A Mini Adventure in Raw Apple Pie

Due to the magic of the internet I started 2018 off right, by receiving an email in error from an Italian woman gifting me with three raw vegan recipes.

The second of those is a raw apple pie recipe and I was skeptical, but also intrigued, especially because I had a tip from the lady: “Yesterday I think I blended the apples too much. If you can shake them a little I think the “cream” might remain consistent.”

So I have no clue what she actually meant in her actual Italian version of this email by “shake them a little.” But. I tried.

I used a huge trifle dish or whatever the hell this horrible thing is. I bought it to make tiramisu in and I don’t know what it’s really for, but the point is that my pictures end up awful because the dish is always in the way.

But this is what it looked like:


lookit that masterful decoration there

I did not blend the apples too much.

Here’s my translation of the recipe:

Il Tortino di Mele


6 Apples
1 cup Raisins
1 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
12 Medjool Dates
3 tablespoons Coconut
1 or 2 tablespoons Cinnamon (adjust the quantity to taste)


Soak the dates for one hour. Soak the raisins for 15 minutes.

For the crust: blend the sunflower seeds in a food processor to reduce them to a powder. Place the sunflower seed powder in a small bowl. Next, use a food processor to blend the drained raisins in into a paste, and then mix with the sunflower seeds until a solid and homogeneous dough is obtained.

Spread the dough thus obtained in your monstrous trifle dish or something else suitable to hold the shape of a raw apple pie. The dough should have a thickness of about one centimeter and will serve for the base.

For the filling: use a food processor or a blender to blend the drained dates into a paste. Place blended dates in a medium bowl. Peel and cut the apples into reasonable slices, then place them in a food processor or a blender. Blend gently and not too much. Shake them a little. I guess. Add the apples to the dates and then add the cinnamon. Mix carefully so as to mix the ingredients and their flavours well. The whole thus obtained has to be poured over the previously prepared base and then leveled with a suitable spatula.

Add the coconut to cover everything. To finish decorating, arrange nicely sliced pieces of apple in a decorative fashion (see photo) (for what not to do).

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

I bolded the parts that are AMAZING thank you Google Translate and also the Italian Language.

What I didn’t leave in are that “soak the dates” is my translation from “put the dates in the bath” and once again I have to mention that the direct translation from Italian of “food processor” is “robot of the kitchen.”



I honestly don’t know if the apples were supposed to be blended more thoroughly than that, but the way I did it was pretty good. Surprisingly, with zero flour and zero vegan butter and zero cooking, this tasted like apple pie. It tasted like a simple apple pie that had gone in the fridge after cooking. I liked it.

Well, next up is the cheesecake.


A 2018 Mini Adventure

On New Year’s Day I got an email from an Italian woman that she was trying to send to her friend, but I guess our email addresses were similar so I ended up with it instead.

It went like this:


Ecco il pdf della ricetta della torta di mele. Ieri credo di aver frullato troppo le mele, se riesci a frullarle un pò meno forse la “crema” rimane più consistente..Ti allego anche la ricetta di una torta crudista al cioccolato che ancora non ho provato a fare ma sembra mooolto golosa…

Sotto trovi il link al sito di ricette crudiste da cui ho tratto quella del cous cous di cavolfiore + tante altre.. (a proposito mi sa che ho dimenticato l’insalatiera di vetro che lo conteneva. Non ho fretta di averla, alla prossima occasione..)


Dalla classica ricetta Nordafricana un couscous crudista a base di cavolfiore e ortaggi. Una meraviglia per la vista e per il gusto, scoprite la ricetta!

Grazie ancora per l’accoglienza e la gradevolissima serata. 

Di nuovo Buon 2018 a tutti.

In other words:


Here is the pdf of the apple pie recipe. Yesterday I think I blended the apples too much. If you can shake them a little I think the “cream” might remain consistent. I also attached the recipe for a chocolate cake that I haven’t tried yet but it seems soooo decadent.

Below is the link for the website I got a lot of raw recipes from, like the cauliflower cous cous (btw I know I forgot the bowl, I’m in no rush to have it back, next time).

