No More Mother’s Tears over Spilled Milk or Cracked Eggs

photo: Robert Grillo

photo: Robert Grillo

I have a heartwarming story to share with you about my mother Elisa who just got over her doubts about baking without eggs! This was no small hurdle for her, let me assure you! In fact, she would sometimes get tearful and upset over the idea that I could no longer enjoy the baked goods she’s made with pride and joy for years now since I’ve been vegan. And each time I tried to reassure her that eggs were not necessary for any of her great recipes. But she remained unconvinced.

Even after sampling so many vegan cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, scones, truffles, pies and cheesecakes that I and others have made, she still hadn’t tried it herself. Yesterday, she took the plunge! She really wanted to bake her trademark blueberry coffee cake with the fresh organic blueberries she bought. I told her to just bake it without the egg, but that advice was predictably met with great skepticism.

So I told her over the phone, “Okay, if you feel a need to replace the egg with something, then try dissolving a teaspoon of cornstarch in a couple of tablespoons of warm water as an egg substitute. I told her about flax seed meal as another option, but this was not in her pantry at the time.

Anyway, the results went way beyond her expectations! In fact, she was so proud of her creation that she was convinced that the coffeecake was better without eggs! And we talked about how this was more than just about eggs. It’s about a whole set of ideas and traditions we associate with food. It’s about security, comfort, family and honoring what’s “tried and true.” She realized that we could still hold on to all of those things we hold so dear, while still achieving the vegan goal of reducing animal suffering and our dependence on animal products, and she seemed clearly “freed” by that realization. It was as if a long-standing conflict in her mind had been resolved. No more tears over spilled milk or broken eggs.

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