness

Patricia Randolph: Speak up now to preserve wilderness Please click on the link to find out more. Then contact your senators to ask them NOT to support the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act (H.R. 4089). It has passed the House, and can now be stopped only in the U.S. Senate. This bill eviscerates the 48-year-old Wilderness Act, which constitutes the central core of wildlife conservation in the United States. Signed by Lyndon Johnson, the Wilderness Act defines wilderness in concise and lyrical terms: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Like Three Seasons in One Day

There have been many changes since I posted last, so here's the past 10 months in a rather large nutshell...

The bad news first: Sara Fezziwig Chicken passed away quite suddenly on September 1st; the temperature had climbed into the 90s, and she apparently died of heat stroke. It was quite a shock to find our beautiful golden queen chicken lifeless on the ground. Sara wasn't even 3 1/2 years old, but chickens who are raised for meat or eggs are sent to slaughter much earlier than that, at about a year and a half. Sara had the longest, happiest life we could possibly give her. We're so grateful she had one more summer with the run of the backyard, after her long winter spent indoors in 2010-11, when her best entertainment was chasing raisins, ripping into bunches of kale we hung up for her, visiting the rabbits, or pecking playfully at Sergei's toes. Here's Sara and her sister Sophia, at 10 months, on a beautiful March day in 2009.

In October, cancer with a small "c," a basal cell carcinoma, was removed from my face. That's the type of skin cancer that kills practically no one as long as it's caught early, and mine was. They took it off, and that's the end of that!

Then on April 11th, we lost our little Natasha kitty to kidney problems. Steve adopted her at age 6 months or so in 1997, so she was at least 15 years old. A week before, Tashi was still racing around the backyard at top speed. Even if she spent most of the rest of her time curled in her heated bed, she was only very ill for the last few days of her life. We keep trying to remember what a long and happy life she had.
We miss Tasha terribly, and so does Sergei, who now sleeps with us every night, right up on our pillows. Very cozy and warm on cool nights. Another change has been that, in January, Steve's cousin Matt moved to North Carolina. It's been quite an adjustment not having him around any more after ten years, but he's glad to be back in those beautiful mountains. Here's Matt with Sergei perched on his shoulders, since there's no pillow available!

Charm and Peridot are doing well, snuggling together, merrily digging at old phonebooks, nibbling paper in their tube, and arguing over barley biscuit treats.


They very much enjoying being petted. Some rabbits like being held, some don't, and while both Charm and Peridot like being held and cuddled, they're terrified when they sense I'm trying to pick them up, and race away. Problem is, rabbits need their nails cut every 3-4 months, so it's something that I must keep working on. And get help with their nails in the meantime. Every time I start to get discouraged about this, I remind myself that my knees actually have calluses from being on the floor with them so much!

Here's Carlie, who now shares the coop and yard with Anne and Emily; she looks much like June, but has a completely different personality. We call her our little aviator---Carlie's always looking up and flies to get where she's going at every opportunity---and she's a big talker, and has more than once been the first to sound the alarm at the sight of a hawk.

Our 50,000 bee girls and boys survived the winter very well, and Steve has been successfully treating them for mites, so they are healthy. About month ago, they swarmed, but Steve successfully coaxed the swarm into sticking around our yard, so we now have two hives.

Steve's mom and my stepfather Andy are doing okay, facing health issues that being in your 80s bring. Old age is not for sissies, as someone has noted, and they're both proving that. I don't believe I've ever posted photos of the cats that my mother rescued from the streets of Omaha, and who have now followed her over the bridge: Bonzi, Chatty, and Roo.




Happily, Oliver and Jose are still going strong, and keeping Andy company.


Other milestones: We celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary on Thursday. Steve's nephew Dustin will be graduating from high school this weekend, and so will my nephew Zach. It seems like only yesterday that they were little boys. And now my niece Liz and our friends Rob and Therese have baby boys, both born last October. We had more record-breaking heat in March, and are now having a warm spring, in general, so everything is happening way ahead of schedule: lilacs blooming, butterflies hatching out, frogs singing, shiitake mushroom logs fruiting. Until last night when a thunderstorm passed through, the soil was getting very dry, and we're actually looking forward to a rainy few days to come.

