This Week in Pictures #22: Rocky Horror Picture Show ed.!

Monday, October 19th, 2015

— SUNDAY —

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Sunday night was the Halloween-themed Retro Movie Night at the drive-in: Young Frankenstein and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW! The dogs were so excited that they insisted on dressing up for a pre-show party. “You get toilet paper, and you get toilet paper, and you get toilet paper. EVERYBODY GETS TOILET PAPER!”

(Incidentally, the only thing that would make Rocky Horror better? Replace the German Shepherds with wiener dogs. Not only would the optics be hilarious, but what better dog to guard the Frank N. Furter Castle, hmmm?)

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But first: swimming! This might be the latest we’ve managed to push into fall, but I’m pretty sure I say that every year.

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Then some light sunbathing, because six hours crammed in a van with wet dogs will surely sap away some of the MAGIC OF THE MOVIES.

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies & Ray Parker, Jr.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

 

The song: “Ghostbusters (Theme)” by Ray Parker, Jr. (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies from Little House on the Vegan Prairie

The connection: It’s Halloween and there’s a STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN in this movie!

 

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Happy Halloween, y’all! Next to FSMas, this is my favorite day of the whole year. Sixteen-hour horror movie marathons with all the vegan junk food and frozen Tofurky pizzas you can eat? SIGN ME UP!

We’re talking movie theater popcorn, salt and vinegar chips, Twizzlers, Go Max Go candy bars, ice cream sundaes, Skittles, candy apples – and new this year, a freshly made batch of Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies! Little House on the Vegan Prairie dreamed these up last Vegan MoFo and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since!

 

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The fruit of my loins!
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(Yeah, I usually have a stomach ache and/or sugar headache on November 1st. But you know what? SO WORTH IT.)

Sticky, ooey, gooey mess aside, these are pretty simple to make, with no unusual ingredients required. Just compassion and Dandies, yo! The result is a soft, cakey chocolate chip cookie with a hint of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (the Thanksgiving spices!), covered in sweet marshmallowy goodness.

First you mix your dry ingredients, then your wet stuff. Then you add the dry to wet and lastly, fold in the Dandies and chocolate chips. The cookies rise considerably, so give them enough space to expand on the cookie sheet. The marshmallows puff up too – sometimes well beyond the bounds of the cookies they’re attached to! As they cool and contract, the Dandies leave little cavities in the cookies. Swiss cheese cookies, oh noes!

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Pop the cold cookies in the microwave for ~15 seconds for maximum meltiness.
(Yes, I own a novelization of Ghostbusters II. DON’T JUDGE ME!)
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A neat little workaround I found: don’t add the marshmallows until after you drop the batter onto the cookie sheet. Position one or two marshallows smack dab in the middle of the cookie and press down gently. As it bakes, it’ll drip over and down the cookie, but mostly stays on top – no hallowed out spaces in the cookies or clinging to the neighbors!

As part of her Hurricane Sandy preparations, Vegan CineGrub also made Ghostbusters-themed cookies yesterday: Ectoplasm Stay-Puft Cookies. PJ describes them as “Coconut Marshmallow Snickerdoodle” things, but they look a lot like the Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies – only green! How cool is that? Now I know what I’m making next Halloween! Even if you don’t like cookies (MONSTER!), you should visit her place anyway, ’cause she’s got a real live pic of the Ghostbusters car. Are you jealous yet?

Enjoyed to the sweet ’80s sounds of Ray Parker, Jr. in honor of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a likeness of which I purchased special for the occasion. (But I shall enjoy him year-round! He makes for the most adorable of nicknacks, I tell you what!)

 

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“I’m with cookies.” You and me both, Stay Puft. You and me both.
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Today we’ll be revisiting Ghostbusters, which I haven’t seen for years. Also on the roster – tentatively, since we usually play it by ear: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Cronos, The Tall Man, Inside, Red: Werewolf Hunter, Wrong Turn, Tales from the Hood, The House of the Devil, and The Shrine. I’m also thinking about The Cabin in the Woods, even though we already saw it in the theaters. THAT GOOD.

Do you like scary movies, vegan? Check out this list of animal-friendly horror movies I compiled last Halloween. We ticked a bunch off our list in 2011. Soylent Green? It’s delicious.

 

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P.S. This isn’t goodbye! I have a few extra “Vegan MoFo B-Side” posts lined up for the rest of the week (including a “best of” link roundup), AND I’m participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck tomorrow. (Which for me is 11PM tonight. Silly time zones, always messing things up.) Stick around for more beautiful food and delicious music, mkay?

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Casper the Friendly Ghost PIZZAS!*

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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The resemblance is spooktacular!
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Earlier this week, I feeling hungry and lazy and craving some pizza, but the husband – oh maker of all things pita pizza ’round these parts – was at work and thus unable to service me the way I so often required servicing (i.e. WITH FOOD. I’ll pause for a sec so that you can picture that, mkay.) The horras, right? After a little moping and low blood sugar-induced faintness (I know, such a child!), I realized that I had some white rolls sitting in the fridge. Perfect for mini toaster oven pizzas, just like dad used to make me as a kid!

The first few batches came out looking like angel wings to me, at least when you touched them tip-to-tip, like so; but, after further noming, I saw that the shape of the rolls was just the slightest bit curvy, and vaguely reminiscent of a ghost. And so Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizzas were born! (Also: an excuse to eat more mini pizzas!)

