Crowdsourcing, Lemon Sex, and Giving the Carnies a VEGASM

When a friend puts out a crowdsourcing call for vegan appetisers and desserts, because she’s going to a ‘do’ and needs to arrive with one hand longer than the other*, you help, right? Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about (because you’re not a vegan). When said friend is a Princess, you respond with alacrity and a damn good recipe (which you may or may not have made up off the top of your head, assuming that the vegan world will provide workable equivalents for things like butter and cream).

When you then flub your typing and send said Princess a sweet pastry case recipe which includes ‘lemon sex’ instead of ‘lemon zest’…well, you die laughing and send it anyway.

Crowdsourcing and Lemon Sex

Here’s the thing; I’m not now, nor have I ever been, vegan. Or vegetarian. I was raised in a fully meaty, fishy, ex-living-things-are-good-food-if-they-taste-nice, foodie household. I relished the lifestyle then, and continued to embrace it, figuring that really, if it tastes good, it’s good to eat**. I didn’t question it too deeply, tending to stay away from videos and articles about the atrocious conditions in slaughterhouses, and quotes from workers who said how terrible they felt when they saw the pain in the eyes of the poorly-anaesthetised cows as they snipped off their legs with giant cutters – they made me feel bad. Which wasn’t good.

I was busy being a well-behaved, responsible foodie; making sure that I bought my chicken free range (because, as Husby pointed out to me in the shop the other day – you can SEE the scabs on the knees of the non-free-range ones, where they’ve lived their lives unable to walk around, sitting in the caustic of their own shite), and my eggs from happy farms, which had a comforting little Red Tractor seal of approval (meanwhile knowing that Red Tractor assures only the minimum standards, and that my friend who used to be a shepherd pretty much confirmed that the RSPCA rules are a PAIN to have to conform to, and no-one who is in commercial farming can EVER keep to all of the requirements because they’re impossible to maintain and still have enough time in the day to do all the things which need doing to ensure that the farm doesn’t go under…), and well, when I was out to dinner, it was the restaurant’s responsibility to ensure conscientious sourcing of food. Or not. Whatever.

Because it doesn’t matter sometimes. Right?


My Princess friend is one of those militant types – self-confessed and proud of it. She shared a campaign she was planning to join in with, and even in the face of my suggesting that perhaps she might like to adopt tactics which appealed to the carnies’*** better nature rather than ones which pissed them off and made them want to buy more burgers out of spite, she stuck to her guns and told me (politely) where to go. She is determined. Oy!

meat*I* don’t think that getting people’s backs up is a good way of promoting your cause. *I* don’t think that bully or shame tactics are helpful. *She* thinks that if it gives one person pause for thought, and makes them rethink their buying choices on the day, then it’s worthwhile.

We agreed to differ and left the topic behind us, as good friends as ever. BUT I can’t deny that the conditions afforded to animals in the food industry are nowhere CLOSE to humane, for the most part. And even if I try to shop responsibly by putting my pound towards ethically sourced meats as much of the time as I can (or can be bothered), the fact remains that by participating at all, I’m supporting the industry as a whole.

So there I stood, entrenched in omnivorousness and flexible ethics, in the face of a plea for food which my Princess and her husband could arrive with and be the only ones to eat, because the rest of the partygoers were carnies, and I thought “NO!”

Because if a person enjoys cooking (she does) and if a person is a militant vegan (she is), then a person can damn well take advantage of the opportunity to give those carnies a VEGASM and bring them something delicious which will blow their minds and help them to realise that life without meat can taste GOOD.

Jen suggested a fabulous pinwheel recipe (with the instruction to make double, because they disapper so quickly): spread hummus on a wrap, add baby spinach, sauteed mushrooms, roasted red pepper and black olives, roll up and slice into pinwheels; which was quickly decided upon as a winner for the appetiser.

I suggested a fruit tart. And then said the accidental ‘lemon sex’ thing about the pastry. But I thought that seeing as I know cooking, and I know flavours, even though I’ve never made this, it should work, right? So then I thought I’d be helpful and share the recipe (which I made up as I went (along with my experience and the funny conversation)) and see if anyone was foolish brave enough to give it a go.

And who knows – I might even try vegetarianism for a while, just to see how it goes and whether life still tastes as good, and my conscience rests any easier.


