Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now Meatier!

Okay. Let’s talk turkey. Or rather, the fact that the bird that will not be appearing on my plate this Thanksgiving. The green bean casserole, potatoes and squash will be there, perhaps looking around, shrugging their shoulders, and checking their watches. Is the turkey late? Held up in traffic, perhaps? Did the turkey forget the gravy and have to go back for it?

There will be no turkey because, well, I haven’t eaten meat since 2002. So let’s get a few things out of the way right up front. I think listing my Frequently Asked Questions should cover it:

Q. Do you mind if I eat meat?

A. Not a bit; that’s between you, your butcher, and your colon. Just don’t order veal if you’re sitting next to me, because I might moo softly whenever you take a bite.

Q. How do you get enough protein?

A. Twigs and bark are remarkably high sources of protein. Also, have I told you of my enduring love affair with all things dairy?

Q. What about iron? How do you avoid a deficiency?

A. I lick skillets and barbells, of course.

Q. What do you eat?

Quite a range of dishes, from sautéed plant stems with cardboard patties on whole-gravel rolls to garlic-infused paper straight from the shredder topped with a light sprinkling of wood shavings and capers.

Yes, I do occasionally whip up a dish that would inspire petitions, “Take Back the Table” rallies, and riots from small children and all of the men in my extended family. Take, for example, the broccoli pancakes and steamed cabbage with mushrooms that I made on Tuesday evening. I confess I made this because I’d been feeling cancer-prone and sluggish, probably due to my sedentary lifestyle, bad attitude, and mindless inhalation of something like 72 miniature chocolate bars during my annual pre-Halloween candy binge. Did J eat the broccoli pancakes? Well, let’s just say that with a little sour cream, salt, and shrill threats, anything’s edible.

Q. Do you still eat fish?

A. Ever since watching The Incredible Mr. Limpet, I can’t. I just can’t.

Seriously. Fish IS meat, Individuals Who Frequently Ask Me This. I do miss it on occasion (specifically, scallops sautéed in butter and garlic), but mostly, I now think of fish fondly—I wish this old friend well, but I don’t want to meet for drinks to catch-up. What do we have in common anymore, really?

Q. Will you eat meat when you’re pregnant?

A. Only if I am repeatedly kicked in the stomach and hear shouts of, “Hey ma! What’s a fetus got to do to get some hot dogs down here?”

29 comments:

  1. I LOVED the Mr. Limpet movie! sigh. You remind me of the happiest things.

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  2. I'd eat nothing but meat if it wasn't for carbs and fat.

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  3. Hee hee. I was a vegetarian myself for five years and can still whip up a mean lentil stew (those mean lentils!), but I had to quit because I turned out to be one of the minority of people who can't process iron from plant sources. Broccoli pancakes sound just fine to me!

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  4. If you do get pregnant don't be surprised if the baby is pulling on the umbilical cord, yelling "Limpet! Give me Limpet!".

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  5. How funny. I've been trying to convince my family and my Catholic hubby for years that fish is meat. Finally I found someone who agrees with me! Now, I'll have to go rent that Mr. Limpet movie . . .

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  6. Great answers and the Limpet reference is superb. Now I'll have Don Knott's face in my head all day. Thanks.

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  7. So here's my dumb question that I typically ask vegetarians: Health or moral objections or both?

    I used to eat very little meat, and it was out of pure laziness. Preparing meat is more labor-intensive than boiling up some pasta and dumping Ragu over it.

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  8. Ditto on all the Limpet love... made me smile thinking of that movie.

    Oh, and one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is of a perfectly lovely meal sans the turkey-- we (and a number of friends) made dishes from
    Still Life with Menu
    (an awesome vegetarian cookbook!).

    It was fabulous!

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  9. hehe you have been asked those questions a lot eh? Coming from ranchers it is a difficult realization to think of a life without meat! My cousin does it though and my sister in law. I would miss steak. I just refuse to think of it all!

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  10. We've been vegetarian for 2 1/2 years, and we're still getting the nervous glances from family members anytime a family meal is discussed. "What will we serve Kristen and John?" Geez, people, we've always had vegetables and bread sides before - what's different now? And I don't think we're going to starve, either. We'll find SOMETHING to eat. For the love of god, stop stressing over it. Sheesh. (At least, this is what I WANT to tell them. What I actually say is something along the lines of, "whatever you're making will be fine." People are so funny about this issue, though.)