Thanks again for the reception and the pleasant evening.

Again Happy 2018 to everyone.

So I checked out the recipes, using Google translate because though I am Italian I’m nowhere near fluent. As luck would have it, they’re all vegan. All of them. Also raw, which, I think, was more the point, but still. I’m always saying I could use more raw vegan in my life.

I replied and told her she got the email a little wrong but thanked her for the recipes anyway because I’m going to try them. I replied in English, and then she replied with “Hey sorry thanks for telling me enjoy the recipes there’s no gluten or dairy in any of them,” also in English, so I felt like a jerk for not trying to reply in Italian. But it’s fine. Google is a thing.

Look. This is perhaps the most magical thing that’s happened to me via email. And I’ve been offered jobs via email. A job I like, even, once. The first time I talked to my long lost brother was via email.


It probably has something to do with that one terrible guy who has texted me by accident twice now thinking I’m his (probably) terrible friend, telling him to date exclusively virgins, sometimes virgin sixteen-year-olds.

I keep meaning to reply one day pretending I’m someone he knows and say “Bro help I keep obsessing over whether the hotties all my friends are dating are virgins is there a support group do you know help me” or “Bro I’ve started dating this teenage virgin hottie but bro help if we have sex she won’t be a virgin anymore do I then have to dump her and find a different teenage virgin hottie but then if so the cycle starts again or I get arrested so what do, help.”

But I never get around to it.

The point is, someone contacted me by mistake and bequeathed three raw vegan and gluten free recipes and one of them is a chocolate cheesecake.

Thank you, internet.

Anyway. I’m going to blog the three recipes because unlike some people I could mention I’m not worried about anyone’s virginity status, and therefore I have lots of time to do things where otherwise I would be occupied thinking about who’s a virgin and who isn’t a virgin. Fancy that.

I’ve made the first one already! Technically I should have started with the apple pie, and then done the cheesecake, and then the cous cous, but I started with the cous cous because I’m a lot more excited about dessert so I figured I’d just get the vegetables out of the way.


For the cous cous:

1/2 of a cauliflower
Olive oil

For the toppings:

1/2 of a bell pepper
1/2 of an onion
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons olives
5-6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 T of peas
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
The zest of half a lemon

Blend the cauliflower with the food processor*** so as to obtain a grain similar to the classic semolina. Transfer the cauliflower couscous into a large bowl and season with cumin, turmeric, curry, salt, pepper and oil.

Cut the pepper, the onion into cubes (you can marinate it with salt and vinegar first), the tomatoes, the carrot and the celery. Add the capers, previously desalted, the peas (fresh or frozen) and the olives. Season with salt and pepper Add the cous cous to the dressing, top with the lemon zest and decorate with fresh mint.

***Food processor in Italian is “robot da cucina” which is pretty great news. A direct translation of that is “robot of the kitchen.”

I forgot the peas and cherry tomatoes. I also “forgot” the lemon zest and the mint (I was too lazy for that) but it would have been good. Even without those four ingredients, I actually liked this a lot. The fact that there aren’t any measurements for any of the spices meant that I just added until I liked the taste and I have to say, that makes a difference.


But if that’s what you like then go for it. It’s definitely missing a tang and that’s probably because I didn’t add the zest.

Well, that’s it for now. Next time is a raw apple pie. So. Yeah.

Confession Time

(The featured image today is Aurora singin’ with her critters because 100% that is me, in the woods behind our house, singing these stupid modified lyrics while surrounded by friendly woodland creatures. It happens. Shut up.)

I try, I really do, to not be obnoxious in the veganism. I’m relatively new at it, after all. Sure, I’ll judge OFAH and stuff, but otherwise I try to be nice and not easily offended by things so that the people around me start to lose the stigma of “vegan=humourless moralist.”

But. OK. So when “The Christmas Song” comes on, and it gets to the line about helping to make the season bright, I sing,

Tofurky and some mistletoe

Help to make the season bright.

I’m sorry. I don’t even eat Tofurky, but it doesn’t ruin the meter like “just scads of Christmas cookes, French toast, scalloped potatoes, lasagna and I guess some mistletoe but that’s kind of not important” would.