These are super-simple and quick to make, with maybe five minutes of assembly and ten minutes of cook time required. You just need:

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  • one ghostly roll, cut down the middle (mine is from a megachain store which shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Mall Fart”; each roll makes two pizzas)
  • red sauce
  • vegan mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
  • something round for the eyes and a mouth. I used black olives and cherry and Juliet tomatoes, but you could just as easily use any round fruit, veggie or vegan meat. Think: carrots, zucchini, sausage or hot dog links, etc.
  • Start by cutting the roll down the middle. Add the red sauce, followed by the cheese, “eyes” and “mouth.” Bake in a toaster oven at 425 degrees F for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty. Eat and repeat!

    (Fyi, if you can’t find any ghost-shaped rolls, use something round – like a soyburger bun or English Muffin – and make a mummy instead!)

    For the cheese, I went with Vegan Gourmet’s Follow Your Heart. Rather than shredding it, I cut thin strips from the block, thinking that layered pieces would give more even white coverage. I also added a few shreds towards the bottom of each ghost’s body, for that ragged, ripped sheet effect. Pre-cooking, they looked more like goatees than anything else. Pubescent Casper, represent!
     

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    As it turns out, the cheese got so melty that everything just kind of melded together. So use that Daiya if you’ve got it! As long as the cheese reaches maximum ooziness, you should be safe with cheese shreds or slices. (Plus I find that I pile on less cheese when I stick to shreds. I fail at thin-slicing things.)
     
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    Clearly, Casper is the ghost on the left; as per the line drawings, he’s white with sparse black facial features. Plus I fashioned him outta the top piece, so he’s fluffier and so much the better for hugging and cuddling. (It’s Casper the FRIENDLY ghost, yo!) But who is his red companion on the right?
     
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    An evil twin? His lady friend, if you know what I mean? (AND I KNOW THAT YOU DO.) Casper’s pizza boss, perhaps?

    Kelly food. Yeah, that’s what.

     
    * Sorry for the caps, I JUST LOVE PIZZA SO MUCH!

    TAKE ALL THE VEGAN PIZZA

     
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    Veg-sploitation Halloween Horror Flicks Even a Vegan Zombie Could Love!

    Monday, October 31st, 2011

    The husband and I have a longstanding Halloween tradition. Three words: horror movie marathon. Three more: vegan junk food. There will be John Carpenter and Stephen King and Tofurky pizzas and fancy movie popcorn and more gallons of homemade vegan ice cream than you can wag a tongue at.

    This year’s picks include a few films that might be loosely described as vegan-friendly, inasmuch as they contain elements that are potentially anti-speciesist or might otherwise appeal to vegan sensibilities: vivisection that triggers an apocalyptic plague; nonhuman “monsters” who prove more human than the story’s human protagonists; cow meat pies secretly swapped for those containing bits of human flesh; bird flu and mad cow disease; exploited animals out for revenge – all these and more make for a “vegan-friendly” horror flick. “Veg-sploitation,” in more colorful terms. (Like “sexploitation,” but SEXIER! AND VEGAN! ‘CAUSE VEGAN = SEXY, YO.)

    For those who’d like in on the festivities, I’ve compiled a list of veg-sploitation horror flicks that appeal to the vegan zombie in all of us. (What’s that? You don’t like horror movies? LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!) Many of these I’ve seen, some I haven’t; so there are bound to be a few lemons on the list. (Poultrygeist, I’m looking at you!) Most are pretty f’in awesome, though.

    In the queue this year: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Soylent Green, along with three or four more as-of-yet undetermined movies.

    Got a favorite vegan-friendly horror flick I missed? Tell us in the comments!

    (Unless otherwise noted, the summaries are snagged from Netflix.)

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    Soylent Green (1973) – “Set in a polluted, congested New York City in 2022, this sci-fi thriller stars Charlton Heston as Robert Thorn, a gumshoe looking into the murder of a corporate executive (Joseph Cotten) whose company makes a nutritious synthetic food called Soylent Green. But in the process of tracking down the killer, Thorn unearths shocking information about the product’s ingredients. The cast also includes the great Edward G. Robinson in his last film role.” Soylent Green is people! No more outrageous than if it were chickens!

    Attack of the Vegan Zombies! (2009) – “Joe and his wife Dionne have had yet another bad crop for their winery. Faced with the prospect of losing the family farm, Dionne convinces her mother (a witch) to cast a spell upon next year’s crop. The crop is such a success that Joe hires some college students to help them harvest. However, when a nosy neighbor begins poking around in the fields, he finds out more than he bargained for. Now the question isn’t how to best harvest the crop, it’s how to keep from being harvested!” I do not understand where the vegan zombies fit in, but I would like to find out! (plot summary via imdb)

    Isolation (2005) – “On a desolate farm in the Irish countryside, destitute Dan Reilly (John Lynch) — in return for cold cash — allows his heifers to be part of a genetic study intended to boost bovine fertility and beef output … until the experiment goes awry. When one of his cows spawns lethal mutants, Dan and a few other unlucky folks suffer the repercussions of meddling with nature in this unsettling chiller also starring Essie Davis and Marcel Iures.”

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – “Director Tobe Hooper’s horror classic is a gruesome reminder that a movie need not be complicated to scare the daylights out of viewers. Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother (Paul A. Partain) and their friends travel to a vandalized graveyard to see if their grandfather’s remains are intact. En route, they come upon chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), and it’s a fight to the bloody death between good and evil.” The greatest vegetarian movie of all time?

    King Kong (2005) – “Set in the 1930s, Peter Jackson’s remake of the black-and-white classic follows a group of adventurous explorers and filmmakers (including Jack Black, Adrien Brody and Andy Serkis) to mysterious Skull Island, where they search for a legendary giant gorilla known as King Kong. The team battles dinosaurs and, with the help of a beautiful woman (Naomi Watts), manages to capture the mighty ape and ship him back to New York.” Like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, minus the ape revenge fantasy. A kind of prequel, perhaps?

