23 November 2006

Happy Mycoprotein Loaf Day!

Please pass the steaming faux meat cylinder!
Who can resist a delectable slice of space age food science?


Holiday related question: On this most meat-centric of all American holidays, who would not want to sit down to a steaming loaf of mycoprotein that is shaped like a marital aid and is roughly the color of GI Joe?

Just about everyone as it turns out. Since Teresa and I are vegetarians, we don't usually have people beating down the door to spend Turkey Day with us. As mouthwatering as the above description sounds, we are hard-pressed to have anyone take us up on such a feast. Nor do we get invited over often. It seems that people don't like to eat meat in the presence of vegetarians.

Don't get me wrong. We're not vegetarian zealots who preach the gospel of meatlessness. I think people like that should be humanely dispatched and then eaten. My perspective is this: I really don't give a rat's meatless ass what anyone besides me eats. I am the sole guardian of my own piehole. What other people put in theirs is their business. And people, please don't apologize to me for eating meat, or go into some lengthy explanation about how you eat less meat nowadays, or only eat fish, or ask me a thousand questions about where I draw the line on meat. ("Do bugs count?" "Oh fuck no. I eat cockroaches and earwigs by the bucketload.") Doing that only consumes too much of my favorite dish: air. So, let me say this as politely as possible: Please shut the fuck up and unapologetically eat your meat and leave me alone to eat my weeds, twigs and berries.

There is only one reason why I don't eat meat. I had a dream that freaked me out seven years ago and that was pretty much the end of my career as a carnivore. The dream was this. I had a beautiful white cow as a pet, one of those really pretty white cows from the Hindu paintings, you know, the kind that look like they had their makeup done at Elizabeth Arden. (Side note: Elsie the Cow chotchkes and ephemera make great Christmas gifts!) My cow was very dear to me and would come when I called her by name (Felice - not my favorite name, but who am I to argue with my subconscious?) and would give me big, wet, sloppy cow-kisses like she was some kind of gigantic Labrador retriever. Then one day I had to go away, so I left Felice in someone else's care. When I returned, they gave her back to me nicely butchered and wrapped up in several little white paper packages. And then they handed me her severed head. My shit was freaked out beyond repair. I haven't eaten meat since.

Teresa once told that story to a Malaysian woman who is Buddhist by birth and who works in the commissary at Microsoft. Her response was, "Whoah - that is sooo Buddhist!"

So yeah, my vegetarianism has less to do with being Buddhist than it has to do with how a dream I had "freaked me out hardcore" as we said back in the '70s. I haven't found an imperative in the Dharmapada anywhere that says that you can't eat meat and be Buddhist. Then again, the Dharmapada isn't about imperatives, and likely would not proscribe the placement of knitting needles in the ear canal either. It's real big on the common sense through logic thing.

No vegetarians were harmed
in the making of this product.

In case you were curious, here's what is on our bill of fare for the feast today. We switched gears this year and instead of the mycoprotein phallus, we'll be having Stuffed Field Roast brand Celebration Roast with homemade roasted vegetable brown gravy. Rounding out the ensemble cast will be skins-on smashed red potatoes, sauteed green beans, mixed wild green salad, my own special tangerine cranberry sauce, and sourdough bread stuffing with all kinds of leeks and nuts and shit in it. ("Shit" here is used in the Detroit Metropolitan vernacular, which translates as "various comestibles and gustatives of superlative flavor". Example: "Dat shit yo moms made for dinner was da shit, boyee!" -Ed.) For dessert, I picked up two large tarts at Le Panier in the Pike Place Market. (...which is something he also did back when he was single, however this time we're taking about baked goods. -Ed.) I got a traditional pumpkin tart, and just for the sake of decadence, also picked up a belle-helene which is a tart so delightful and all-consuming of the senses that it comes with a special knife so that you can commit seppuku after eating it because, hey, life just isn't going to get better than that. (Knife not included. Death optional. -Ed.)

One last note. There's a great essay by (say it with me now) E. B. White called "Death of a Pig" which describes his experience caring for an ailing pig, and in some points, bears congruence to my dream about Felice. ("He had evidently become precious to me, not that he represented a distant nourishment in a hungry time, but that he had suffered in a suffering world.") It's also interesting to consider while reading it that it comes from the author as "Charlotte's Web". Just don't read it at breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Thaddeus Gunn said...

hey Thaddeliser!
now I hope proceedings were most pleasant, warm and loving.

what were you giving thanks for? it seems most people of a north American persuasion who I talk to, don’t' really have much of a clue...

or maybe they were bored recounting it over and over again to us limeys.

anyways, what I really wanted to say, is that I like a bit of meat.

and no amount of sniggering and childish double entendre references will put me off proclaiming that fact!

but I have to say, your meal sounds bloody lush! I would have eaten that lot and asked for more.

(More? More? the boy wants MORE?!? I hear you cry in a Dickensian Workhouse Master style. but it wont' help you. I'm getting 2nd helpings mate)

and then after plenty of port, ale, wine, baileys and whiskey top ups, I'd probably end up getting off with the Belle-Helene and ruining it for everyone else

good cheer to you and all your kin sir!

Thaddeus Gunn said...

The previous comment was posted by me on behalf of Mr. Luke Keen, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Buhdda dammit! Thank you for saying what I wanted to say for all the fussies for 10 years while I was a vegetarian. If only you'd have written that 3 years ago, I'd not be a carnivore today. But chicken sausage on the grill is too good to go back.