For the pastry:

8oz Plain Flour
5oz Butter (or vegan equiv)
2 tblsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon

For the custard:

1 pint almond/rice/soy/coconut milk
2 tblsp caster sugar
4 tblsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence (or the scraped-out seeds of a vanilla pod, if you’re fancy-schmancy)

For the topping:

Sliced fruits – the prettier the better

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest then sprinkle over three tablespoons of cold water and mix with a round-bladed knife until you have a lump. Knead briefly until it is a smooth pastry, then cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30-40 mins.

2. Grease and line your baking tin (a tart tin if you have one, and if not, a regular one – try to make sure it’s deepish, though) then remove your pastry from the fridge and roll it out until it’s approximately 1/8″ thick. Lift it on a rolling pin and place over your tin, lifting the edges to help the pastry settle into the corners. You do NOT want holes, and you do NOT want to have to re-roll the pastry, or it will go hard and horrible. Line the case with baking paper, fill with baking beans (or dried beans) and bake at 200C for 10-15 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the case is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. Use a couple of spoonfuls of your (whatever) milk to mix in with the cornflour and sugar to make a paste. Add the vanilla extract to the rest of your (whatever) milk and heat it until it is nearly boiling. Pour it onto the cornflour paste, slowly, stirring so no lumps form, then return the custard to the saucepan, over a low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens. Let it boil (still stirring) for at least a minute. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes (stirring intermittently) before pouring it into your pastry case and allowing it to start setting.

4. Once the custard is mostly cool, slice your fruits and dry them with kitchen towel (the moisture might split the custard otherwise) before arranging them on top of your tart in attractive patterns. Place the tart in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. Serve it alone or with (there’s bound to be some out there) vegan ice-cream or sorbet or something. Or the regular kind if it doesn’t bother you to do so.

5. If you make it – LET ME KNOW HOW IT WENT (and show me pictures).

Here’s to VEGASMS – may yours be plentiful, multiple and full of lemon sex.

*An Irish (so far as I can tell) saying – because the shorter hand you arrive with is carrying something to share with your hosts.

**With the proviso that all junk food tastes good because of overloads of sugar and salt and fat (which our brains are designed to enjoy and want more of, because anthropologically speaking, this ensures our survival in environments where these things are in short supply) and are NOT IN ANY WAY GOOD FOR YOU. Or me. Ever.

***That’s ‘carnivores’ (which includes omnivores, assuming that no diet in the western world is entirely devoid of plant matter), as opposed to ‘fairground folk’.

49 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing, Lemon Sex, and Giving the Carnies a VEGASM

  1. Thank you for your translations at the end. Canadians aren’t familiar w/the expressions you used, but, on the other hand, we talk about double doubles, tobaggans and touques. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!


  2. I am catching up! In bed with my tissues and cough drops. Brian said he’d take the kids if I swore I’d stay in bed, but I wouldn’t swear because I need to do laundry. But I am in bed at present.
    Actually, your whole opening is something I’ve been thinking about and discussing lately. Something happened (that I thought was hilarious but that your princess definitely would NOT) that got this whole debate on my mind.
    But I’m with you–(mostly) crunchy I may be, but I eat meat. I just try to buy the kind that’s been treated nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2014: Measuring the Moments | Considerings

  4. Love the title of this post. Haha.
    And..I’ve questioned the ethical practices and wondered about animals and feel like a hypocrite because if I ever raised chickens for food, I’d only be able to eat the eggs and never dispatch them, leaving me with a whole flock of geriatric chickens who would shed feathers all over the place such that maybe I would have to have a pillow fight with too many old down feathers…
    ANYWAYS…yes. I’m there. Tried the vegan thing. Lasted two days. I need cheese, man. CHEESE.
    And bacon. Ohmigosh. So gooood. And perfect if you’re in school and money’s tight and you’re like…welllllll….
    I should do better now. πŸ˜›
    Anyways, this is awesome and will be trying that recipe. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me know how the recipe turns out πŸ˜€ I’m gonna try going veggie, but not hardcore veggie, so we’ll see where that leaves me in a coupla months time – whether I notice any difference πŸ™‚ I don’t think I could give up cheese though. That would be tough.

      I always wanted to keep chickens, then I met someone who keeps them, and helped out. Now I want other people to keep chickens and me to NOT. Chickens are EFFORT!