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    Alien Resurrection (1997) – “Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder star in the fourth installment of the Alien series. Two hundred years after Lt. Ripley (Weaver) died, a group of scientists clone her, hoping to breed the ultimate weapon. But the new Ripley is full of surprises … as are the new aliens. Ripley must team with a band of smugglers (including Ryder) to keep the creatures from reaching Earth. Includes the theatrical and extended cuts of the film.” The scene in which Ripley stumbles upon the failed Ripley clones – her sisters – shattered my heart into a million pieces. Since when is Alien a tearjerker!?!

    Willard (2003) – “In this remake of the 1971 horror film by the same name, Crispin Glover plays a shy young man named Willard who is constantly pestered by his co-workers and has no friends save for his beloved pet rats. When one of the rats is killed at work, Willard exacts bloody revenge on all those who did him wrong — with the help of his furry friend Ben, an unusually intelligent (and lethal) rat who leads his cohorts to commit horrific murders.” Okay, so maybe Willard proved to be a back-stabbing, narcissistic frenemy to his posse of rodent roommates. But still: A POSSE OF RATS! If I lived in NYC, I’d totes be a female Willard, but better. As in, nicer to the rats.

    28 Days Later (2002) – “Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors (including Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson) are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. Carried by animals and humans, the virus turns those it infects into homicidal maniacs — and it’s absolutely impossible to contain. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs.” There goes vivisection, unleashing a zombie apocalypse again! When will we learn? Also: Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris. Yes please!

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    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) – “Johnny Depp reteams with director Tim Burton for this big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, earning an Oscar nod as vengeful Sweeney Todd, who becomes a deranged murderer after being falsely imprisoned by a sinister judge (Alan Rickman). To cover his tracks, Todd enlists the help of Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who disposes of the victims by baking them into tasty meat pies that become the toast of London.” Reviewed by yours truly here.

    Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – “Plant yourself in front of the tube and veg out with Frank Oz’s horticultural horror flick. Gawky Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), looking for a way to save his job in a ramshackle, skid row flower shop, purchases a curious exotic plant hoping it will make business bloom. And it does. There’s just one problem: The little creeper possesses a rapacious appetite for fresh human plasma … and it’s mushrooming out of control!” A carnivorous, human-munching plant. From the ’80s. IN MUSICAL FORMAT. This one’s a must-see, odontophobia be damned!

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    Zombieland (2009) – “An easily spooked guy, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), joins forces with wild man Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) to fight for survival in a world virtually taken over by freakish zombies. As they destroy scores of the undead, they meet up with two other survivors, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone), and journey to a supposedly safe abandoned amusement park. Ruben Fleischer directs this horror romp.” Two words: VEGAN TWINKIES! Two more: Woody Harrelson!

    Daybreakers (2009) – “Earth’s population is up against a vicious plague that’s transforming everyone into vampires and draining the world of an increasingly precious resource: blood. Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) and “Elvis” Cormac (Willem Dafoe) must decide what happens next. As the human race count nears zero, will vampires feast on the few men and women who remain, or could science hold the key to a less destructive solution? Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan co-star.” With the development of synthetic blood, are vampires morally obligated to dine on it, instead of humans? Or does their physical superiority give them the right to dominate this “lesser” species?

    Swamp Thing (1982) – “When the botanical experiments of Dr. Alec Holland go awry and a lab explosion renders him more plant than man, rival scientist Anton Arcane plans to capture the Swamp Thing and learn his secrets.”

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    Black Sheep (2006) – “On a quiet New Zealand ranch, a genetic experiment has gone horribly wrong, transforming a calm flock of sheep into killers hungry for human blood in this outrageous comic gore-fest. Those bitten become ravenous were-sheep. As the body count rises, a desperate handful of outnumbered survivors take a last stand against the bovine onslaught. Who will live, and who will be the next victim of the vicious killer sheep?” …and hilarity ensues.

    Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) – “What happens when a fast-food chicken franchise is built on a sacred Native American burial site rife with restless spirits? Zombie chickens! Now it’s up to high school grad Arbie (Jason Yachanin) to find a way to destroy the featherless fiends. Or will the fowl beasts turn the hungry drive-thru customers into the insatiable undead, too? This gleeful free-range romp through the supernatural also features Kate Graham and Allyson Sereboff.”

    Severed: Forest of the Dead (2006) – “When a forestry company’s profit-driven decision to genetically engineer trees goes horribly wrong, a mismatched group of loggers and environmental activists become ravenous flesh-eating zombies. And although a few uninfected survivors remain, their chances of getting out of the wilderness alive are as remote as the forest itself. An ensemble cast stars in this undead gore fest that makes a run-in with a wood chipper seem tame.” I’M ROOTING FOR THE ABOLITIONIST VEGANS. (Rooting! Get it?)

    Dead Meat (2004) – “You are what you eat! The seventh level of hell is unleashed when a mutated strain of mad cow disease infects the countryside, turning people into flesh-eating zombies that like their food … fast! Caught in the middle of this gory upheaval is Helena (Marian Araujo), a young Spanish tourist, and Desmond (David Muyllaert), the local gravedigger. Together, they must join forces and fight for survival or else become appetizers in a zombie feast.” Horror flick or speculative fiction? You decide!

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    Mad Cowgirl (2006) – “Director Gregory Hatanaka’s decidedly twisted thriller stars Sarah Lassez as Therese, a health inspector whose progressively delusional psyche leads her on a surreal — and bloody — odyssey. To cope with her marital split, Therese takes up with a slimy televangelist (Walter Koenig), indulges her appetites for sex and beef, and obsesses over a kung fu TV show. Meanwhile, her meat packer brother (James Duval) may have infected her with mad cow disease.” Ew.

