Living in Fear of Vegans
One of the unexpected side effects of our move to the Middle of Nowhere was the expansion of my role as the Lovely Assistant for Peter Cox Photography. Up until the move, being the Lovely Assistant was a seasonal gig, limited chiefly to art and craft fairs. A couple of weekends a year plus the month of December.
The move gave Peter the opportunity to offer workshops. Being the Lovely Assistant morphed into a second job with diverse responsibilities and deliverables. I answer the phone, book workshops, and do other general office duties. I'm also the chef, responsible for making dinner for workshoppers.
After I got over my fear of cross-contamination and spreading food-bourne illness to the students, I found that I enjoyed the cooking. It's easier on the weekends and sometimes, when I have extra time and motivation, I even bake muffins or some sort of dessert.
When we take a workshop booking, we always make sure to ask if the person has any dietary issues or restrictions. One time, Peter forgot to ask and it turned out that the guy was a vegetarian. Luckily, the subject came up at breakfast and it was shopping day, so I was able to make a nice pasta dish.
I've been fortunate so far that the students have been very un-fussy. Most people quite cheerfully claim they will eat whatever is put in front of them, and they do. A few students have had minor allergies or food aversions, but it has all be very easy to accommodate them.
I was thrown into a bit of a tizzy when we had a celiac sign up for a workshop. We got through it fine, by relying on simple and plain foods. It's amazing how wheat gluten can turn up in the most unlikely places, such as ketchup or ice cream. Having had the experience, I'm now confident of being able to prepare dinner for a celiac.
All that's left is vegans. I live in fear of the day that a vegan books a workshop. Vegans are a big mystery to me. I love cheese and cannot imagine a life without it. Peter jokes that if ever do get a vegan, we can send them outside to eat grass. Somehow, I don't think that's really going to fly with a paying customer.
I'm probably worrying for nothing. I imagine it's rare enough in Ireland, as vegetarianism has only really become socially acceptable in the last ten years. Still, I feel like I should prepare for the possibility. Do a few drills. Learn a few vegan recipes.
Anyone have a favourite vegan recipe to share?