Tonight's dinner was Tomato-Rice Soup with Garlic and Navy Beans from Veganomicon. I didn't end up making the biscuits for two reasons: first, I hadn't refrigerated the shortening, so it wouldn't be cold. Actually, that's the biggest reason. Once I realized I wouldn't be able to make those specific breadlettes, I looked for different ones in a few different cookbooks. By the time I stumbled across the Easy Biscuits recipe in How It All Vegan, I had grown weary of the prospect of making biscuits and the soup was nearly done simmering. The second real reason was knowing that I was going to make the lentil soup in a few more days and thinking I'd rather have the biscuits accompany that.
I think the thing I am most excited about right now is that the freaking rice actually cooked in the tomato broth! I truly did not think it would, or at least not in the allotted time. I thought we'd just be finishing dinner now. The soup was also heartier than I expected, since the rice was all hiding beneath a shimmering layer of tomato soup. I think it may be one of those soups best served as leftovers - by the way - there are plenty of leftovers. Isa said the recipe serves 10-12 and it most certainly would, probably as a main course. Mister and I each had 2 bowls and we have a huge amount leftover. I know what I'm eating for No-Cook Wednesday and Work-Lunch Thursday!
I would like to briefly revisit my post on honey - more specifically, whether or not it is vegan to eat honey and whether or not I care. A reader was kind enough to point me towards some more resources I had not found my first time around. The black writing on a yellow background was clever, but a little much.
Why Honey Is Not Vegan - very loooonnggg page exploring virtually every argument that has ever been made for honey. There are a lot of good points and a lot of "ah ha" moments where your heart could break a little on behalf of the bees. I would love to give a better summary, but to be completely honest, I can't stand to look at the yellow and black page long enough to say anything intelligent. I'll leave it at this - it appears obvious, from the author's article, that humans are exerting unnatural dominion over bees and are exploiting their labor and stealing the fruits of it. In a sense, they are stealing my well-balanced, nutritious meal and giving me a Special K protein bar in its place. If you can ignore the yellow background or take your time and read in installments, this could be a very helpful article.
Why Honey Is Still Not Vegan - well-made point on this page: Exterminating pests (cockroaches, for example) is vastly more justifiable than enslaving, exploiting, and eventually killing honeybees because I did not purposely breed the invading/offending insects. I can buy that.
The Ecology of the Honey Bee - because I chose to become a vegetarian largely based on the impact the meat industry has on the environment, this argument would be the most powerful in persuading me to give up honey. The basic crux of this page is that honeybee farming is unnatural, takes bees out of their natural habitat, causing whatever pollinating they may contribute to be inferior in quality. The author asserts that the factory farming of bees is actually harmful to the environment by way of "crowding out" the native bees that should be pollinating in the area where the factory farms are. I'm not completely sure I buy this, but it's worth investigating further.
In the end, whether I can (in good conscious) eat honey would not be the thing preventing me from going full-on vegan. It's just not that important to me. There are increasingly adequate substitutes for honey - in fact, I've been curious about agave nectar for years. I am not, at this time, forswearing honey. I am, however, looking into alternatives. I have not decided that it is harmful, but it is one of those things where for the sake of helping others stand strong in their decision, I could let it go.