California, Massachusetts, and Gnocchi

I am by no means a world traveler, but I am certainly not a hermit. I’m a native of Wisconsin (US) yet have gone to states such as California, Colorado, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Florida just to name a few. In addition to this I had the very fortunate opportunity to live in Germany for a month with a school exchange. Every single time I travel to one of these places my absolute favorite part is the food, forgetting for a moment the amazing sites. Germany had the biggest difference in food, with freshly made bread, a plethora of fruit and vegetables, and a variety of desserts at every meal. Not to exaggerate anything, but it was truly heaven in my mouth.

When I used to travel the states, the food was less intriguing but that doesn’t mean any less looked forward to. Since I began eating vegetarian more often this has taken on an entirely different tone. I was just on vacation, which hopefully helps explain the gap in blogs, to California followed by Massachusetts. At an Airbnb in California I had the opportunity to live in the house of a man who was entirely vegan for several days. It was pleasant to have the constant reminder of my end goal throughout the house, and helped me choose to eat vegetarian for the four days I was in California. At restaurants, I would remember the house I was returning to, and would choose the vegetarian option when there was one. This was made easy by the impressively large number of vegetarian options available in California, something I have taken for granted on previous trips. I truly wish my home state of Wisconsin had even half the number of vegetarian options as California does.

Massachusetts on the other hand was an entirely different situation. I was there for six full days to visit my girlfriend for her spring break, so I was staying at her university but given the break, the dining halls were closed. What this meant for us was we were able to choose and cook our own food, and it was absolutely delicious. Various pastas greeted my lips, and I was able to eat vegetarian all but one day. I was quite disappointed in myself for the slip up after, but at the time I was entirely hungry and chose a burger instead of something vegetarian. It was a small mistake, brought on because of the relatively limited vegetarian menu at the restaurant, but a mistake nonetheless. Come the following week, we had the chance to eat in the dining halls which hosted a generous vegetarian menu. This is where I discovered something that changed my world, gnocchi.

For those of you who do not know, gnocchi consists of “various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients.” The gnocchi I devoured was coated in a delicious cheese sauce and made my mind wander to wonderful places. My mouth was in ecstasy. I cannot even begin to describe the change gnocchi made to my life. Although I had enjoyed vegetarian dishes quite a bit, nothing fully vegetarian has come close to being this enjoyable. The nice part about gnocchi too is that with a simple change of sauce the dish becomes something entirely different so the options are limitless. I have every intention of making gnocchi as often as I can, and I expect you can look forward to a post about a homemade recipe next week.

Vegetarianism has never been quite so delicious.

The Part Time Vegetarian

 

Nice Weather – Gardening

There is nothing quite like nice weather to finish up being sick. It clears the air, your lungs, and most of all motivates me toward productivity. It is impossible to compare to after a long winter and I would regret it greatly if I didn’t take advantage, so I began planning out my garden. You see, 2 years ago I built a simple garden box that was 4′ by 8′ and since then have been experimenting each year with various produce. With it being so nice out, I began planning again with my new vegetarian diet in mind.

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It is time to expand I have decided, so these are the first of many seeds I will purchase this season, but it is a great start. I chose three different spices that I love, but additionally can be dried with relative ease and used throughout the year. These three include thyme, parsley, and rosemary but I plan on adding a few more to this small list. The plan this season is to build a smaller garden box for spices behind my current box, and it will be able to house many more herbs, preferably all which I can use throughout the year.

Within the box I built several years ago I plan on planting numerous tomatoes. It seems that regardless of how many I grow, there are never enough for those in my house. To hopefully help with this I plan on growing several plants, as well as several different varieties to be used in different dishes. Along with these tomatoes, I plan on growing sugar snap peas, and carrots as well, as these are always delicious. There is nothing that compares to fresh, homegrown vegetables.

Additionally, the side of my house hosts a larger plot of land, although with a little less soil, so I hope to build this garden up more and fill it with potatoes. Filling this entire garden with potatoes would be quite excessive though, so as I continue on there I plan on adding other fruit or vegetables, likely some pumpkins and cucumbers. This entirely depends on the number of raspberry bushes which have intruded into the garden this year, as this makes the space fluctuate greatly from year to year, and they are too delicious to remove.

In the coming weeks I will be traveling to California, then to Massachusetts so my blogs may be random, but once I get back I will begin planting some of the larger plants inside. It helps them greatly in growing I have learned, and helps induce a longer growing season if they are allowed to sprout earlier, and I hope to get the most I can out of this season! I look forward to keeping everyone updated, and eating the produce of my labor.

Until Next Time,

The Part Time Vegetarian