Friday, December 09, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: The Tipsy Vegan by John Schlimm

I may always remember 2011 as the year the world went vegan. I didn’t, but enough people did that January Magazine saw a record number of books roll in on that topic. According to our editor, January saw more vegan cookbooks than any other single topic.

What does it all mean? Though I could go into a deep philosophical monologue on the the long-term impact of the 50 Mile Diet and other reverberations of the local organic movement, that’s not what I’m getting at here. No: what I’m thinking about with The Tipsy Vegan (Da Capo) in my hands is that for the many, many people who turned to veganism in 2011, this holiday season is going to be super hard. Or it was, rather, until John Sclimm’s whimsical new book showed up. Schlimm explains:
You see, it’s always Happy Hour here in the Tipsy Vegan world. And everything you need to party is now right at your fingertips, whether you’re getting home at the crack of dawn, power lunching, hosting a backyard blow-out…
Or, as it turns out, a Christmas party. Which with a late November publication date, I’m fairly certain the publishers did not miss.

Schlimm’s book is whimsical, sure. But it does offer truly vegan alternatives in a happy, party package. There are surprisingly few drink recipes here: food with booze is what it’s all about. Some of it is silly. But considering the whole tofu-based culture that veganism has a reputation for, it’s been interesting to see it all broken out. Face it: do I really need to eat spaghetti laced with marsala or vermouth? Do I require snap peas cooked in sherry? And does anyone on the planet want hummus made with rum or baba ganoush made with Scotch? But the idea of it all is freeing. Not your everyday vegan cookbook then, you’ll have gathered that. But a party waiting to happen: just add booze and stir. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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