So, post Thanksgiving I began having dreams. Dreams of eating meat – my sins of the flesh. Thoughts of grabbing some cold turkey out of the fridge and making a sandwich seemed to float in the air around me. Where did these thoughts come from? I wasn’t consciously aware of wanting meat, and yet I’d be hungry and start heading for the leftovers. Happy to say I’ve resisted the urge but still I wondered where these hidden desires came from. I put it down to neural memories from Thanksgivings past. That’s just part of the holiday season. You eat, drink, make some merriment and then eat the leftovers for several days until you can’t stand turkey. I did have the luxury of veggie leftovers though, and so I created new memories and stayed loyal to my new desire.
I’d rather see birds in a nest than dead, on my plate. Just sayin’…
I’ve been a vegetarian for two months now. Why did I suddenly give up my meat-eating ways? Disgust. I am so angry at what we’ve collectively done to the environment that this is my means of protest. I began with Meat Free Mondays and after 8 months I made the total shift. Honestly, being a vegetarian is something I’d wanted to do since I was a teen. It seemed bohemian. I am an Aquarian – ’nuff said. At any rate, the deed has been done. So….this Thanksgiving was my first vegetarian holiday celebration. What used to be a joy, with the cooking and fussing over the bird, became a scene from a horror flick. I looked at the turkey that had been hermetically sealed in a plastic bag, and noticed things I really paid no attention to before – like the fact that it was a dead animal dripping with blood. I rinsed the body and peered into the cavity for there rested the neck and giblets. It’s funny, what I used to do without a thought now suddenly seemed obscene – a desecration to the already desecrated animal. But, I am the cook of the house so I had to do what needed to be done – retrieve the heart, liver, giblets and neck from deep within the dead bird.
Once I’d cleaned and stuffed the turkey, feeling rather like a mortician of sorts, I went on to cook my own meal. A lovely tomato pie, noodles, Brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and stuffing. It was great! And my greatest success was thinking of a way to keep the stuffing moist (like it would be inside the turkey) by using a squash.
I made my stuffing exactly like the regular stuffing, except I used veggie sausage and vegetable broth.
I’ve found Allrecipes.com to be a great help in finding really tasty vegetarian meals. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-pie-ii/detail.aspx And while it is difficult fixing both vegetarian and meat-eater holiday meals, it’s not impossible. I just try to keep things streamlined. Cook what everyone else is having – just with modifications. I must say my noodles were delicious – even without the base of turkey broth that’s normally used. Vegetable broth worked great!
My veggie dinner!
Lesson Learned: Once on the path to vegetarianism you become more thoughtful with regards to food and things you used to do with meat now seem wrong or gross – or both.