Saturday, September 14, 2013

Laura's Quesadilla


My aunt Laura and I have been special buddies for as long as I can remember. I just love her so much. We share a love of all things animal-related, especially baby squirrels, kitty antics, wildlife sightings, and such. She lived up in Seattle, and we lived down here in California, so visits with her were always extra special and anticipated with great joy.

little teenage Amey

Laura has been a vegetarian for pretty much my whole life (maybe longer?) - and she was definitely my role model when I decided to become a vegetarian at age 14. I love/d animals so much, and I decided I didn't want to ever eat them again. The only reason I even knew that it was possible to declare oneself a vegetarian was because of my aunt Laura, and I am so grateful to her for that!

quesadillas in Laura's kitchen in Seattle

Together, the two of us have shared countless wonderful meals full of laughter and conversation and love. Pizzas, picnics on hikes, nice restaurants, funky spots... the whole scene.  But one food love that we both shared deeply was the joy of the quesadilla. I have no idea how many quesadillas we have eaten together. My mom used to make me quesadillas for after-school snacks pretty often, and I was quite adept at making them for myself by a young age. Still, I really associate them with my aunt Laura. I think she called them "tortillas with cheese."

Then, I went vegan (12ish years ago) and so quesadillas were off the map for me. I love animals even more than I love quesadillas. But, here's the best part - a couple of years later (maybe 10 years ago?), my aunt Laura decided to go vegan on my birthday!! What a wonderful birthday present! So, since then, we've been in this cheeseless game together. :)

I especially covet those little sizzly crispy bits

I know that not everyone loves Daiya vegan cheese, but lucky for me, I like it a lot. The first time I made myself a quesadilla with Daiya, I just about flipped out. It was toasty and gooey and yummy and I was reunited with one of my favorite noshtalgic foods of all time! The very first thing I did was call up my auntie Laura to tell her the good news! Honestly, I don't eat quesadillas / tortillas with cheese all that often... but I pretty much always have a bag of Daiya and a bag of tortillas in the freezer for when the mood strikes. Plus, I always like to have some super good fresh salsa with my quesadilla - and as a spicy food lover, I know Laura would approve.

* Bonus moment*
Today is actually my aunt Laura's birthday! Happily, we no longer live in separate states... in fact, she lives just across town and I LOVE IT. Today, I was planning to spend all day down at the yoga studio doing prep work so that I can paint the walls next weekend... and guess who came and spent about 5 hours of her special birthday helping and working and chatting? Auntie Laura! With her company, the whole day felt fun and special instead of tiring or tedious. If we are together, you can pretty much guarantee that we are having a good time. She even showed up with a basket of freshly-picked raspberries! Happy Birthday Laura - I love you so much!


11 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Where is the recipe for the quesadillas? I couldn't find it!

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    1. Oh no, sorry friend! It didn't even occur to me to include a recipe. All I do is put a tortilla ins big skillet, put some daiya cheese on half of it, fold the tortilla over, and cook it on medium heat. Once it's golden on one side, I flip it over and cook the other side. Then I cut it in little pieces with a pizza cutter and dig in. :)

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  2. Do you ever add anything besides cheese? Happy Birthday to Aunt Laura. Sounds like a great role model/partner in crime.

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    1. Ha ha! No, I never do. I know some people add beans or guacamole, and stuff like that... But I guess I am a traditionalist. Plus, since I'm usually eating quesadillas for the nostalgic value, I like to make them the way I remember them. How do you make them?

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  3. I love this episode of Noshtalgia! How I wish I would have had an aunt Laura to help me and support me when I decided to go vegetarian in my teens. Instead I had nobody on my side and people mocked me and tried to discourage me from being vegetarian. My skin was too thin and I succumbed to peer/family pressure. I wish I had had an aunt Laura of my own!

    Those sizzly crispy bits are the best part of a quesadilla for sure! Happy birthday to aunt Laura!

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean, River. I really am so deeply grateful that I had Laur as a veggie mentor, because being a vegetarian was definitely the rut choice for me, and it felt so good to be able to decide that for myself. I'm glad that we both get to be vegans by choice now!

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  4. Another heart-warming family story! I had a big smile on my face when I finished reading, just thinking of the joy you and Laura give each other.

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  5. Yum these sound amazing! What a great story, and happy birthday to your special aunt!

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  6. I love quesadillas too. I never liked them as a kid though. So it made it more special as a vegan, a new thing. I too have a person who is a bit older than me who helped me go vegetarian. So nice to have that support. Happy Birthday Aunt Laura!

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  7. It's so wonderful that you had such a positive vegetarian influence in your life when you were in your teens, I think I would have gone vegetarian much younger if I had an Aunt Laura. She sounds like an incredible person!
    I'm totally making quesadillas for dinner tonight now.

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  8. What an amazing birthday present. That's all I want for my birthday, just my friends and family to go vegan.

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