  5. Just to let you know the typo makes the lemon sex thingies that much more interesting. And to let you know one more thing….I’m so very glad that this was about food…cooking it and eating it. I was way scared for a moment. The recipe sounds terrific, as does Jen’s (which isn’t surprising-she makes amazing recipes!).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How funny. I don’t think I’ll ever look at lemons quite the same again.
    I did the vegetarian thing for about five years. I think I phased it out when I met my Husband. No…maybe earlier. Anyway we aren’t vegetarian or vegan but in truth we eat that way more meals than not…my carnivore Husband included. But we do pay attention to our meats…organic, free range, grass fed is all I’ll buy. The hardcores will balk but that’s what works for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’d struggle to be hardcore anything. There’s nothing which gets me particularly riled up to the point of rudeness. At least you’re shopping responsibly, which is what I vaguely tried to do. It sounds like you’re doing a better job of it than I ever did though πŸ™‚ I think a lot of my challenge is to stay motivated and not go of half-cocked or allow myself to get bored of an idea halfway through, and stop bothering.

      We shall see how this pans out. But I’m glad this post gave you a giggle πŸ™‚


  7. I made lemon bars yesterday, which seem similar, but with a much suckier name. Yum! Also wanted you to know that I loved your thankful post, but I was too lazy to comment last night on my iPad, because it’s hard and I was tired. We have coughs and congestion hanging around our place too but so far I’ve been spared. I hope you are feeling better. all of your thankfuls made me glittery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ACK! I hope you remain spared! Get thee on the Vitamin C/Pre-emptive hot toddies/oranges ASAP! This lung-lurgy is no fun at all. I don’t blame you for not commenting on your iPad. I wouldn’t have, either.

      Glad you liked the thankful post (I’m glad I wrote it before I went under with illness or it would have been a sucky post).

      I’m sure you could rename yours as lemon sex bars…put some lemon curd in the middle or something and jammy them up πŸ˜‰


  8. Goodness. This post got me so confused hahaha. You use the words “lemon sex” and then I read about meat (lack of it) and then…BAM! a recipe. The twirls my mind made just now…

    When I was younger, my dad often said that he wanted to be a vegetarian, he never went through with it though. He likes his meat too much for that, but he did cut back on the amount he eats. Having said this, we’re not a huge food eater at all. Ohh I really want to make the tart. I made a lemony tart before, but the peeps at home weren’t too fond of it. I may had use too much lemon though…hehe. It was a zingy sensation haha. Gosh. I’m having way too much fun here. Is zingy the right word though? I do like it! I have to make one again!

    Ah! I like to be fancy-schmancy when it comes to cooking/baking. With the ingredients, I mean. I don’t really do the whole fancy-schmancy decoration as I lack the patience for it (I think). I want to make my own vanilla extract and vanilla sugar and I want lots of jars with chocolate chips and flour…I better stop now.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Apfel, NOW I understand where your brain got twirled! It was rather a melee of a post! It all had context though, I promise! To make up, I sent you the most BEAUTIFUL aurora on Pintrest, which looks like princess petticoats. πŸ™‚

      I do like meat, but I am increasingly uncomfortable with the methods used to obtain it commercially. I think that’s what would make me change, rather than anything else. We already don’t eat a lot of meat, but we could eat less. I have yet to decide on the eggs and dairy…I think that losing them would break me. I like my cups of tea FAR too much to stop having milk.

      If you make the tart, will you let me know? Zingy lemon tart sounds AMAZING. Lemon meringue pie is my absolute favourite. I’ve never found anyone who makes it better than my dad. Have you ever tried it?

      Fancy Schmancy is all well and good, but I prefer simple-but-effective decorations, like with the lebkuchen. You would LOVE Ann Reardon’s ‘How To Cook That’ channel on YouTube…

      I would LOVE to see inside your fantasy kitchen. It sounds amazing. *dances*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I ADORE Ann’s channel. She’s so brilliant with her techniques. I still need to try out some of her recipes though, but she makes it sound so do-able. ^_^

        You’ll find your balance with cutting back on meat. I’m so with you on simple-but-effective decorations! I’ll let you know about the tart when I make it! I need to make a proper list of things that I HAVE to bake and work through it accordingly. Lemon meringue is something I really, really have to try. I almost started with that, but I switched to a pavlova in the end. Baking really is something that I brought in the household (started with apple pie from a box when I was 11 or so), my mom never baked things. So eating sweet things was a very special occasion, haha.

        I SO wish my fantasy kitchen was real! Oh the lovely things we could bake! πŸ˜€

        *twirls and strikes a pose*

        Liked by 1 person

        • You have NO idea how happy I am that you began with apple pie, Apfel – that’s just so fitting! I love it *glee*

          My dad was always a good cook – we had a lot of baking, meals, desserts…everything. He was very good at it and I learned a lot from him. If I can find my recipe, I’ll send you his one for lemon meringue pie. It’s amazing.

