worldwide vegan bake sale 2014: pdx edition

portland bake sale michele truty

Spring: cherry blossoms, kittens being crazy-pants way too early in the morning, and taxes…oh, and planning for The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!

Since 2009, groups all over the globe have come together during this very special week to raise funds for nonprofits by hawking donated vegan treats. Bonus, we show the world how great vegan treats can be. This year, that week falls April 26-May 4. Find out if there’s a sale in your area, or start scheming with your vegan community to start a new annual tradition. (The WVBS site has lots of advice for groups wanting to get started.)

The Portland crew/gaggle/super squad is back, and we’re aiming high. For the past couple of years, we’ve pulled in around $2,400 each time, for a nice little handful of nonprofits, but we always sell out early! We know we can do better. Come on, Vegan Mecca, get to baking!

Our sale is Sunday, May 4, 10-3, at Mississippi Marketplace, which is kind enough to host us for the third year in a row. (Pick up your treats then grab some lunch at Homegrown Smoker or Native Bowl!) All funds raised at our sale will go to Chimp Sanctuary NW (to help the chimps) and Russia Freedom Fund (to help the LGBTQ folk in Russia).

We set up this schmancy website here for more information. If you already know the deal, you can sign up to donate here. And here’s the Facebook event, should you want to sync up your calendar or invite your friends. (Psssst, invite your friends!)

We need lots of bakers (sweets, savories, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, palm-free, raw—we need it all—and don’t forget to bring an ingredient list!) and lots of buyers. We’ll have some take-home containers, but be a champ and save the earth a little by bringing your own reusable one.

So mark your calendars, hope for sun, spread the word, and let’s bake the world a better place.

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lovin’ on the chimps: the vida vegan galarama + silent auction

vvc-2013-galarama-poster-webSeriously, big promise time right here—I will finish the blog reboot after Vida Vegan Con. Ever try to plan a three-day conference for 350 people, plus off-site events and a big charity gala in the middle of it all? Oh, when it’s not a real job and you don’t get paid to do it? Yeah, so I’m asking for patience and forgiving here.

Side note, speaking of patience and forgiveness and all things lovely: Last weekend, my boy Tom was part of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Portland, so I got to attend the public talks. The videos are here—do give ’em a look or even a listen. This isn’t a religious teaching, but some interfaith/secular discussion and general compassion in regards to Earth and its sentient beings…and non-Earthly beings.

Anyway, back on point! I just wanted to spread the word about the Galarama + Silent Auction we’re holding for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, a home for chimps who’d spent their lives being leased out for biomedical testing. Check out the CSNW website here, and watch the videos, read the blog, and donate if you can. This is a relatively new sanctuary up in Washington, and they’re doing so much for these chimps that I believe as they are able to grow and take on more residents, they will do it right.

If you’re in Portland next weekend, this party is open to the public, so please get your ticket here or at the door, and bid on some fantastic items from some very generous folks. (And buy a drink or threewe need to cover our expenses, and event insurance ain’t cheap!) We’ll have snacks and a cash bar and DJs and a photobooth and the So Delicious Sundae Bar Spectacular…and one or two food carts on site if you’re still hungry. (And yes, you can get way fancy…or don your coziest hoodie.)

See you there?

happy worldwide vegan bake sale!

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Yes, I’m still working on my revamped blog, but I just didn’t want to miss the opportunity to remind you what starts this weekend…

It’s that special time of year, when do-goodnicks around the world bake vegan cookies and bagels and lemon squares and peanut butter doggie treats—and other do-goodnicks and the just plain hungry purchase those scones and gluten-free doughnuts and brownies and macaroons (You’re vegan? What can you eat?!), and allll that money goes to nonprofits. It’s the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!

This year it all happens April 20-28—although there are some a little early or late, but they still mean well. In Portland we’re doing ours this Sunday, the 21st, 10-3, at the Mississippi Marketplace cart pod. Our sales are all being donated to Cat Adoption Team (where I got my kitties on Black Friday) and Green Acres, to help them build a new sheep enclosure. I’ll be bringing my favoritest thing ever, poppy seed rolls (recipe linked in post), and probably bialys—I experimented with a rolled-up bialy-type thing and think it’d just work better in the traditional form.

Here’s our Facebook event page, and as you can see, already 200 people have RSVP’d. Thanks, Portland. You’re tops. If you’re in the area and want to donate baked goods, the link and rules for signup are in the FB event. (Basically, it’s all vegan, so no honey, gelatin, or any of those pesky little animal products; write out ingredients; and we prefer to transfer your stuff onto our platters so we don’t have to find you to return yours, and to avoid disposables).

