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food and drink

I wanted to wrap up saving time in the kitchen week with something a little more fun than a relentless push for efficiency, so here’s a great way to make more elaborate meals while getting to spend time with friends:

The book I mentioned is called The Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine [affiliate link], which is actually a vegan cookbook, but it’s not one I’d recommend for your first vegan cookbook ever, since it’s a little fancy pants, but that brunch was pretty darned tasty.

By the way, the concept I’m introducing in this video is called “stacking” and it’s an alternative to multitasking.  Multitasking has been shown to suck majorly for humans, mostly in business environments but also pretty much everywhere else.  We’re just not as good as computers at it, and even though the “it lowers your IQ more than marijuana” study has been discounted, the productivity experts I’ve studied seem to advocate one thing at a time.  Of course, a kitchen environment usually means a lot of bouncing between tasks that are all happening at the same time (you chop the celery while the onions cook and somehow you’re also mopping up a spill, etc) but bringing in friends can at least reduce some of that.

Where stacking comes in is the layering of complementary tasks together, so one doesn’t take away from the ability to do the other – think going for a walk while listening to an audio book, versus checking your email while having dinner with your family. In this case, you’re cooking a great meal and spending more time with friends (although the two are separate if you’re bringing the food to someone else’s house, the actual meal is a combination of your efforts.)

What else, in the kitchen and in your life, can you do at the same time without sacrificing the results of each activity?


Being vegan at catered events

December 14, 2010

I’ve been to a few catered events over the years – some weddings, sure, but also a golf tournament banquet, some business functions, and some other stuff too.  They were all fun events, and I met some great people at my table, but the dinners weren’t vegan, and if I didn’t take a chance on getting something other than the rubbery chicken (and risk having an empty plate) I wouldn’t have had those experiences.  Here’s what I’ve learned about going to catered events:

Some fun trivia about my last catered meal: I forgot to ask for a vegan option until the morning of the meal, but the organizer made it happen.  The next day, she asked how it was, and I told her how amazing she was for pulling that meal together – even the wine was vegan! (It happened to be a Barnivore-approved wine, but I suspect she didn’t know what I was talking about.  I thought it was a good compliment though.)


Surviving the dreaded potluck as a vegan

November 24, 2010

Of course, when I refer to a dreaded potluck I mean the kind where you’re the only vegan attending, so you might as well call it “that thing where everyone else eats your food, maybe.”  It can be a huge source of The Suck, so here are my best tips on how to deal (I […]

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