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HELP! There's a VEGAN Coming For Dinner!



Posted 4/22/2014

I have friends who love cakes and cookies, ice creams and mousses, sweet treats and desserts. These are the friends who, when invited for dinner, invariably say “Can I bring dessert?” Sometimes I say yes, simply because it saves me the trouble of making a sweet treat which I probably wouldn’t eat anyway. Even before I metamorphosed into an “as close as I can sensibly get” vegan, I tended to avoid desserts. I’m lactose intolerant, and my gall bladder was removed after going mad, so cream was a BIG no-no for me. I’m the only person I know who’s spent a week on a cruise ship and not eaten a single dessert. Not because I was trying to be “virtuous” (as my mother-in-law would put it), but because sweet things simply don’t “do it” for me. Give me a simple bar of dark vegan chocolate every now and again and I’m quite content. Or a bag of salted potato chips – now that would make me happy! So why did I find myself sitting in a parking lot on Sunday wolfing down a donut as if my life depended on it? Personally, I blame the National Capital Region (Ottawa) Vegetarian Society’s facebook group.

Over the past few weeks there have been various posts on the NCVA page showing donuts made by Auntie Loos (, which is a vegan bakery in Ottawa. The reviews accompanying the photos and links were super positive, and obviously the donuts are a huge hit. Somehow this idea of “donuts=good!” implanted itself into my subconscious, ready to spring out at an opportune moment. That moment, as it turned out, was on Sunday afternoon.

Before I go any further, let me get my excuses in place to rationalise this sudden need for a sugar-and-fat overload. On Saturday Alan and I drove to Toronto to deliver groceries to our youngest son (no explanation is going to be offered to explain why he didn’t go and buy his own. Kids, eh?) and to see Arrabel at the Panasonic Theatre. (Memo to self - when going to see a play totally explained in the form of dance, read the synopsis before the play starts!) On Sunday we got up bright and early to view rental properties with our eldest son who is looking for somewhere new to live in York in September. There were questions I really wanted to ask the landlords but somehow managed to hold back, such as “What the feck is that SMELL?” and “How old is that “bed”?” and “Where’s the window?” and, more than all the others, “Would you let your child live here?” The first property we saw had two police cars sitting outside. One of the officers explained that usually there would only be one car, but he and his partner had been lucky enough to get one each on Sunday. I’m not sure that made me feel any better! I was definitely feeling a little stressed by the time we had viewed the available rooms and declared them all to be unsuitable. Next came the trial of fitting the contents of a student’s room, along with 3 people, into a car and then closing all the doors. We managed to do so, but it took some snarling at each other to achieve it.

So, after hitting the road and heading back to Ottawa, we stopped at a service station to get some liquid caffeine to assist us on our journey. Hubby and son both wanted a donut, and as I stood at the counter the subliminal message planted in my brain (Donuts! Yum!) leapt into action. I heard myself order a chocolate dip donut for Alan, an Easter donut for son #1, and a maple dip donut for myself. I was a little surprised, but paid the cashier and took my treasures back to the car. Before I even sat down, my donut was gone. It was sugary and maple-y and cakey and fatty, and I loved every bite. However, as I folded up the empty bag, the thought hit me. “I bet that wasn’t vegan!!” It was then that I realised I had absolutely no idea how to make a donut. Do they contain eggs? Butter? Does the icing contain milk? Obviously it was too late to worry about it since the donut was well and truly gone by this point, but I vowed to check it out after I got home. I googled the Tim Horton’s webiste and their helpful document ( quickly pointed out the error of my ways. Their donuts are vegetarian, but not vegan. Doh. So, the next time I get the urge to indulge in a something of a donutty nature, I’ll be heading off to Auntie Loos to sample her vegan treats. However, given that the donuts I’ve eaten so far have been at least 10 years apart, I don’t think I’ll be going there for a while!

Karen :)