The first thing you do as a vegan when you move somewhere new is find your people. In Ellensburg, you'll find the Vegetarian Society, founded by Jim Schwing and the late Cynthia Murray, and powered by Howard & Willow Jeanne Lyman and several other very dedicated members. I must admit, I fan-girled hard and the first time I attended a gathering I asked Howard Lyman to sign my copy of No More Bull - he of course happily obliged.
On the third Tuesday of every month, the Ellensburg Vegetarian Society hosts the best meal in town, otherwise known as the vegetarian potluck. What you’ll find is a group of incredibly welcoming people and a variety of amazing flavors that rival even the best vegan restaurants I’ve been to. To top it off, the only people that need to label their dish are the ones including extra ingredients, like milk or cheese. Old habits die hard, however, and I’ve still never taken a dish without labeling it!
Each month there is a little something extra with your meal. I’ve watched movies, listened to lectures, enjoyed presentations, and learned a few things I didn’t already know even though I’ve been earth conscious for a long time. There’s always this really entertaining interlude prize drawing where Howard describes stuff in interesting ways and his natural wit makes winning even the most mediocre prize the highlight of your night. You can win some really great stuff - this month Jonas chose a crisper/oven air fryer for french fries. He might be trying to tell me something about what he wants to include in our diet!
If you want to know more about what to expect, get a glimpse here at the end of Jonas’ video about making linguine for the potluck.