Note to self: Don't worry, everyone still like feeding vegans

Step into my little time machine, and let me whisk you back about a decade or so. A younger Joey was debating the pros and cons of becoming vegan. 'But', she thought, 'if I go vegan people will always have to make me special meals if they invite me over for dinner, and have dairy-free milk in the fridge if they want to make me a cup of tea. No one will want to hang out with me, because they'll think I'm a right pain in the arse.'

My friends may think I'm a right pain in the arse for many reasons, but turns out veganism is not one of them. Over the last decade or so that I've been vegan, I've never heard any of my lovely omni friends or relatives - which is people in their 20s to people in their 90s - ever complain about making a vegan dinner or cup of tea. Because they're a lovely bunch of people (and I reckon your lot are the same), they're always happy to cook vegan or go out to a v-friendly lunch place.

I went to Leicester recently to visit my friend K, where she moved not so long ago. When she lived in London, we'd normally go for a drink after work. Now she's in a different city, I'll catch the train to her and we'll hang out. The last time I visited her, she made a huge batch of ratatouille:

Not only was this the best ratatouille I'd ever tasted (apparently it's because the veggies are fried before they go into the sauce. Who knew frying made things taste better?!), there were huge great doorstops of bread, and a big tub of baba ganoush. I had seconds, then I had thirds. There was still so much left when we finished, she said I should have brought an empty tub with me and taken some home. Next time I visit K, I'm stashing an empty tub in my bag and carting back a load of ratatouille in my rucksack. Leaving empty handed is a mistake I'm only making once.

As well as spending all my spare biological resources digesting the half kilo of ratatouille, me and K decided to try making some candied peel after I discovered some very sad looking bergamot lemons at the back of the fridge. (See here and here for some of my previous attempts at using up bergamots)

We chopped up the peel of lemons, grapefruits, limes, and blood oranges, boiled them up in sugar syrup, and then tossed them in granulated sugar. (something like the recipe here.) They ended up looking like this:

It might be the start of spring here, but these colours were beautifully autumnal. I'm not sure we nailed the candied peel first time off, but I could happily see myself munching through a bag of these if I left them out in the kitchen.

In keeping with all things zero wasting, we turned the innards of the citrus fruit into some jam. I say jam, I mean more like mortar. Damn, that stuff was thick. Still, next time there's a cake in need of a glaze, I reckon that pot contains the answer.

Aaand talking of friendly faces that like cooking for vegans, my nextdoor neighbour is a bit of a genius at baking. London's not the easiest of places to get to know your neighbour, so I feel quite pleased to not only have someone nextdoor that's happy for me to drop round to for a cup of tea, but also to have a neighbour that likes to make vegan cakes and share them once she's put the kettle on.

Last time I dropped round for a cuppa, she'd knocked up homemade hummus and pita bread, and sent me home with a load of vegan banana cake. Check this out:

So, me of 10 years ago, don't worry about being a pain in the proverbial. Nice people will still be nice, whether you're vegan or not -- and they'll still always be happy to make you a cracking feed.


  1. This makes me fuzzy. Once upon a time people would frown when vegetarians were coming over, now its vegans - but like you say, nice people will always be accommodating. Love the candied peel and yes, I agree - though I don;t fry my veg for ratatouille, i have found roasting them tastes better.

  2. That's lovely! One of my colleagues often brings home baked treats into the office, and she's started veganising them so I can share too! Small gestures are really appreciated.

  3. What a positive and lovely post! I'm sure you quite deserve all your wonderful friends and family. Beautiful food — I'm especially taken with the banana cake, and may have to bake one later today.

  4. That candied peel is so beautiful - I never think of citrus as being so colourful. Glad to hear you are being fed well. There are lots of people out there who just want to include everyone and make it seem effortless.

  5. You have some lovely friends - who can cook well! I agree that people are usually very happy to accommodate requirements, but it no doubt says something (good!) about you that people don't just accommodate but beautifully cater.


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