It’s a thing I do often, actually. I rewrote some of the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” which is about pestering an apparently chastity-committed Catholic girl into sex. I changed it so it’s from her perspective.

You think not having morals is badass and so great

You say you’d laugh with sinners and scoff at the saints

But there’s Hitler and Stalin and Pot and Hussein

Not all sinners are that much fun

Some of them made the good die young

-this next part gets wailed-


Now are you even sure you’re into me,

Don’t alienate me from my family.


It’s a catchy song so this way I can sing along to it, just this part though, without getting mad about random Catholic girl fetishism and, like, blatant coercion. TBC the church needs to get over itself on this and many other issues but no means no, Billy Joel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with her reasoning because her reasoning is based on weird misogynistic sex-negative beliefs about human nature, it’s HER BODY.

Also I don’t for a second buy that he’s concerned about her sexual freedom in the name of feminism or out of concern for her as her own person. Dude’s looking for a naive girl to manipulate so he doesn’t have to actually navigate a relationship with someone he respects.

(I don’t care if the point is that she wants to have sex too and just needs a bit of cajoling I AM SO DONE WITH ROMANCE NARRATIVES EVEN IN SONG FORM THAT PULL THIS WHINY SHIT GIVE ME ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT OR I WALK.)


I want to rewrite the entire song from her point of view but it’ll take too much time uuuuuugh I’m so laaaazy.

And “Cheerleader.”

Ooh, I think that I’ve found myself a cheerleader

She has literally no wants and needs of her own.

I tried.

Not really.

Sorry Paul McCartney, but…

Well she was just seventeen,

Well you know what I mean.

(What I mean is that I’m a pedo-FY-YULL.)

How could I be expected to not act creepy (WOOOOH) when I saw her standing there.

“You know what I mean,” is the part that gets me. It just sounds so lecherous and leering, fetishising of the young as well as just kind of creepy, and it’s out of place in a song that is otherwise apparently a simple song about meeting someone at a dance and falling in love.

Why not: “We were just seventeen,/well you know what I mean.” Problem solved.

And after the election I rewrote “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria.”

How do you get a woman into power?

How do you get the jerks to come around?

(I skipped a chunk here)

You just need someone who’s a bit like Thatcher,

A bit of a fascist

And maybe like Palin:

A clown.

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell them (the electorate),

Many a thing they ought to understand,

But how do you make them stay;

See the truth in what you say,

Get them to take the pill and keep it down?

Oh how do you get a woman in to poweeeeeer,

if she’d actually be awesome… at the… jooooooob.

(And Sister Margaretta comes in with the alternative lyrics harmony)

And be way better than the guy they chose insteeeeeeeeead.

I don’t know guys I’m bored a lot.

Also three rewrote some lyrics for “Would You Still Love me the Same” because the song offended her, making the singer do increasingly horrible things and still expect to be loved unconditionally.

If I stole all your cash, if I burnt down your house,

Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

If I punched a puppy, if I murdered your mom,

Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

(why the two of us get annoyed enough at ridiculous song lyrics to reference genocide and murder is beyond me but I guess it has something to do with the fact that we go all in on things we feel moderate distaste for)

PS: don’t try singing along with these. There are lots of extra syllables and/or the meter is all off.

❤ erm

Emily’s Best Christmas Present Ever: Whoo Boy

emily's best christmas present ever

oh my goodness


I found this on my bookshelf a while ago. It was written for me when I was in Grade 1 or something by two Grade 3 students who were my reading buddies. It felt vaguely familiar as I was reading it, but there are definitely things in here that went completely over my head (and, most likely, they went over the authors’ heads too) when I was little.

But it’s delightful so I’m writing a blog post about it. Merry very early Christmas.


So, first of all, excuse my pictures. I was too lazy to not do this while giggling on my bed, and the result is that they’re all really badly cropped and whatnot but it’s fine.

Next, we have to wonder whether the main character is supposed to be me. She does kind of look like me. Honestly, even the parents look a bit like my parents. And if so, it’s lovely that in a book written about me for me, the authors chose to portray my family as being too poor to afford milk. That’s a really fun and not stressful at all imagination game.