Today, Steve is putting in a new kitchen counter to replace the one that was falling apart, so many of the things that usually live in the kitchen have migrated to the living room. The new counter is much needed, but for now, things are a tad bit chaotic...
I made the most delicious vegan Sour Creme Banana Bundt Cake yesterday---and then Steve made another one again this morning! Here's the recipe, from the ever-reliable you can also see a nice photo of the cake. Blogspot has changed some things, and I haven't yet figured out how to put a link in a post...maybe next time!
Sour Cream Banana Bundt Cake
*Makes one bundt cake

1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Tofutti or Follow Your Heart Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Soymilk
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
2 Tbs Cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Whisk all the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray, or lightly grease. Flour the bundt pan with some of the dry mix, pouring excess back into the bowl when finished.

Mix wet ingredients into the dry, adding a tablespoon or so of soymilk if needed. Batter will be thick but not dry. Pour evenly into the bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Serve with fresh strawberries.

Here's one more photo of Natasha, who was very fond of cake:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

So many things have happened this year, we've had a hard time keeping up with it all. After the long, hard winter in the house without chicken friends after June and Rose passed away, Sara now has new companions, Emily and Anne Bronte, named after my beloved Bronte sisters. They came from Heartland Farm Sanctuary, which had just rescued ten hens when a man who'd kept chickens as companions for years was forced to give them up due to illness.
Emily, who looks part condor and sounds like a guinea hen) quickly became Sara's "second in command," but she's much more timid than her sister, Anne, who is very friendly and curious about any type of human activity. Both Emily and Anne have become much less shy of humans since they arrived in late March. All three girls accompany us around the yard while we search the grapes, hazelnuts and willows for Japanese beetles for them, and the rest of the time, enjoy their fruit and veggie treats and the yard's many plants and bugs. (Fallen raspberries and chickweed blossoms, yum!!) They love to explore their yard and dustbathe in the sun. When it's too hot, they hide in the raspberry bushes. All three are full of life and ready to enjoy all the pleasures their world has to offer them.

Looks like we traded Charm and Peridot in on a pair of rare Siamese twin rabbits, doesn't it? Our little moon rabbits are doing well, love each other dearly, and are teaching us patience and the ways of the rabbit. Pinecone bowling is a favorite pasttime. (Gotta get a video of that!)

On a very hot day in late May, there was a block party on our street for the first time since we moved here in 2003, with the youngest attendee, Zoe at age 2 months, and the oldest, Dave at...well, he's retired, anyway! It was great to hang out with all our neighbors and get to meet new ones, too. The first "Bike the Drive" of the year was a great success, again. Some of the biggest streets in Madison were closed to motor traffic, and we joined friends Jenny, Chandi, Terese, Rob, Kenny and Steve's cousin Matt with thousands of others, riding our bikes for several hours on another very hot day on downtown streets that are normally full of cars. Picking flowers from the median of a 45 mph semi-highway---FUN! From there, we headed back to our own neighborhood to "Boombox the Wasteland," a sort of reclaiming event for some industrial and commercial land that was cleared for "development" but has stood idle for years now. WORT 89.9FM broadcast the event live all afternoon, and the hundreds of boomboxes folks brought along sang out while we danced, mingled and shared free food and created spray-paint artwork together. Naturally, we brought our solar-powered boombox!
In late July, Steve installed a beautiful, energy-efficient front door (our old one was leaking air badly) that he got for $70 because it had a "ding" in it And we travelled to Omaha to see Andy and attend a Briggs family reunion up in Walthill, hosted by my sweet, smart cousin Christine and her equally wonderful husband Doug. (The best photo of the reunion, unfortunately, is of the oldest member of the family, this old Model A---or was it T?---circa 1935, that Doug still drives in parades!)

Never seen the Missouri River in flood stage like it is now! Andy and I are standing at what *shouldn't* be the river's edge, looking at what is usually the patio seating at the boathouse bar/restaurant where he hangs out with his friend Jim. (Jim's motorcycle is almost as cool as Andy's, which is gold instead of burgundy.) Andy and Jim rode up to Storm Lake, Iowa, a few hundred mile round trip, just a few weeks before this---and Andy will be 87 in November!

Friends Frances and Alan generously put us up in their beautiful cohousing home while were there, and we even got to join them for a (nearly vegan) dinner they hosted for some of new UU friends, who are now our friends, too.

The protests continue, of course, although the crowds and frequency have dwindled. We attend the Singalongs at the Capitol as often as we can, and Steve has helped with phone calls, while our friends Susan, Bryan and Linda have travelled around the state going door-to-door. It's far from over, and we're in it for the long haul.