Where’s your city’s bake sale? WVBS HQ has this list. (Yeah, I told you it was worldwide.) So spread the word. Put on that apron (or not—flour-coated pants are, like, the new acid wash). And let’s bake this world a better place.

candies and kitties, these are good things

Do forgive my Valentine’s post; it’s just so on theme I can’t resist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the whole love thing, but most holidays tend to leave some folks feeling as though they are lacking in some sense, and that I don’t dig.

What I do dig is people coming together to do something good while having fun doing it. Teal Cat Project and Obsessive Confection Disorder recently joined forces to raise some cash for kitties while spreading the sweet, sweet love via chocolate and caramel and cookies.

teal cat ocd box

This campaign was so popular that by the time my box was delivered (thanks, Mom!), they’d already sold out. This is the case with most Teal Cat campaigns, not just the candy variety, so connect with them in every social media way possible. You want to be ready to pounce (cat reference, yes!) the moment they announce the next litter of upcycled teal kitties.

teal cat ocd candies

And lookee what was inside the box! A Mel’s Way bar (coconut milk caramel, Sweet & Sara marshmallow, and chocolate), Love Nips (coconut-lavender-vanilla cookies), Love Bomb Lollies (think really high-end vegan toffee made with whiskey, covered in chocolate), and Rose Petal Caramels (sweet and fruity caramel drizzled with chocolate). Dang, right? And everything was nut-free so I could share with Tom…not that he had much of a chance, because, man, I plowed through this trove.

teal cat ocd kittens

And when the candy was gone, my own little adoptees fought over the box. See? Something for everyone. Thanks, TCP and OCD…and again, Mom!

my black friday score: kitties!

What, there’s a sale on wee sweeties? That’s right folks, no lines, no shortage of stock, just a bunch of orphaned kitty cats, priced to move!

It’s been a little over four months since we lost Mädchen to cancer, and I’ll never stop missing her, but we are cat parents, and you can’t be a cat parent without a cat.

We decided that whenever we did adopt, it would need to be two. No single cat could be as amazing as our little girl. Psychologically, I could not do a one-for-one replacement. Plus, when we do go away for a weekend here or there, two can keep each other company. And kittens. We’d like to start with kittens so we could raise them our way. Both of us have been big bonders with our pets—this is as close as we get to having children—so we’d really like to get in there early and be Mom and Dad to these babies.

Selfish and irresponsible to not look at adult cats? Yeah, I felt that. But when I saw Cat Adoption Team’s Black Friday event, I learned that black—or even mostly black—kittens have a hard time finding homes too. (And while we were there, plenty of folks were upstairs in the adult cat rooms.) One of the counselors explained that in a litter of five kittens, if three of them have colorful coats they will absolutely be adopted before either of the black ones. So they have a few events throughout the year to highlight the black cats, making their adoption super cheap.

This event, combined with the fact that Tom and I would be home for three full days, was just the push we needed. Logically, this was the ideal time to adopt, even if I wasn’t 100% sure I was emotionally ready.

On our way to the shelter, we tried to prepare ourselves. We may not bond with any, or we may want to take them all home with us. If we were gazillionaires we’d probably have a ton of cats in a super giant house totally designed for kitty pleasure, with fun stairs and giant hamstery tubes along the walls, and a giant touch-screen floor where the kitties could play those awesome iPad mousey games. But we’re not, so two’s our limit.

These little guys were in adjacent cages, batting at each other through the bars. They were named Burma and Bahrain—sister and brother who had come the week before from the Washington County shelter. We liked their moxie and took them with us to the “get acquainted” room. They went berserk, in the best way possible. They immediately started playing with each other, fighting, rolling right over me on the ground, then ran around the room, all curious. They had brains, they were comfortable around us, and they liked each other. Tom and I knew we had to take them home with us. Luckily, they’d been fixed and were ready to go.

So they are now named Lady Eva Von Sassipants and Musashi. Lady E is a little runty but smart as a whip (loves the laptop) and mighty adventurous. Musashi will be the cat who jumps on you from a high shelf, but he also likes his quiet time. And they slept on us the very first night. And the second. And I’ve got one on my belly right now while one sits at my feet. Shhhhh, anything could set them off, though, then it’s Bitey Town via Wrestleville. Then again, that’s pretty cute too. See?

And every once in a while I look at them and think how much more comfortable, how much happier and safer and all-things-that-are-good-er they are here than they were in a cage in a shelter. Oh, by the way, thank you, everyone who fosters or volunteers at a shelter. It must break your heart on a daily basis, but it’s so important. Thank you.