How I am, and am not, a hipster

(For the purposes of this discussion, a hipster is someone who likes things and considers them good until/unless they become popular and/or mainstream, at which point they become ashamed of liking them or declare them “sold out”, “over”, etc.)

I don’t think I’m a hipster most of the time. (No one does, right?) I tend to get devoted to things late rather than being on the forefront of a trend (The Decemberists are awesome? Who knew?!), and stay devoted to things even if they’re popular. On the other hand, when was the last time I liked something really popular? (Okay, that one Lady Gaga song was pretty cool, but then I forgot to check out the rest.) I tend to focus my energy on liking things that aren’t so well known. I like to think of myself as someone who’s eclectic, drawing together my own little collections of cool things from different places, enthusing about things that no one really knows about except their devoted fans — not even hipsters. You might say I’m actually such a hipster that I even out-hipster the hipsters.

Take diet. Ever since I became mostly vegetarian in college (speaking of things that are both “so over” and incredibly trendy), I’ve been looking for cookbooks that I like. Over the years I’ve found some good ones — early on, Almost Vegetarian, then Vegan With a Vengeance and Isa’s other cookbooks, Yellow Rose Recipes, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, The Real Food Daily Cookbook. But I hadn’t found a great fit until recently, when I found myself cooking constantly out of a trio of cookbooks I mostly discovered through blogs, and bought in the last few years: Smitten Kitchen, Super Natural Every Day, and The Sprouted Kitchen.  I realized that I have a cooking style, and those cookbooks (and another one I just received as a gift, Plenty) really match my style. There are other people out there cooking and eating like me. I’m not super eclectic and wacky, bringing together things from all over. I just have this style, and someone else thought of it first, and is doing it better. I’m still adapting their recipe lists for my taste (and mostly skipping the meat when it shows up), but they constantly produce recipes that I get incredibly excited about, that I wonder where they’ve been all my life, or why I didn’t think of them.

But here’s the proof that I’m not a hipster: I’m really excited about that!

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