Winter Settles In

Winter has settled in.  It has been cold for days…weeks?  It feels like months.  It is a time for inside projects.  After taking down the holiday decorations, I went and got some primroses.IMG_9585I always fill the house with primroses in January.  They are bright and cheerful and add color to an otherwise very bleak landscape.

IMG_3486 IMG_3492


As I have often said, I could never get through January without primroses.

Once that was done I started cleaning.  There is something about the New Year that makes one want to start I decided to clean and reorganize the cabinets.  I started with the cabinets because I have been thinking about eating a plant based diet for awhile now and I am wondering how hard a transition it would be.

I have been a vegetarian since high school.  This was easy for me because I didn’t like meat anyway.  I continued to eat eggs and dairy because that felt humane.  But the egg industry is far from humane, and I would not want to support their cruel practices by buying eggs from poor hens who are so ill treated.  So I solved that by having my wonderful girls.  They are treated well and they give me eggs.  That feels ok.  But dairy?  I LOVE milk and all dairy products.  I love seeing cows grazing in fields along rural roads…I know about veal cows and try not to think about it.  But the more I learn about the dairy industry, the harder it is to justify supporting it.  Could I live without milk.. cheese.. butter?  

Certainly it would be better for the planet.  Our western diet is not sustainable.  It is not healthy….for us..for the animals that are so abused or for the planet.  If I am truly going to live a sustainable life, “with nature” then a plant based diet makes sense.

My first problem was how to replace milk.  I know there are lots of non dairy “milks” in the supermarket, but most of them are filled with additives and things I can’t pronounce.  I don’t see much point in drinking those.  But I did find a soy milk that is organic, GMO free and the ingredients list “organic soybeans, filtered water.”

IMG_3494It is fine.  I have been using it in coffee and it tastes very much like cow’s milk.  So that was easy. I also have learned that you can make almond milk or coconut milk or even oat milk at home.  You just blend the nuts, coconut or oats with water.  I will be trying that soon.

IMG_3495My nuts and oats are all organized and tidied now so it will be easy to do.

I have also learned that cashews can be blended with nutritional yeast to make a kind of cheese sauce.


My nice, Vanessa, has been telling me about this for years, but I never quite got around to experimenting with it.  Perhaps this is the time.

I have been researching vegan recipes and am quite pleasantly surprised.  There are many vegans who eat a lot of processed soy products.  Tofu pups, soy cheese, soy bacon, soy meat.  Yuck. I have no intentions of eating a bunch of processed foods.  But there are other options.  I have been particularly impressed by a website called “Oh She Glows” It is filled with delicious looking vegan or plant based recipes.   I have been spending hours there and have chosen a few to try.  the address is:  

So I think I have my winter project!  I am not going to go cold turkey and change everything…I know that works for many people, but I think a slow transition is easier.  I am not sure how it will turn out.  But I am very excited about experimenting with new recipes and finding new favorite dishes.  And if those dishes mean no animal has to suffer..well that is a BIG plus!



About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
This entry was posted in Eating Well, Nature, Plant based diet, Sustainability, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Winter Settles In

  1. Pam R. says:

    Be aware that soy is highly estrogenic, especially if not fermented properly (most sold in the US is not). I used it when going thro menopause, and 1 serving a day was enough to alleviate many symptoms.

    As far as dairy, you could use a dairy like Sidehill. I believe their calves go to beef, not veal. But you could check into it more fully. I had to give up dairy for 13 years, and now I have it back, I’d never willingly give it up again.

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