Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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This is Day 22 of Veganuary, a 30-day pledge to eat vegan to save the planet. Today, it’s a regular riff on Mondays = weekend leftovers, as well as a few precious tips on how to connect with your house mouse.
After a very restful night (and lots of dreams), I have a look around in the kitchen. Granola? Porridge? Yogurt? OK, the latter is a lie. I very rarely eat yogurt at breakfast, except on granola, and I don’t feel like granola. I might feel like butter on toast, but I can’t have that. Boiled eggs are a no-go too. That’s when I spot the three last slices of Danish sourdough spelt bread. Top shelf. Done deal.
With crunchy almond butter as a base layer, I savor some of my dad’s delicious quince jelly but the almond butter’s too runny and the whole thing’s a big runny mess. Not practical. Next toast, marmelade. Marmelade doesn’t run, right? No it doesn’t, but it tastes funny with almond butter. Oh well. Breakfast over.
Time to connect with my house mouse.
First, I feed it properly because I don’t feed junk food to my house mouse. What, don’t all people want to feed their house mouse properly? Based on the various noises around the kitchen and holes in bags, our house mouse likes: rice crackers, rice flour, black beans (dehydrated) and my swim bag. Maybe not in that order. So, it’s a vegan mouse, which is a plus in Veganuary.
Physically, it’s a fast and furious mouse. I gather it’s gotten some training, running around behind the radiators, and when it crosses the kitchen floor from radiator to freezer, it probably cruises at 100 mph. Also, ours is either a deaf or an insanely bold mouse. I’ve played 10 minutes of cat meowing sounds from YouTube (loudly) and it doesn’t care a bit. Not one little bit. I do. It’s quite annoying.
Last but not least, it’s a clever mouse. Check this out.
I have no clue.
We have set up two traps so far. One lovingly made by my 12-year-old, one lovingly made by some random humane trap company dude. Guess they’re too loving. Neither works.
Meanwhile, the house mouse is enjoying the high life munching away in the kitchen. Absolutely no manners, it’s super noisy.
Last week, I figured the gentle folks on the Veganuary Facebook group would have advice on the mouse front. So far, the recommendations are:
All this mouse trouble (plus work) leads me to lunch. As I said, Mondays are for leftovers.
Chili sin carne with polenta? Day 20 leftover, check.
Apple crisp? Day 15 leftover, check. Wait. Day 15. Shouldn’t the Health & Safety Advisory Board get rid of the last container of apple crisp sitting in the fridge before it becomes a bio-hazard?
My 12-year-old eyes the display on the kitchen island and sighs. “I really wish there were vegetables to eat,” she says. “It’s all starch.”
By golly, she’s right! I don’t even feel like more starch, completely bloated after lunchtime’s chili sin carne.
I make a spinach, apple and avocado salad for myself. My 12-year-old eats an avocado with red rice and my 14-year-old, barley soup.
Because I’m craving something sweet, I pop open the box of chocolate chip cookies I’ve made on Saturday. I wish I could say that they’re nice but they’re not. Their only redeeming quality is the abundance of chocolate chips (I doubled the quantities) and the fact that the recipe called them cookies.
Good vegan cookies are still a myth as far as I’m concerned. I get that I can make pancakes or crepes without eggs and milk. I can make coconut butter energy balls without dairy. Maybe I can even make chocolate mousse without eggs. But cookies and cakes without butter? Beats me.
As Margaret Wise Brown wrote in the children’s classic, Goodnight Moon:
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
And goodnight brush
And goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush”
Good night noises everywhere