And here's our backyard's newest resident, sleeping in a shady, cool spot on top of the rain barrel!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ultimate Vegan Reuben Sandwich and Some Personal and Omaha History

The last time I ever saw my mother alive was in February 2008, about a month before she passed. She was sitting on the living room couch, dressed in her best black pantsuit and a pink scarf I’d given her earlier that day, biting into a dripping vegan Reuben sandwich, murmuring, "Ohhhh, this is sooo good!" and rolling her eyes in appreciative culinary ecstasy. She had just gotten out of the hospital and was so happy to be home with my stepfather Andy, and eating well again. That it was a Reuben sandwich was not really by chance, because we’re from Omaha, Nebraska, and, according to Omaha legend, the Reuben sandwich was created there early in the last century, at the Blackstone Hotel.

There has always been some historical debate about this, though. Some say the Reuben was invented in New York City. (I tend to hold with the Omaha version, not just because I’m an Omahan, but also because the niece of a famous Blackstone chef once rented a room from my mother, and assured us that the old story was true.) You can read more about the controversy and see a very retro menu from the Blackstone at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s "Weird Nebraska" website.

When I was a child in the 1960s and 70s, my mother and I would frequently find ourselves at the Blackstone's Golden Spur Grill after a winter's evening at the symphony, opera, or ballet, most often ordering the original (translated as: poor dead cow) version of the Reuben. In those days, my mother would have gone out of the house in curlers or (horror of horrors) blue jeans before she would have worn warm, sensible clothing for an evening out, so we shivered all evening in our too-thin dressy clothes. In those days, too, we would have thought ourselves deprived if we hadn’t eaten meat (read: some poor dead animal or another) at least twice a day. It wasn’t until the early 1990s, after my mother founded an animal rescue group that became an animal rights group, as well, and we had both had had our "and then it hit me" moments, realizing that not only the lives of puppies and kittens are important, but those of all animals. We both went veggie/vegan, and the old Reuben sandwich became a thing of the past.

We were always trying to come up with the best vegan version we could, and while the vegan Reuben my mother was so happily gobbling up that cold February night was a good one, the recipe below that I’ve just found comes the closest to duplicating that authentic, tangy Reuben taste of any recipe or version of the sandwich that I've tried. (And you don't even need Swiss shreez!) The (somewhat edited) recipe and the photo comes from a wonderful blog called Allison's Gourmet so please visit there for more yummy recipes.) Steve and I made these sandwiches for dinner on Friday, sans avocado, and we both thought they were really and truly right up there among the best sandwiches we've ever had, as Allison says, and they weren't alot of work, either. So, my quest for an authentic-tasting vegan Reuben sandwich is over. I just wish my mother was still here to enjoy one, too.

Onto the recipe...

Here’s what you need to make these delicious grilled vegan tempeh reuben sandwiches...
(Makes 4 sandwiches):

3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil, divided use
8 ounce block of tempeh, sliced into 8 large, 1/8-inch thick strips
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup water
8 slices bread (any kind of whole-grain bread will work, but it's best on rye)
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated, non-dairy margarine (Earth Balance recommended)
Vegan Thousand Island Dressing (SEE RECIPE BELOW)
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
2 avocados, mashed or sliced (Optional---sandwiches are excellent even without the avocados)

1) In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil and tempeh, browning tempeh on each side. Remove tempeh from the pan and set aside.

2) Add remaining oil and onion. Brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return tempeh to the pan (leaving the onions in), and stir in garlic, bay leaves, paprika, caraway, dill, salt, vinegar, tamari, and black pepper. Add water and simmer for 30 minutes or until the water has evaporated and tempeh is infused with flavor and coated with a glaze. Remove bay leaves.

While the tempeh is sautéing, you will have plenty of time to prepare the Thousand Island Dressing: In a small bowl combine the following ingredients: 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and 3 tablespoons dill pickles, chopped. (I used sweet pickle relish, actually, and it tasted great.)

3) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spread two slices of bread with margarine. Grill for 3 minutes, until browned on one side only. Repeat for the remaining slices of bread.

4) Between the ungrilled sides of two pieces of toast, layer Thousand Island Dressing, sauerkraut, 2 pieces of tempeh, onions, and avocado. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

This is Natasha, watching over her little brother Sergei, on one of their favorite boxes. You would probably not even think of eating either of them, so please, don't eat beautiful, soft-eyed cows, either. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Union Busting Protest

Here's what we've been doing this week: Participating in the recent protests in downtown Madison against our Governor's attempts to strip our public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. Steve shot this footage, and you can see me a few times in my "wear red to support public ed" sweater.