    Meat Market (2001) – “When two former employees of a company that conducts bizarre medical experiments put two and two together, they realize that a series of “animal attacks” reported by the media are actually the work of flesh-eating zombies created by the company. As the walking dead invade the city, the two truth-seekers team up with three vampire women, a washed-up Mexican wrestler, a wounded soldier and a mysterious scientist to fight for their lives.”

    Flu Birds (2008) – “A tight-knit group of teens find themselves fighting for their lives when unexpected visitors — a flock of flesh-eating birds infected by a malicious virus — crash their carefree camping trip in the woods. With each deadly swoop, the flying predators are spreading their dangerous strain and transforming the locals into bird feed. Can a shrinking group of survivors fight back and reclaim the skies?” The Birds meets Bird Flu meets zombies. Hello, awesomeness!

    Beast Within (2008) – “Terror catapults onto the screen as a new form of avian flu turns its unsuspecting victims into voracious zombies. Pleasure-seeking 20-somethings partying in a remote mansion must then battle the flesh-eating monsters and the infected birds. Armed with flamethrowers, brawn and scientific know-how, the friends barricade themselves against the horrors of the night, but will any of them live to see the morning light?” See: above, plus flamethrowers.

    Masters of Horror: Dario Argento: Pelts (2006) – “Sleazy fur trader Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf) will do just about anything for a quality skin. When Jake crosses paths with a trapper (John Saxon) offering raccoon pelts, he jumps at the chance to score big bucks and win a stripper’s heart. Little does Jake know that the supernatural furs wield bloody revenge upon anyone who covets them. This very different kind of skin flick is the 19th episode of the hit Showtime series.” MEAT LOAF! “I would dew anyTHING for LOVE…”

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    Harry and the Hendersons (1987) – “Returning home from vacation, the Hendersons — George (John Lithgow), Nancy (Melinda Dillon), daughter Sarah (Margaret Langrick) and son Ernie (Joshua Rudoy) — accidentally run over a strange Bigfoot-type animal (Kevin Peter Hall). They decide to take the friendly “Harry” home and adopt him as a pet. But soon, they’re scrambling to hide their new friend from authorities and Bigfoot hunters. This charming family film won a Best Makeup Oscar.” Not a horror film – heck, not even a monster movie, as evidenced by Harry’s gentle demeanor and compassion for his fellow nonhumans – but I just had to include it on this list anyway. I COULDN’T NOT INCLUDE IT! It’s Harry and the fucking Hendersons, yo! A vegan classic.

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    The Season of the Vegan: VeganMoFo, Halloweegan & Birthday Kisses

    Saturday, October 9th, 2010
  • If you’re vegan and on the internets, then probably you already know all about the awesomeness that is VeganMoFo. But a reminder never hurts now, does it?

    Vegan MoFo IV logo banner

    VeganMoFo is a month-long celebration of all things vegan food-related, in intertubes carnival form. Throughout the month of November, vegan bloggers the world over pledge to post about the joys of vegan food once a day, with the goal of generating at least 20 posts for the month (weekends are optional!). Topics run the gamut, from original recipes to theme days and photo essays to contests and giveaways. Last year, over 500 bloggers participated, yours truly included. (You can browse an archive of my VeganMoFo contributions here.)

    If you’re interested in being a MoFoer – in blog or in spirit – check out VeganMoFo Headquarters International, where a team of MoFoers will be recapping all the hot, sticky, NOMy vegan action in real time. You can also follow them on Twitter (@veganmofo), where you should totally share your own #veganmofo links – tagged according, natch. For the Flickerites among us, there’s even a VeganMoFo group; join and share, mkay?

    The sign-up deadline to be included in the RSS feed / “official” list of participants is 11/2, but you can jump in at any time! (Sign-up sheet here.)

    Last year, there was a push to garner media coverage for the event; I don’t know whether something similar is planned for 2010, but you should definitely keep an eye on the PPK forums for more. If necessary, last year’s sample press release can easily be reworked for VeganMoFo IV.

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  • Not being a PPK regular, I initially thought that, as in years past, VeganMoFo IV was scheduled for October. But, not so much. Luckily, October is home to its own brand of awesomeness: Halloween!

    Wing-It Vegan is leading the Halloween festivities with a month of Halloweegan treats. (Halloween + vegan = Halloweegan, silly!) Spider Cupcakes, Vampire Cookies and Veggieloaf Coffins, oh my! You can browse an index of her Halloween-themed recipes here; she’s helpfully included links to other vegan creations ’round the interwebs, too. And if you’re on Flickr, join her newly-birthed Halloweegan group so you can get in on the fun.

  • Similarly, the good folks at VegWeb.com have assembled a dedicated Halloween page. Hit ’em up for Halloween-themed recipes, costume and party ideas, leads on yummy vegan Halloween candy and more.
  • Last Thursday was Kaylee and Jayne’s adoption day (four years) and observed birthdays (twelve and six years, respectively). I meant to at least mention it on the 30th, but happily we were too busy celebrating! At nine days past due, you’d think I’d just accept that the moment has passed, and maybe it’s silly, but…I feel a little remiss if I don’t at least give the kids an on-blog shout-out. Guilty, even. I know, I know, I’m such a mom.

    Anyhow, Shane and I drove the girls to nearby Smithville Lake, where we took a leisurely stroll along the water (2.11 miles in 53 minutes!). Kaylee is a naturally slow walker (she doesn’t walk so much as meander); whereas Jayne, possibly owing to abandonment issues, won’t walk more than five feet in front of you without stopping and/or retreating back, presumably to confirm that you haven’t ditched her while she wasn’t looking. It’s rather sad, actually. But it was a beautiful, shiny day and I think we all were happy to get out of the house.