Milk is bad anyway, family, no worries.


Page 2 was just Emily’s mom yelling at her that they’re going on a walk. So here’s page 3, on their walk through a dystopian nightmare without any trees or plants at all. And if it’s supposed to be near Christmas, well, I guess they’re also too poor to afford outerwear.

I’m sure the subject of poverty will be treated sensitively by the authors. I can tell by how Emily says sadly that she wants to live in a house “like that,” which probably means, a house that people who can afford milk can afford.


For dinner, they had little pieces of bread.


I’m not going to touch the continuity error. The miserable dinner is enough for me on this page.



You know what. I’m not going to say anything.


I think the authors were heavily influenced by every Christmas special ever in which some lucky kid gets to go with Santa to do his grueling job. Also, Santa has a beard on this page.


Everyone is bug-eyed on Christmas morning, seems legit.

I do have some questions.

Why are they running downstairs if they’re expecting there to be nothing under the tree?

Also why is that chair so horrible.

Also the dad needs a better outfit. Hopefully one of his presents is an outfit that doesn’t match his chair.

Also I approve of the overalls, which are what Emily is wearing on this page, I assume.


Oh wow, that new chair is even worse than the other one, and it matches the dad’s outfit even more and I’m exponentially more horrified by that and also the fact that Emily changed her sensible overall outfit into a dress that ALSO matches the terrible furniture.

And the wrapping paper changed colours. It’s the magic of Christmas day.


Poverty solved, everyone! Just learn how to build a house, and then if you have lots of kitchen supplies you can eat stuff that isn’t just pieces of bread. Also a doll.

Honestly, though, it’s pretty much on par with every well-meaning Christmas thing that tries to tackle this subject. Remember Billy in The Polar Express? What was that? Why was that? And that was made by professionals! Professional adults! Talk to my sister about it, she has the bluntest takes ever on that aspect of that movie.

Anyway. Hopefully this year is the best Christmas ever to all of you who celebrate it. And to those who don’t, hopefully your December 25th is still really really good. And also, it’s kind of early for Christmas wishes but I’m not even sorry.

And thanks very much to Krista and Amanda. Ladies, you are amazing. Thanks for being my reading buddies. And also for writing me into a story in which my family is destitute and basically starving but it’s OK because Santa fixes it with tools and a how-to book on home construction.

AND. It’s the giving time of the year. Inspired by this story and its extremely naive take on poverty, I’m reminding me and you that food banks exist! They’re easy to give to because many grocery stores have bins for donations all year round, and I basically live at the grocery store so, cool. Check out their most-needed lists.

(Also, as someone who works at a non-profit I can tell you that financial donations are always the bomb) (seriously, cash is good) (non-profits have bills to pay and as nice as it is to get the stuff on the wishlist – and as easy as it is for people to do that if they happen to be at a store with bins or if they happen to be cleaning stuff they don’t need out at home – cash is the most useful thing)

Ranty McRantface

Spoiler: It’s about being a quiet person and the aggravations inherent therein. Pirates, ye be warned. (I know that doesn’t make any sense but that part from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie just popped into my head so whatever.)

Also I’m using the term “quiet” because in my experience there are two types of people: the people who say, “She’s just quiet,” as a way of understanding what my deal is, and then there are the people who say, “You’re shy and that needs to change.” I think both words have negative connotations but I’ve had better luck with “quiet” so “quiet” it is.

A thing happened to me at work that I guess I’ll talk about, but first I have to explain that this specific thing is part of a long list of things that have happened to me throughout my life, mostly earlier on, mostly by various educators. The thing usually goes like this: someone who barely knows me but who is in a position of authority over me will get it in their head that I’m “too quiet,” and that I need to be fixed. They will then dig in their heels, refuse to budge on anything they might be doing on their end to contribute to said quietness, and will instead deliberately put me in different, anxiety-heightening situations that are supposed to “toughen me up” and this is all “for my own good” and will make me “come out of my shell.” A teacher once told me that he “picked on” me a lot because I was so quiet. And I smiled and laughed a little bit and then went home and imagined all of the horrible ways he might die so that I wouldn’t have to deal with him the next morning.

