Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Judge's Bench Lunch and My Once-Yearly Ice Cream Exception!

Ack!  I'm so behind on blogging!  I'm just going to skip Friday altogether to try to help get caught up.  Rest assured, I ate that day ...  In fact, I went out with friends to an Ethiopian restaurant for a birthday celebration Friday night.  But because I was out with friends I didn't take any pictures.  And the two photos I had from earlier in the day were quite boring - a chocolate banana protein shake (that looks just like that one!) and sauteed tofu, broccoli, and edamame (which will be the exact same as a picture from Sunday because I had the same thing again).  Whoa ... .whirlwind recap there. 
But Saturday was a much more picture-filled day because Josh and I headed out to lunch at Judge's Bench in historic Ellicott City.  I went to this place once before for a Baltimore Vegan Drinks, but hadn't been back since.  Fortunately, Josh's new car's 30-day check up was nearby, so it was the perfect opportunity to go back. 
Inside the place is the typical bar scene ... you would never know the menu hides so many vegan options!  In fact, I'm pretty sure none of those old guys at the bar even notice the little "v"s floating around the menu. 
Since we were only having lunch, we steered clear of the many local beers they offer on tap.  But otherwise we thoroughly embraced the idea of "bar food". 
I found myself torn between the vegan buffalo wings and the veggie burger, so I decided to combine the two and get a burget with buffalo sauce!  It was delicious.  And it's been ages since I've had buffalo sauce, so I licked up every last drop!  The burger came with a side of home made BBQ chips, which weren't really my favorite ... but I definitely appreciate the idea that they made their own chips! 
For dinner that night Josh and I actually made tempeh, shiitake mushroom, and cornmeal dumpling stew for his parents at their house to celebrate his Dad's birthday.  No pictures, because I was too concerned with getting dinner done on time in someone else's house. 
Dinner came out well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Josh's parents also made corn on the cob and marinated tomatoes for the side.  But the most significant thing about dinner is that Josh's mom made blackberry ice cream for dessert. 
Every year at the end of July when blackberries are perfectly in season Josh's mom goes to pick her own blackberries and make this ice cream.  It's the most amazing ice cream ever created.  And it only happens once a year.  Back in January when I decided to become vegan, I thought about what would happen when late July rolled around.  Would I eat it?  Would I have to pass?  I actually agonized about it for months.  Until finally I decided that creating an exception for this perfect dessert was just fine. 
If I wanted to argue more for my ideals, I could remind myself that the same amount of ice cream is made either way, and all I'm doing is stealing some of everyone else's portion.  But I don't even care about my ideals when it comes to this stuff.  Sometimes you just have some food that you don't want to give up.  And this is mine. 
Until next year, blackberry ice cream!

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