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    (More below the fold…)

  • VeganMoFo, Day 31: Ginger Snaps, Vegan Zombies & Hallow-weenies

    Saturday, October 31st, 2009

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    And the consumer becomes the consumed!

    It’s October 31st, folks! You know what that means: Halloween and the end of VeganMoFo. Thirty-one days, thirty-one posts. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted….and totally looking forward to VeganMoFo IV!

    The Mr. and I will spend the day taking in an orgy of Halloween horror movies and vegan junk food, so I don’t have enough time to put together a cohesive post. But that’s okay, because hopefully you don’t have time to read a cohesive post.

    On the schedule for today, movie-wise, is:

    The Alphabet Killer (2008)

    The Alphabet Killer is based on the double initial killings in Rochester, New York in the early 1970s. Eliza Dusku stars as Megan Paige, a police officer who is highly committed to the job. She develops schizophrenia, lasting for more than six months, and includes one month of active symptoms such as illusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. Megan’s obsession leads her to a breakdown and a violent episode which lands her in the hospital. She eventually loses her fiance, Kenneth (Cary), and her job. Two years later Megan is back working as an advisor, but her more or less normal life goes to hell again when another murder is called in. Her fire rekindled, Megan sets out to find the killer, and this time she plans to get the job done, with or without the department’s assistance.

    Fairly B-grade stuff, but it’s set in my hometown, so it’s a no-brainer. Still waiting on the Arthur Shawcross Lifetime movie-of-the-week.

    Ginger Snaps (2000)

    Is becoming a woman analogous, in some deep psychological way, to becoming a werewolf? Ginger is 16, edgy, tough, and, with her younger sister, into staging and photographing scenes of death. They’ve made a pact about dying together. In early October, on the night she has her first period, which is also the night of a full moon, a werewolf bites Ginger. Within a few days, some serious changes happen to her body and her temperament. Her sister Brigitte, 15, tries to find a cure with the help of Sam, a local doper. As Brigitte races against the clock, Halloween and another full moon approach, Ginger gets scarier, and it isn’t just local dogs that begin to die.

    Feminist horror: yes, please! (See also: Teeth. No, seriously, go watch it. Now!)

    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 25: Have a Pumpkin (Not a Cow!) Loaf (for dogs & their peoples)

    Sunday, October 25th, 2009

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    Ozzy is not amused by all this talk of pumpkin-flavored dog food.

    The dogs finished off their last batch of homemade food yesterday, so I had to throw something together in a hurry. I decided to try a seasonal Halloween version of the “Have-a-Hearty Hound Loaf,” which basically consists of a base of mashed tofu and/or beans, dressed up with various goodies (Italian Tofu Styley, anyone?).

    This time around, I mixed mashed tofu with pureed pumpkin, black beans, ginger, cinnamon, dried apples and cranberries, and a bit o’ carob chips to give the loaf an orange/candied feel. My initial instinct was to use a sweet potato puree in place of the pumpkin, but little Miss Rennie doesn’t seem to care for sweet potatoes, so I decided against it. (I made a sweet potato soup/gravy for them a few weeks back, and she so disliked it that I had to make an extra dish of mixed veggies and beans just for her. Hmph!) But you can sub in sweet potatoes if you’d rather.

    Also, I was running a little low on pumpkin puree; I thought about mixing in some rolled or quick oats, but didn’t want to dilute the pumpkin flavor too much, so decided against it. Add extra pumpkin and oats if you’ve got ’em – don’t be shy!

    This dish is meant for the dogs, but you can probably play around with the seasonings and spice it up to your own liking. The finished loaf holds up well, retaining its shape and integrity, even though the center is rather moist and crumbly. The dogs sure like it, and as an added bonus, it gives off a very autumnal odor that will linger for hours – until well after you’ve cleaned the dishes and stashed the leftovers in the fridge.

    Have a Pumpkin (Not a Cow!) Loaf

    2009-10-24 - Have a Pumpkin Loaf - 0009

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    VeganMoFo, Day 21: Snack attack!

    Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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    Many, many years ago – back when the show was still “innovative” and “popular” – a designer on TLC’s Trading Spaces pulled a grotesque and speciesist stunt. Genevieve (Gorder), tasked with redecorating a kitchen, created some “artwork” by raiding the family’s fridge in search of decomposing animal corpses, posing the “meat” products in various “comical” positions, and photographing and framing the result (“meat people”). Cue laugh track.

    Granted, the bit was rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but to me, the utter pointlessness of Gorder’s actions made them that much more offensive. It’s bad enough that cows, pigs, chickens and other farmed animals suffered and died in order to feed humans who could just as easily subsist on a plant-based diet; worse still that their corpses were mocked, ridiculed, and then wasted further. (There’s no way that “meat” went back into the fridge after being handled under hot camera light for several hours.) It was enough to turn me – then an apolitical vegetarian – off of the show for good. I even fired off a few complain letters to TLC, Trading Spaces and Ms. Gorder herself. I’m still waiting on a reply.

    Anyhow. My point in telling this story isn’t to rail against Trading Spaces, but to introduce today’s post – a vegan version of Gorder’s “meat people,” if you will. Fruit and vegetables make for darn shiny fun artwork! Mr. Potato Head is perhaps the most beloved human-vegetable hybrid – (Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to ask my mother if she still has my old family of Potato Heads; methinks they’d look cute on the mantle. But I digress.) – however, he’s only the beginning. There’s life on melon (and lettuce and tomato and eggplant), after all!

    Halloween is coming, so it’s only natural that we start the exhibit seasonally, with some Great, big, beautiful pumpkins!

