Saturday, September 7, 2013

Confessions of an Omnivorous Vegetarian

Thesedays, most families have some food issues.  Someone has an allergy, a preference, only eats potatoes, only eats veggie burgers, is gluten-intolerant or overweight, is underweight and that's not even going into the question of the provenance and eco-ethics of your food choices.  This is the cast of my family drama:

Shannon (aka Mom) - professed vegetarian, actually opportunistic omnivore.
Josh (aka Dad) - professed "low consumer", actually opportunistic Jack-in-a-Boxer and Googleater.
Frost - vegetarian, actually pretty much vegan
Wren - "I eat meat and vegetarians".
"This looks delicious!"

I have only been a true vegan for about two years in my twenties.  I didn't have much money and near the end of that period - waitressing for a kosher Jewish wedding caterer - I would shove potato piroshki's and herring in my mouth with one hand as I walked through the tunnel from the commercial kitchen to the function rooms.  I felt that food that 'fell off the wagon' so to speak, was not my contribution to the political nexus of meat production and since there was nothing edible in the fridge at home I would probably have eaten dumpster meat too, if somebody suggested it.  After that, I was vegetarian for about 6 years.  Really - and I recall developing some meat aversion during that time.

Even so, my share house was very ETHICAL.  These were animal liberationists who would go off in the night to 'free' pigs but who still kept meat in the fridge for 5 or 6 refugee cats because cats were by nature carnivorous.

That's how I feel about Wren.  He is clearly a carnivore in sheep's clothing.  Sweet and sensitive, with a porcine aortic valve, you would think his heart would reach out and refuse to eat animals but he is quite emphatic that he likes to eat meat and he will eat it even if I call it COW and PIG and CHICKEN.  Since he was 4 and ate all of Grandad's bouillabaisse - cracking crab legs and pulling clams out of the shell, asking "is this the foot?" before eating it - I have realized that he can't help it. So this is how it goes in our house:

This morning, Wren (6) was watching Yogscast but instead of a minecraft video he was watching a cooking show.  He told me it was "cooking with Duncan" and he had watched it a few times.  He says he was learning how to cook a steak and he would like to do it because it looked delicious.  I agreed it would be interesting.  I cannot recall when we last cooked a steak.

So off we went to Whole Foods and bought the best (aka expensive) grass-fed, level 4 cruelty free (aka the only bad thing in your life was being killed for me to eat) level cow.  The man behind the counter told us it was the best steak so Wren chose that one.  I supported him because I am of the brand of guilty vegetarian omnivore that believes that paying a lot for dairy, meat and related products is a penance as well as increasing the odds of better standard of living for the livestock.

We also bought the ingredients from the Youtube video:  "I need PORT" said Wren as we wandered through Whole Foods... "and salad!"  "Do you have brandy?  And "we need SINGLE cream not whipping cream."  We had a long debate over the color of the sweet potatoes.  The English variety on the video were yellow on the outside but orange inside.  Here in the USA we have only red and white varieties.

We came home and started preparing.  In the excitement of cooking from Yogscast, even Frost (the vegetarian) got involved.  In the midst of the steak smoking, the conversion of Centigrade to Fahrenheit for the oven 'chips' and the drama over how to saute the onions Frost said "don't worry about heating my veggie soup, this is a bit stressful and I don't want your steak to burn."
Wren peels the potato

Wren checks the Youtube Video for what to do with the ends of the potato

Wren watches the steak sear and worries about when to turn it

Partially eaten dinner, still defended.

It didn't burn.

I cut it in half after resting and Wren said it was delicious and I couldn't have a taste.  He actually pointed his knife at me an growled with a mean voice ""

Frost and I ate canned soup with our chips and salad.

Josh ate about half of his steak and left it on the plate saying he was full.  Beezle waited as I scraped the plates and ate the gristle / fat strip on the edge.  Wren had eaten 3/4 of his half and then he too was full and done and talking about what to cook next time.

There I sat like a seagull watching children spill chips on the boardwalk.

Juicy $24.99/lb steak on the plate, unattended, left for clearing - And.cream.reduction.sauce.  Guess where this is heading?  (The same place it headed a month ago when Fred brought lamb chops...)

Lets just say that there is none left now and until I can remove meat from the area this is how its going to be.  I can't resist the gnaw and grist of it.  

Frost has suggested we make a nut roast with vegan gravy for our next family cook dinner.  I expect to be a vegetarian on that occasion.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Great pictures, Shannon! My name is Heather and I have a question about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at) that would be great!