          Ann Reardon is LOVELY and her voice is so soothing. She did a doughnuts and fire explosions video today which I LOVE. Might have to feature it in my TToT. It’s such a lot of fun.

          I wish there was a way we could build your fantasy kitchen. You’d need a Le Cruset pot…


  9. Yeah, well, here I sit on my farm with our pigs in our freezer and our chickens in their coop. I am with you as far as the meat goes, especially the meat chickens. We raised them once, and it was horribly sad to see them unable to walk. We will never, ever raise them again. If we do raise chickens to eat, it will be a different breed that can lead a normal life as a chicken, out in the pasture with the layers.

    I get vegetarianism. I don’t completely understand veganism. I honestly don’t know why eating eggs is bad, since the egg has no chance of ever being a chicken if a rooster isn’t involved, and eggs are really, really nutritious. To each his (or her) own.

    Gotta love a good typo! πŸ™‚
    very curious…why doesn’t your blog remember me anymore? Hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have NO idea why my blog doesn’t remember you any more, but suspect it might be more to do with your cache or cookies than my blog. Did you clear anything out?

      The typo was AMAZING. Such fun πŸ˜€

      I think perhaps where eggs are concerned, it’s to do with the living conditions of the layers – I don’t know if battery farming is a ‘thing’ in the US, but it certainly was in England until it was outlawed a few years ago – the chickens would again be unable to stand, they would be crammed several to a small, wire cage with a wire base, on which they would rest (collapsed) and they would stick their necks out the front to feed. They sometimes didn’t have beaks (allegedly) so that they wouldn’t peck the other chickens to death, and all they would do is sit and lay and sit and lay, then die at the end of it all. Awful, horrendous farming practice. Much like bacon production in the US, where the pigs can’t even turn around.

      As for milk (and cheese) I believe that the cows are calved each year (to bring them into milk) and the babies are taken away very early, so that the humans get the good milk, and then the babies are processed either as veal (kept in tiny spaces with no light, so they can’t move and make the muscle dark) or are kept as milkers themselves. Or for mince or whatever. Which brings us back to slaughterhouses.

      I think the no eggs/cheese thing is an ethical issue rather than a dietary one.

      You’re doing it the right way, and if only we all could be so lucky as to have the space and opportunity to raise our own meat.


  10. I’m going to make a short comment cuz I’ve had much wine and I’m also on my phone….but I love that the recipe directions call for your “whatever milk”. Hahaha

    This looks like a yummy dish. I wonder which alternative milk would works best? I typically use almond, but I know a lot of baked recipes call for soy.

    I’m not “militant” vegan, so when at a restaurant that someone else picked or at someone’s house….I eat what they serve, although I *try* to avoid meat even in those situations. It’s just freaking tough to avoid dairy at restaurants…..not worth the hassle to me.

    Oh this ended up bring a long comment after all. Go figure. πŸ™‚

    At home? I’m strict. All whole food vegan, all day. I figure that 10% that skips outside the lines won’t hurt me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soooo does that mean ‘no processed foods’? You lost me with an added layer of intrigue there. What makes a food ‘whole’?

      I shouldn’t think 10% which skips into dairy would harm you too much, If anything it probably keeps your metabolism on its toes, I think the lack of milk is the thing which would be my dealbreaker – I’ve tried tea with other kinds of milk, and it’s just grim. I would struggle without tea.

      I wasn’t sure which kind of (whatever) milk would work best. I did a tiny bit of research and it seems that almond milk can be used pretty much the same as ordinary, even when you cook with it, but I guess they will all have different qualities. Seems like the coconut milk is the winner though, and I guess the tropical flavour will help the tart anyway…I shall have to hope that Jen or Princess make it and tell me.

      Glad you had a fun time out. And wine. Thanks for the long anyway comment πŸ™‚


  11. You know, full fat coconut milk would probably be the best vegan thing for your recipe, and it really does sound delish – like multiple vegasm delish. I can’t wait to hear how the Princess spins it and if the carnies all love it! I went vegan for health reasons, but I can’t deny that I’m super happy I no longer contribute to supporting the atrocities of factory farming, or the environmental impact of animal agriculture. It really is better for MY body and soul. Every BODY is different though πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

Comments are where the magic happens...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s