    Pumpkin art runs the gamut, from crazy creepy smiley faces:

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    VeganMoFo, Day 13: What do vegan zombies eat?

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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    GRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS!

    Sorry. Cheesy, I know. But it’s been a long, frustrating day, and for some odd reason, this tired old joke always elicits a grin.

    Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I could use a fun, fluffy post. And what’s more fun and fluffy than vegan Halloween candy? (That’s a rhetorical question. There is nothing funner or fluffier than vegan Halloween candy. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Rien. Nichts. Niente. Niets. I said good day!)

    The way I see it, vegan Halloween candy can be separated into two groups: the cheap, readily available, accidentally vegan stuff that you keep on hand for trick-or-treaters, and the expensive, hard-to-find, specialty goodies, which are oftentimes veganized versions of old, pre-vegan favorites.

    Not that the two groups are mutually exclusive, of course – if you’re over the age of 12, probably you don’t consume candy on a daily basis. Thus, a fistful of dark chocolate Peanut Chews or a mile’s worth of Fruit by the Foot is indeed a special treat, pedestrianism be damned. And that’s okay! You don’t need to drop a small fortune on gourmet vegan foodstuffs to Kenneth Lay out this Halloween. On the flip side, if you do sit atop a small mountain of money, all Scrooge McDuck stylie, feel free to distribute gourmet vegan goodies which proudly proclaim their veganism all over the mofo packaging, in a sneaky guerrilla effort to lure some of the neighborhood children over to the light side. But toss in vegan literature at your own risk – ‘twould be very un-vegan to wake up to an egg-covered landing on November 1st!

    (And yes, I am assuming that everyone reading celebrates Halloween, because if you don’t, you should! Between the candy, the costumes, the pumpkin carving, the hay rides, and the horra movies, everyone should be able to find at least one aspect of the holiday worth consecrating!)

    What follows are two lists of vegan candies; the everyday stuff is vegan per PETA, so take these with a grain of salt – there be some rumblings on the internets re: the accuracy of PETA’s “accidentally vegan” list. Also, I’ve only included candy here; for party snacks, please refer to the original list.

    The gourmet vegan goodies, on the other hand, come from firsthand knowledge and the product inventory in vegan-owned online shops, so mistakes in these listings are much less likely.

    So, what are your Halloween plans, my lovely vegan zombies? The Mr. and I have a longstanding (read: four years, maybe five) tradition – we spend the day watching horror movies, relaxing with the dogs, and chowing on all sorts of vegan junk food. Pizza, spring rolls, french fries, cupcakes, turnovers, ice cream, pop corn, candy, brownies, soda, liquor – ah, that’s the life!

    2007-10-19 - Ralphie the Pumpkin - 0030

    I’ve been dying to dress my dachshund kid up in a hot dog outfit to entertain the trick-or-treaters, but we literally have not had a single one since moving to the Midwest – all of our residences have been so rural.

    On the plus side, no interruptions during the movies!
     
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    VeganMoFo, Day 31+: King Kong, Vegan Junk Food & Reflections on VeganMoFo

    Thursday, November 6th, 2008

    Spoiler alert! – Namely, for Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005). Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    OK, so perhaps this post is six days late, but I’ve been busy enjoying the last throes of warm, sunny weather here in the Midwest. Plus, there was this minor matter called the presidential elections on Tuesday…maybe you’ve heard of it?

    As I mentioned previously, Shane & I have a longstanding (three years now?…maybe four?) Halloween tradition: namely, we spend the day watching horror movies and scarfing junk food. This H-day was no exception, although we didn’t get though as many scary movies as we usually do; we watched three flicks, compared to the normal five or six. Probably because the first film, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, ran three and a half hours! Also on the roster were Identity and Untraceable.

    Aside from some dreadful “primitive tribal heathen” stereotyping early on, King Kong is an incredible film. There’s definitely a strong (albeit most likely unintentional) animal welfare message underlying Kong’s story, and it’s handled beautifully by director Peter Jackson and actor Naomi Watts. Jackson’s Kong is the last of his (her?) kind, living a life of solitude and loneliness on Skull Island – that is, until Carl Denham (Jack Black) and crew arrive in order to film a movie. Leading lady Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is kidnapped from her ship by the island’s natives and sacrificed to Kong (cue awful stereotypes), presumably to keep the “beast” happy, content, and out of their camp. Kong, instead of devouring Darrow, initially keeps her as a sort of “pet.” (Kong is taken with her comedic vaudeville stylings, it seems.) Darrow soon escapes, but finds herself lost on a prehistoric island filled with rampaging dinosaurs and giant bugs. Kong, distraught at his only companion’s disappearance, tracks Darrow down, just in time to save her from two raptor-like dinos. Once Darrow is safe, Kong skulks off, injured both physically (from the battle) and emotionally (at Darrow’s desertion). Whether from fear or compassion (or, most likely, a combination of both), Darrow rejoins Kong.

    Meanwhile, in the face of stampeding brontos and an angry Kong, Denham’s crew has abandoned their search for Darrow. Instead, they leave Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) to continue the search for Darrow (with whom he’s fallen in love), while the crew heads back to the ship in order to set a trap (unbeknown to Driscoll) for Kong, who’s sure to pursue the pair. Driscoll manages to find Kong’s den, which is littered with the bones of Kong’s long-dead relatives. Darrow is asleep in Kong’s palm; the two, who have formed a reciprocal, interspecies bond, watched the sun set and then nodded off together. Driscoll wakes Darrow, and the two attempt to sneak away without rousing Kong. Kong awakes in time to see the two creeping away together, and in the ensuing scuffle, a hoard of bats stir from their cliffside perch and attack the trio. Driscoll and Darrow manage to hitch a ride on one of the bats’ backs, and Kong runs after them in frenzied pursuit.

