I was promised tea!

October 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm (Diary of a Dairy Addict) (, )

There may have been some whimpering in the tea room today. A plate of leftover catering was sitting on the table – free to all staff in need of sustenance. I was most definitely in need of sustenance. And every single one of those roast beef baguettes, ham rolls, and Mediterranean vegetable pides was brimming with gooey melted cheese or laced with buttery spreads. Sigh.

Work seems to have been the most difficult location for being dairy-free, and not just because of temptations like leftover catering. The general stress (quarterly reporting!) makes me more vulnerable to cravings; yes, whimpering; and affront. On Friday I endured two entirely separate conversations with colleagues that included the handy phrase “As the son of a dairy farmer…”.

I have decided that diets can best be compared to religion – interesting when used as a point of intelligent discussion, rude when used as a way of passing judgment. Great to talk about amongst a community of like-minded people, possibly best kept quiet otherwise. (I’m not sure if these posts are hypocritical, or a reasonable exception under the soap-box clause.) In my offline life I’ve only been communicating the change to people that I dine with, because I feel like they should know why I’m ordering “the bacon sandwich with no cheese, no butter and no… no something else as well”. *

Aside from these incidents it has actually been going well. I’ve discovered that a few of my friends are lactose-intolerant, and dab hands at a rocket, spinach, pear, walnut and cranberry salad. I’ve been assured that the Oreo Cream Pie is well worth making. My daily soy hot chocolate is entirely palatable, if less rich than my old “Choc o’lait”. Porridge made with oat milk is just as delicious as when made with dairy milk. And Arnott’s Raspberry Shortcake biscuits, the closest thing we have to Jammie Dodgers, are vegan. Hurrah!

*actual dialogue from a waitress on Sunday, served with a side of scorn.

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Cheese, cheese, wherefore art thou cheese?

September 29, 2010 at 11:00 pm (Diary of a Dairy Addict) (, )

I’m having a difficult time finding decent (non)cheese. The word on the internet is all about Cheezly for that melty non-dairy goodness, but locating this UK product in Australia is proving to be a challenge.

You can buy Cheezly online from the Melbourne-based Vegan Perfection, or the Sydney-based Cruelty Free Shop, but the idea of having a cheese sit on my doorstep all day, especially in the impending warm weather, is not very appealing whether it’s shipped with a cold-pack or not.

After reading through a lot of vegan forum posts from 2007 about stores that no longer exist, I tried Belgrave Organics. While they don’t currently stock Cheezly they were very helpful and have offered to try and order some in. I’ll be calling them back in 10 days to see if that’s been successful.

Researching dairy free diets has also been more complicated than I would have liked. Coming into it as an omni and not (at this point in my life) transitioning to a vegan diet, I feel disconnected from both. While I might have most in common with the lactose-intolerant, their motivations are entirely different and they have a few lactose-free dairy-laden goodies at their disposal. Although I have more ingredient options than vegans, I have been impressed by their strong communities and wealth of recipes.

The honour roll of sites that have guided, inspired, and impressed me over the last few days are:

Lisa Dempster‘s invaluable series of posts on How to be vegan.

Miss T: Princess Vegan – especially this post, which tests out the vegan Apple, Onion & Cheddar Pizza (from a site that is a delight in its own right – how can you not love a blog with the tagline Recipes that will make you scream with unbridled pleasure?)

– Post Punk Kitchen: vegan cookies. (It’s impossible to feel gloomy about a diet without dairy looking at those pictures and recipes.)

Dairy Free Cooking. If I can get my hands on some Tofutti this weekend, I hope to be able to make the Oreo Cream Pie for morning tea at work.

I’ll also have to visit Vege2go for some take-away nom! Check out that vegan dessert list (with apologies to non-Melbournians)! Tiramis├╣! Chocolate Mousse! Chocolate raspberry cake! Crumble!

Not long ’til October now. Tonight I had what may be my last at-home dairy dinner, glorified in many shades of yellow…

L-R: scrambled eggs made with milk and butter, topped with parsley and cheddar cheese; King Island Dairy double brie; Tasmanian Heritage blue brie.

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