All right, I don’t think it ever got as far as wishing death on people, but I have noticed that the correlation between all of these people who take this special, particular, SUPER FREAKING FLATTERING interest in changing my personality 100% is that they are all astonishingly horrible at their jobs. But. That might just be my bias talking. But. It isn’t. Because I’ve always checked my experiences against my peers’ experiences with them and they’re always terrible, even with the social butterflies, so maybe there really is something in there about being so closed-minded and unapproachable and lacking in basic empathy that it makes you just all around incompetent. And they are certainly never as charming as Tigger. But I don’t talk much so I GUESS THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL NEVER DISCOVER MY IMPORTANT FINDINGS.

What happened was that Disney was in town holding a workshop on improving and excelling at customer service. My organization sent the entire customer service department, and they had one extra spot open. I’m assuming they deliberated over who else to send, and there were probably some choices that made sense, but for whatever reason none of them could go. So then they considered me.

I do interact with the public almost every day, as do other people in my department, but we’re given very little guidance, so sometimes my coworkers will brush peoples’ questions off very rudely and I’m sure that makes us look really great, and makes people really want to give us money. So for that reason, having someone from the animal department go to learn customer service strategies made plenty of sense.

I’ve also always wanted formal customer service training. I’m a good listener, and even though I often try to fight it because it’s exhausting, my first instinct whenever someone approaches me is to listen to what they’re saying and look beyond that to try to understand what they’re feeling so that I can see the situation as fully as possible from their point of view. That’s always the worst when someone accosts me who has neglected their animal in some way, because after listening to whatever sob story they give me my entire soul hurts because most of these people don’t mean harm but they did so much harm and reasonably they should have known better uuuuuuuuuuuugh why

I think my point was going to be that I think, ironically, my quietness makes me a naturally good customer service person, despite the fact that it isn’t in my job description. I’m so interested in strategies for deescalation and conflict resolution that it’s not even funny. So when I was told I could go if I wanted, I was very excited.

And also very, very offended.

Because they didn’t say “Oh we need your department to start working on this” or “Oh I know you have a keen interest in this topic” (TO BE FAIR no one knows I have a keen interest because I didn’t say it ever). No, instead, they said, “Because it’ll give you tips and tricks to get over your shyness.”

So first of all, obviously no. Obviously, a customer service workshop isn’t going to completely change a person’s personality and it isn’t even going to try. I knew that at the time, and after the workshop I knew it even more. They did mention that their hiring process is very focused on picking the right people for the image they want to portray, but even then, what the dude said was “We hire happy people,” not, “We hire outgoing people.” I don’t know about you, but I for one have met many, many outgoing people who have absolutely horrible people skills. Like, atrociously horrible. Of course I’ve met quiet people with awful people skills too but I think whether you have people skills or not is not based on whether you’re quiet or outgoing, introverted or extroverted. It’s likely more about who taught you what along the way.

I’m pretty sure Disney would never hire me. I’m too stiff. But I do endeavour to be friendly all the time, and that usually comes easy to me. I also am well aware that I come across as intimidating and guarded to some people, and I consciously work at limiting that (because I am the least intimidating person on the planet. I mean I got sad pulling a cuterebra out of a kitten’s face because it’s just a baby fly trying to live it’s life). And with that in mind, I’m not entirely sure that anyone working closely with me could give me a report that clearly shows my work performance being negatively impacted by being a quiet person. Which makes me question why anyone feels the need to try to fix me at all.

At school it was one thing, where they claimed that the fact that I didn’t raise my hand meant that they had no way of knowing if I’d retained any information (to which I say: THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL OF THOSE TESTS AND ASSIGNMENTS THAT I ROUTINELY DID VERY WELL ON). At work it’s another thing completely.

This unwanted attention on an aspect of my personality that does, sometimes, get in the way, but is still something that I’m OK with overall, doesn’t do anything to help me improve my work performance. All it does is bring me back to memories of being a helpless kid at the mercy of all of these adults who did not and would not realize that a) I wasn’t going to change and b) that wasn’t the end of the world.