    Naturally, this is where the story becomes a tearjerker. Kong is tranquilized, captured and caged during his attempt to retake a regretful Darrow. Back in NYC, Kong becomes part of a grotesque monster display, wherein Darrow’s sacrifice to the beast is reenacted for the entertainment of “horrified” audience. Darrow, who during her time with Kong had come to recognize his humanity, intelligence and sentience, wants nothing to do with the circus act, so director/showman Denham hires a Darrow lookalike to play the part. Kong begins the show partially sedated; as he comes to, he initially starts at the blond actress: I know her! Kong reaches out to Ann – only to become enraged when he realizes that it’s an impostor. Now furious, he rips free of his shackles and storms New York in search of his Ann. On the streets, he scoops up any and every thin blond he can find, only to toss the women aside when he realizes they aren’t the ones he wants.

    Performing in a small, low-budget vaudeville hall, Darrow hears the commotion and runs towards Kong while throngs of flee in the other direction. Once Kong is reunited with his Jane Goodall, the two enjoy a few brief moments of reconnection. Kong, who hails from a tropical island, has never before seen ice or snow, and he delights in skidded across a pond in Central Park with Darrow perched safely in his hand. This playful scene is interrupted by a hail of gunfire; Kong, though he hasn’t intentionally harmed anyone (and is in fact a captive slave in the city, there against his will), must be destroyed! You probably know the rest: Kong is pursued by the police and military to the top of the Empire State Building, from which he is eventually gunned down.

    Kong dies for our stupidity, greed, selfishness and speciesism.

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    Witches and leopards and piggies, oh my!

    Friday, October 31st, 2008

    Happy Halloween, peoples. Shane and will be spending the day watching horror movies, good and bad (think Black Sheep and Poultrygeist), and chowing down on all manner of vegan junk food. (I’ll post the food porn in all its sugary goodness tomorrow, in my final VeganMoFo post.)

    I spent a few hours last week harassing the dogs with Halloween costumes and such (any excuse to dress up the furkids, right?); and, since I wouldn’t want their suffering to be for naught, here are the requisite festive holiday photos.

    Last year, I dressed everyone up as pirates and pumpkins. Not wanting to reuse the old costumes (oh no, that would be embarrassing, right?), I mixed it up a little this year.

    I only had one new Halloween outfit – a witch’s hat with black and orange pigtails – so everyone took a spin in the witch’s costume:

    2008-10-28 - Ozzy the Witch - 0005

    2008-10-28 - Ralphie the Witch - 0001

    2008-10-28 - Peedee the Witch - 0014

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    VeganMoFo, Day 8: Play with your food!

    Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

    I’ll be on drugs and/or in the dentist’s chair for most of the day today (thank the Saucy FSM for oral-conscious sedation, yay!), so I don’t have any VeganMoFo recipes or ruminations to post. Instead, I thought I might share some photos of the Liberty Corn Maze I took a few weekends ago.

     


    Discover The Rondelles!

     

    Shane loves the veggie mazes, and I usually just tag along to keep him company. I decided to try my brain at the shortest maze this time around, and actually managed to get us through it with minimum FAIL. We ended up solving 3 out of the 4 – all cooperative stylie – before the heat got to us. This is the earliest in the season that we’ve ever attended; normally, we procrastinate until the last weekend it’s open, which we’ve now realized is a really dumb idea. If you go earlier in the fall, you miss most of the crowds – and since you hit the maze before everyone else, it’s actually intact: no self-made shortcuts, trampled stalks or other cheating to be found. Imagine that.

    Now, I know that the Liberty Corn Maze isn’t directly relevant to vegan food, except that corn is a veggie that might otherwise be food, if we weren’t playing with it and all.

    But I ask you this: would you dare wander through a maze constructed of slabs of meat and dangling corpses? I think not. So why put that shit in your body, hmmm?

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    Dogs Deserve Better Holiday Activism Tip: Trick or Treat for DDB!

    Sunday, September 28th, 2008

    In the latest Dogs Deserve Better newsletter, PR Liason Dawn Ashby offers this special Halloween fundraising tip:

    Trick or Treat for DDB!

    If you and your children will be out “trick or treating” this year, have the kids create a donation box or bucket for Dogs Deserve Better. When knocking on doors ask the homeowner if he/she would like to donate to help dogs as you hold up the bucket and hand them a brochure.

    Whoever raises the most money and sends it in will be the lucky recipient of a “Puddles Pak” for their own “Puddle’s Party”! Whether you knock on doors, have a party at school, visit relatives, have an alternative to trick or treating party at church, it’s a fun way to raise money and get brochures into the hands of people. Or just create your own donation bucket and ask the local gas station or convenience store if you can place it on the counter through the month of October.

    If you are interested, please email kim [at] dogsdeservebetter.org and tell her how many brochures you will need along with your address. When donations are raised, send them to

    DDB,
    PO Box 23,
    Tipton, PA 16684

    with the amount raised and a picture/letter.

    Now my mind is reeling with ideas I can put a costume on my dogs and take them “trick or treating” for donations! Be inventive and help raise money for the dogs.

    Of course, this is also a great strategy to raise money for your favorite animal advocacy organization: dress up your dog or cat in her evening best (important note: only if she is amenable, and only if) to solicit donations for a local animal shelter or rescue group, or go full Halloween and dress her up as “farmed animal” in order to raise money for a farm animal sanctuary such as Farm Sanctuary or Woodstock FAS. Get creative – who can resist a cute mutt, hmmmm?