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  11. I've had dozens of vegetarian dishes that were better tasting than the meat entrees that make up my diet. The truth is, I'm not that creative. The only thing I can think to do with vegitables is to boil 'em. The whole time I was reading your post I couldn't help but think over and over again, "Broccoli pancakes? How does she get them flat?"

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  12. Whaaat! No turkey? Who cares about turkey anyway? We give thanks over cheese ravioli as the main course and lots of dry red wine! You FAQ is a riot.

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  13. Fish aren't vegetables? Since when? You're freaking me out! What am I going to do with my haddock patch in the garden?

    Broccoli pancakes sound both disgusting and intriguing. Maya went vegetarian maybe two months ago (not truly, because she will eat the fish vegetable, but mostly) and it would be fun to torture her and my husband with this dish. Seriously, do you do recipe posts? Please? I can be shrill enough to make them eat it...

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  14. i was a vegetarian for years until i got preggo with my first. then it was how many disgusting chili cheese dogs and lbs. of bacon could i consume at one sitting.

    i am leaning towards going back to the no meat thing (chicken pretty much grosses me out)but i want to make sure i am done with all the pregnancy meat-a-thons.

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  15. Well, well a no meat vegetarian and no discussion of your Lord God Vegan. Is that for the truly indoctrinated? For the inner-circle only?
    When the space-ships come only the meat-free will be allowed to climb aboard. When do you share that. Broccoli pancakes - that's just the beginning.

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  16. J: just you wait 'til you see what shapes brussels sprouts are capable of taking. In fact, I may make them a key ingredient in my Christmas cookies this year. I'm mailing the first batch to you.

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  17. I didn't eat meat for about 3 years at one point because it started making me violently ill. The whole veggie thing never quite caught on for me, though, as I lived primarily on cheeze-its and pasta for those years. I guess I was a carbohydratarian :)

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  18. The only trouble with vegetarianism (other than Tofu) is having to justify yourself at every bloody meal.

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  19. Funny funny stuff :p

    Envisioning that your food was once Don Knotts is enough to make anyone not want to eat it!

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  20. Interesting, gorillabuns.

    I also was vegetarian for 10 YEARS, right until my first trimester of pregnancy when I was overcome by cravings for meatball subs, steak, and burgers. I figured I was probably iron-deficient and for the good of the baby I would reintroduce meat in my diet.

    Since then, it's been no turning back.

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  21. That's hilarious...making me want to be a vegetarian. Well, thinking, I might think about it ten years from now! I wish I had your dedication. I do.

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  22. I tried vegetarianism but flunked out. It's hard for anyone who runs on the high blood sugar level because most vegetarian diets have too much crabohydrates in it. Even beans are mostly carbs.

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  23. I KNOW how you love your dairy! :)

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  24. Anonymous11:27 AM

    no turkey? jess, you are so missing out! honestly, if we weren't meant to eat animals, God (or Tom Cruise or whomever) wouldn't have made them taste so damned tasty. ;D

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  25. I haven't read the other replies yet, but I'm sure someone else has told you this same thing.

    I don't eat meat, either. I just don't like it. (I will cook a big ol' bird for T'giving, however. It just won't end up on my plate.) When I was pregnant, I thought I was going to jump out of my skin if my husband didn't get me a grilled chicken sandwich from KFC. And I can't tell you how many Wendy's DOUBLE cheeseburgers I ate. Apparently, my body thought I was nutrient deficient in some way and was determined to get what it needed with or without my help. But I haven't had a piece o' meat since I birthed the baby three years ago.

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  26. When I was 8 3/4 months pregnant with my daughter, after being a flexitarian (dairy and seafood - yes; red meat/chicken/pork - no) for years and years, I looked at my husband and said, "I want filet mignon. Medium rare." And so I ate, and it was good. I rarely eat meat now - and seafood too, sadly - but the alternatives are far more interesting. I'd eat your broccoli pancakes.

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  27. Dust is really good with a little pepper. Sometimes I get crazy and even add oregano.

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  28. Mmmmm.... cheese....

    I used to be a veg. and I was healthier then than I ever have been except for an occasional iron deficiency that I fixed with supplements.

    Now I eat mostly chicken and fish, but I'm craving all the stuff I can't have. Carpaccio, tuna sashimi, unpasturized cheese.

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  29. Well, this last question surprised me, in that it says, "When you're pregnant" not if. This means to me you are now considering!!

    Remember we talked the adoption route a long time ago.

    Anyway, don't get pregnant before Feb. 24 because you've got to come out to Oak Park, Illinois to party with Swishy, Eileen Cook and me!

    YEA YA DO!!!

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