I don’t have a conclusion. I just wanted to complain here rather than go pay for therapy, mainly because if I were to go to a therapist I’d have to pick one that wouldn’t decide to try to cure my quietness. I will say that the customer service workshop made me want to go to Disney World which is no small feat because there are too many crowds and last I checked even their salads had steak in them which, just. Why. Also, I never saw any of the characters up close but I think I might actually drop dead if Rapunzel or someone talked to me. I’d be like Troy with LeVar Burton.


I’ve never related so much to a sitcom character.

Getting Scrappy on Facebook Again

The distant relation who I was gently pushing whenever he posted silly things – like being anti-safe space (I asked him – nicely – to explain what he thought the terrible real-world consequences of safe spaces are and he… didn’t), or pro-not actually charging college rapists (he stopped answering me when I cited the FBI’s 8% false rape claim number and linked him to that essay on rape by Film Crit Hulk), or refusing to acknowledge racism as a major factor in the US presidential election (that one ended with me assuring him that I know he isn’t racist – I know no such thing, of course, and generally people who pearl clutch at racism accusations are, at the very least, extremely uneducated on race issues but I thought he might listen to my point if I said it) – is currently taking to Facebook only to write vicious rants about customer service problems. So, first of all, that was a sentence. Also, what am I supposed to do with vicious customer service rants?

Thankfully, the opportunity to needle a complete stranger over social media arose just yesterday when my precious grandmother shared a pro-Obama meme. So. I’m writing a blog post about. It.


First take a moment to admire the lazy way I blacked out “sensitive” information. I don’t even use my real name on Facebook but I am making a very unattractive face in my profile picture. So. You’re welcome.

My grandparents have a joint Facebook account, so obviously this Trump fan assumed it was my grandfather who posted it. But anyway. My reply is there at the bottom.

I do want to take a moment to try to understand what this person was getting at. I replied as though they were saying that Obama DID have scandals, assaults, and frequently mocked people with disabilities, but I suppose they meant that all of those accusations against Trump are false. Which is equally ridiculous. You can dislike Obama all you want, but maybe not because a) you are sure he did things that there’s no evidence he did, or b) you think all the negative press about Trump is fake. Think better thoughts.

Afterwards my dad and grandmother talked on the phone and as it turns out, they don’t know who this person is, even though they’re a Facebook friend and have the same last name. And then my grandmother replied to my comment, “Thank you. I am proud of you.” Which is both silly and precious. Because of all the things she could be proud of me for (there are SO MANY obviously), this is probably not the best one. But don’t think I’m belittling her by calling her precious. When she was my age, she had immigrated to a different country where she didn’t speak the language, dealt with the various hostilities involved in that, and she also had two terrible children, the first and most difficult of which was my father. And through it all she remains, to this day, impossible to say “No” to.

Anyway. She’s formidable. But unschooled in the art of dealing with callousness of people who think that because you’re not face-to-face, you can say whatever you like without consequence to someone else. And that is the story of the time I got to do something interesting on Facebook. I’m glad it ended there and didn’t escalate into 5000 word replies as it generally does.

Hey! If you have eons of time and are bored, let me know what you think about the usefulness of arguing with silly people on Facebook and other social media. I know the consensus seems to be that it accomplishes nothing. But. Still. Tell me.

❤ erm

(why is this so funny)

The Bee Movie is back. So I didn’t know this until just a few days ago, but apparently there was a meme where someone would comment on a post, but their comment would just be the entire screenplay of Bee Movie. I’m pretty disappointed that I never ran into that organically throughout my internet travels because that is just the kind of absurdity that would have made me laugh for hours.

Thankfully, my Youtube recommendations sent me to this whole new world of Bee Movie absurdity, and here are my favourites. I can’t help but share them, in case someone is out there who doesn’t see these as a complete waste of time.









People are getting existential. Now here are all of the variations on the Bee Movie trailer.




I just.

I have never seen Bee Movie and I never will. But this is making me laugh, so, cool.

(Something way more important: link.)