    If you’ll be the one handing out candy this Hallow’s Eve, here’s another idea: order some vegetarian starter kits or recipe booklets to hand out to trick-or-treaters with your (vegan) Halloween candy. That way, the little ones are happy, and you get to distribute some free swag – from the comfort of your own home, even. Win/win!

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    Tagged:

    My dogs hate Halloween. (Or so one would assume.)

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

    Just look at the shit I put ’em through:

    2007-10-18 - Ralphie the Police Dog - 0024

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    Must Scruffy suffer for your cheap-ass candy choices?

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

    Copied below is a press release from the animal welfare organization Dogs Deserve Better warning against leaving your dogs – and other companion animals – outside during Halloween.

    For more on keeping your companion animals safe this Halloween, see also…

    * ASPCA Offers Halloween Safety Tips For Pets at aspca.org

    * NO SCAREDY CATS THIS HALLOWEEN: TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS FOR PET PARENTS at aspca.org

    * Guard Against Ghoulish Goodies: Keep Your Pets Safe From Halloween Hazards at aspca.org

    * Halloween Safety at dogs.about.com

    * A Safe and Sound Halloween for Dogs at Bella Online

    I must note, however, that there’s no warning against dressing your mutt up like some kind of asshole.

    2007-10-19 - Peedee the Pumpkin - 0010

    Well, OK, so maybe there is. Just don’t tell Peedee that.

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    DDB: Non-profit warns of Halloween dangers to chained dogs

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

    For more on keeping your companion animals safe this Halloween, see also…

    * ASPCA Offers Halloween Safety Tips For Pets at aspca.org

    * NO SCAREDY CATS THIS HALLOWEEN: TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS FOR PET PARENTS at aspca.org

    * Guard Against Ghoulish Goodies: Keep Your Pets Safe From Halloween Hazards at aspca.org

    * Halloween Safety at dogs.about.com

    * A Safe and Sound Halloween for Dogs at Bella Online

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Tammy Grimes, Dogs Deserve Better – tammy [at] dogsdeservebetter.org
    Date: Oct 17, 2007 7:57 PM
    Subject: Non-profit warns of Halloween dangers to chained dogs: Plus, Holiday Cards

    Non-profit Warns of Halloween Dangers to Chained Dogs

    Asks caretakers to keep dogs inside every night-especially on Halloween

    Tipton, PA, October 12, 2007 — For dogs that are kept perpetually chained, a dark, autumn night is just another night to be cold, lonely and longing for affection. On Halloween, a chained dog may also have to fear for his life.

    Halloween is a particularly dangerous time for dogs that are kept chained outside, warns Dogs Deserve Better, a non-profit dedicated to ending the suffering endured by dogs that are kept perpetually chained or caged. At Halloween, the group frequently sees an increase in the number of dogs that are helpless victims of attack. Fireworks or rocks are sometimes thrown at them and more horrific crimes, such as dogs being set on fire, have occurred in recent years. In addition, chained dogs can easily become agitated by strangers in or near their yards. Dogs Deserve Better representatives have encountered incidents of dogs breaking free from their chains and attacking trick-or-treaters.

    Dogs Deserve Better works on numerous fronts year round to change minds and laws, educating about the dangers 24/7 chaining pose, both to dogs and to people, who can become the victims of chained dogs that grow angry, frustrated, or aggressive from their constant confinement and exposure to the elements.

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    WWF: Carve a Pumpkin for Conservation

    Friday, October 5th, 2007

    Too cute!

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: World Wildlife Fund – ecomments [at] wwfus.org
    Date: Oct 1, 2007 1:30 PM
    Subject: WWF: Carve a Pumpkin for Conservation

    Carve a Pumpkin for Conservation
    Going Wild With Pumpkins

    Photo via Johnny Huh

    This Halloween, show your support for conservation by displaying pumpkins carved with WWF nature-themed stencils!

    Want a jack-o-lantern this Halloween that all your neighbors will be talking about? These WWF nature-themed stencils make it easy and fun for the whole family to carve a great pumpkin… and creatively show your support of conservation! You can also win a prize for your creation by entering the Going Wild With Pumpkins photo challenge from Snapfish by HP if you visit www.snapfish.com: http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=V3DKfX24ff6OJBm6OJDfvQ..

    It’s fun and easy to participate!

    1. Download your favorite WWF Wild Pumpkin stencils from the HP Activity Center.

    2. Carve wild pumpkins with your friends and family.

    3. Shoot digital photos of your favorite wild pumpkin display.

    4. Upload your photos to Snapfish and share with the world.

    5. Vote on Snapfish for your favorite Wild Pumpkin photo and compete for a chance to win 100 different prizes.

    Get Stencils

    Upload Photos

    Learn more about Going Wild With Pumpkins, check out WWF’s 10 Green Halloween Tips and discover the ways that WWF is working to save wild animals and wild places.

    *****************************

    World Wildlife Fund
    1250 24th St. NW
    Washington, DC 20037-1193
    http://www.worldwildlife.org/index.cfm

    ———————

    Tagged:

    Happy Halloween (Animal-Friendly eCards & Safety Tips)

    Monday, October 30th, 2006

    I don’t plan on doing any blogging tomorrow, so…

    HSUS Halloweenie eCard

    Happy day-before-Halloween from Ralphie, Peedee, Rennie, Kaylee, Jaynee & Ozzy. And Shane & I, of course.

    To get into the spirit of things, go send your friends, family, and loved ones – omni and veg alike – an animal-friendly eCard from one of these veg*n/green orgs: HSUS; ASPCA; PETA; WWF; or Environmental Defense.

    Below the fold: some companion animal safety tips via Last Chance for Animals.

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