My name is Bronson Turner and this is my story. My mother was my best friend, she was the one that I could be myself with and she was the rock that protected me from a cold and harsh world. She taught me to cook and to love cooking from a very young age. I am proud to say that at the age of five I could make a kick-ass Spaghetti Bolognese. My mom was very strong willed and not very good with change, when I first brought my wife home I think she found it very difficult to comprehend that I no longer was the little boy that ran home to her so that we could make something for supper and forget how cruel the world was. To make matters worse Esme- my wife to be- was the anti-Christ: she was a vegetarian. Something that every parent in South Africa dread is that their child will bring home a Vegetarian. The thing that bound me and my mom was the very thing that separates her from Esme. I come from a family that is passionate about animals, we got into countless fights with strangers over cruelty to animals and hated the hunting industry with a passion, but we also love Sunday roasts and Kippers on toast. My mom was at a loss on what to do with someone who didn’t eat meat. My wife’s saving grace is that she loved two thing that the rest of the family refused to eat with my mother, olives and avocado.
My mom’s passing was a turning point in my life, it was both a death and a rebirth for me. A part of me died that day, I am left with a hollowness that can never be filled. It was also my rebirth. I was always worried about disappointing my mom and never went vegetarian or heaven forbid vegan. Esme (She is a lot more enlightened than I am) was at this stage a vegan. Shortly after my mom’s passing I sat up in bed and said to my wife that I bet I could be a vegan. That is more than ten years ago and I have not looked back since. I can just see my mother looking down on me making a lentil spaghetti Bolognese and telling the other moms that she taught me that.
The recipe of the week:
Lentil spaghetti Bolognese
2 cups red lentils
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 liter of Inna Paarman vegan ‘chicken’ stock
A pinch of dried Italian herb mix
Packet of pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil water and add the pasta to said water, salt the water and also add a bit of oil to prevent the water from boiling over. Cook until al dente.
Heat oil in a pan and add the cut onion and garlic to the pan, brown the onions. Add the lentils to the pan with the stock. Simmer until the lentils are soft.
Add the tomato paste.
You can now season the Bolognese with the herbs salt and pepper to taste.
Mix every thing and add a bit of olive oil.
Serve with a salad and bread.
The dish is a simple one and always reminds me of Rouché Turner- my mom.
Being vegan in rural South Africa
My wife and I have come to realise the most important thing to being a vegan is to have a great sense of humour and a well stocked wine rack. Our black South African Friends tend to view a vegan a creature to pity, as you can’t afford to eat meat, while their white counterparts tend to show you pictures around the dinner table of their adorable offspring massacring various small animals for sport. We have had many meals where we are told to not dig too deeply into the soup pot as all the veg tends to be on top and the meat hiding in shame has congregated to the bottom of the pot. If you dish up only the vegetables it’s vegan, isn’t it? – Yes! South African’s are THAT clueless about Veganism…
We have a couple of staples in our kitchen that makes our lives a lot easier.
First and foremost: Red wine. Lots of it! I am firmly of the belief that wine was invented to make the dull masses more bearable.
Secondly: the Fry’s range of soy “meat”. We are a nation that loves to braai or barbecue as it is known to the rest of the world. This meat range has allowed use to go to parties and place our offerings on the coal and not have to look at the sad expressions on fellow guests faces as we roast the proverbial carrot. It is also a great conversation piece and has led to many discussions on the cruelty of the animal product industry.
Thirdly is a range of stock powders from Ina Paarman. She makes veg, chicken and beef stock and all of these are vegan. I know you are reeling in horror at the thought of eating something that tastes like our bovine friends but trust me when you have made a pepper steak pie with her beef stock and soy chunks you will thank me.
Pepper steak pie recipe.
The idea for this pie came to me as a friend of mine was bitching and moaning about how much soya is actually in pies these days. Now I loved meat pies growing up and it was always a sore point for me that this was now out of bounds. So I came up with this very simple recipe.
You will need
How to make it:
Let your puff pastry defrost.
Boil the soy chunks in Water until they are soft. Add chicken and beef stock to the water. Do not boil the chunks in the stock they become like bullets.
Fry the onions and add to the stock mix, add salt to taste and then add the pepper. I love a lot of pepper but go with your personal taste.
Roll out puff pastry make pies to the size that you prefer and place in a pre heated oven. The oven should be 200 degrees Celsius. Check the pastry regularly, when they are golden brown then they are ready. Serve with a salad and an ice cold beer.
Authors: Bronson James Turner and Esme van Eck-Turner
We are Happy, we are Jolly, we are Creative, we are Vegan, we Live, we Laugh, we Cry, we Try... We make a difference... a small one... but we Try...