Fruit crumble, AKA, subject of next Nobel committee meeting.

A warm fruit crumble is such a great thing to throw nonchalantly on the dessert table, all “Yeah, no big deal, these items were laying around the kitchen” without seeming passive aggressive (i.e.: “This was just laying around the kitchen,” while trotting out a 3-foot croquembouche.).

The first fruit crumble I made wasn’t vegan.  It’s now a fuzzy memory of butter and flour, and was coincidentally the first thing I ever baked in my current kitchen–this was before my invasion, back when it was my boyfriend’s kitchen and I was stirring everything in a ceramic serving bowl.  It was so hot that afternoon that the butter seemed less like it was melting and more like it was dying.  (Blueberry crumb bar recipe from Smitten Kitchen here, if you’re so inclined.  Mine didn’t survive long enough to cut into individual “bars.”)

The next fruit crumble I baked was vegan.  This apple crisp from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan! was swiftly destroyed.  No butter, but sugar bordering on decadent.  While eating it for dessert, I was preemptively justifying it as “breakfast” because of the apples and oats.  In my house, breakfast is whatever I say it is.  This all brings me to a vital theoretical question: Is there a difference between a crumble and a crisp?  Let’s table this for the next Nobel committee meeting.*

Third fruit crumble: Gwyneth Paltrow’s vegan Flourless Anything Crumble from It’s All Good.  Hmmm.  This one.  This is really what we should be thinking when we’re thinking “dessert” if we want to look anything like Gwyneth Paltrow.

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For fruit I used apples and blueberries because they were the cheapest thing at D’Agostino (AKA Super Supreme Scam-ostino).  Gwyneth uses quinoa, but I substituted a larger portion of oats because it was on hand and filled out the topping substantially.  I do recommend tossing the fruit in some additional cinnamon to lend the flavors a little edge.  In summary: this recipe kind of feels like the skinny sister to the other two, who are by no means fat sisters, but this sister is just so discerning that the other sisters couldn’t even compete.

*As this HuffPost investigation would have it, everybody’s a little mixed up with their crumbles/crisps/etc.

Because vegans are special.

It all started sitting around the table at a vegan restaurant on a very cold day in January.  I was with my boyfriend and his parents during their first visit to New York post-eating animals, and everyone was possibly formulating his or her version of The Story of That Weekend Megan Was Vegan and preparing to laugh about it with some measure of relief in the not-too-distant future.  (Sorry, guys.)

My boyfriend’s father, a curious, and–shall we say–vocally robust orator, surveyed the packed dining room and asked us sincerely, “Are all of these people special people?”

It would’ve been a great moment for everyone in the restaurant to pause, throw off their napkins, and launch into a choreographed song-and-dance number titled “Yes, Indeed We Are.”

We laughed.  We still laugh.  He inadvertently touched on the touchy thing: that precious, look-at-me sensation I feel rising in my stomach every time I’m forced to confess that I am eating vegan.

Because I don’t want it to be a big deal.  It is not a big deal.  I want to be a low-key vegan who stuffs her face seamlessly every day among the masses.

Alas, it is kind of a deal.  When you willingly choose to eliminate the delicious meats, cheeses, and eggs that comprise a hefty share of our collective culinary attention, people think you’re a little funny.  Or totally out of your mind.  Or neurotic or a buzzkill or great, big pain in the ass.  Or special.  You’re undoubtedly special.

To my amusement and displeasure alike: vegans are special.  And the goal of my immediate future, or, at the very least, this blog, is to contend with that fact.

Thanks for reading, and don’t be afraid to pipe up.

Love,

Megan