Thursday, January 31, 2008

What Have You Done?

Have you ever been desperate for chocolate?

Like really desperate for chocolate?

What have you done in the name of chocolate?

Have you, just for example, taken a fork and hammered it into the top of a box of chocolates until the container broke into fragments and then devoured the elixir of the gods inside without regard for the damage or detritus it would create?

OK, good, just checking.


"We never eat meat anymore."
"What are you talking about? I just made you chicken yesterday."
"No, not chicken, meat, we never have meat anymore."
"I just don't feel like eating it, or cooking it. Plus, it's not that healthy to eat meat everyday."
Other Half makes a sad face.
"I miss eating meat."

I used to cook more meat than I do now. Other Half grew up in the 1950s. OK, not really, but it seems like it sometimes. Their idea of a dinner was a hunk of meat, potatoes, and a side salad (iceberg.) When we first got married I made my way through the Betty Crocker cookbook, like most newlyweds, and fixed one boring meat-feast after another. Since then, I've gradually reduced the meat that we eat. First, out of necessity as we were poor college students, and then out of apathy to the flesh.

I bought a couple steaks yesterday, thinking I'd be nice to him, for once. I made my steak medium and gave half to El Guille. I guess Other Half's was a little thicker, so his was medium rare. Frankly, medium rare is the way to eat steak, if you're going to eat it, but not to Other Half.
He cut the steak in half and then he...





See? I'm not sure if I'm more upset that I am eating meat or that a nice piece of meat was treated so badly. I ate half my steak in solidarity, but I just didn't feel like it.

I really am of two minds about meat. On the one hand, sometimes I like a nice steak, pulled pork, and BBQ chicken. On the other, I don't like eating it very often and if I had the choice, would rather not eat it at home. I'm not morally opposed to meat, after all I own and wear vintage furs, I just think we eat too much of the stuff.

As much as some husbands would be supportive if their wife decided to go veg, it is Other Half's living nightmare.

"I just haven't felt like eating meat lately. If I could go vegetarian I think I would."
"I know you're leaning that way and that terrifies me," He said sincerely.

The other problem is that Other Half is so stupid picky about vegetables, you'd think they were popcorn. The no list on veggies (artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.,) is extensive. It's hard to sit across the table from a four-year-old and be a hypocrite, so to Other Half's credit, he eats more vegetables now than he ever did before. If I decide to go veg, I'd be fixing two meals a night. Frankly, it's rare enough that everyone will eat the first meal I cook, let alone a vegetable-based second meal.

Have you and a significant other grown apart in culinary matters?

Have you ever been the only carnivore at the family table?

The only vegetarian at the party?


Queen Scarlett said...

I'm not a big meat eater...seafood...veggies is how I grew up. My hubby grew up like your hubby - meat and potatoes...for me is DULL. My family went vegetarian in high school after seeing what happened to the poor animals. But we're eating them again in very spare quantities.

I never liked handling red meat...or any meat in particular that is dead and ... so I never made much other than chicken and fish. I've added more...but not much and my hubby doesn't mind... never liked the meat and potatoes lifestyle growing up so I am lucky.

Nemesis said...

Well if they would stop making those Ferraro Rocher things so dang hard to get into maybe I wouldn't HAVE to be so rough on it . . .

I'm not a vegetarian, but when I have a hankering for roasted cow flesh I will go out for a steak or burger rather than doing it at home. This started because I was too poor/cheap to buy beef and wasn't really sure how to cook it. I haven't really missed it, though. It'll be interesting to see how it goes if I end up with a meat & potatoes guy, because that's just not the kind of stuff I make.

citymama1 said...

I rarely eat fix or eat meat. Consequently, neither does my family. For the first 3 years of our marriage he'd complain about the lack of red meat in our diet but has just recently seen the value in a mostly vegetable and fish diet. Yeah! In the past few years we've reached a compromise. I cook most nights and fix what I want. But once a week the tables are turned and it's his choice to choose and prepare. These nights mostly involve meat. He's happy he gets to eat meat and I'm happy I don't have to fix it. And he's turning out to be a most excellent chef! Chimichurri sauce and all!

c jane said...

Oh Honey . . . those last questions . . . where do I start?

I've made a firm decision to never discuss my eating habits with anyone other than my other personalities (Norma and Simone).

It is as socially damning to discuss ones eating habits as it is being pro-polygamy (which I will discuss socially, and quite frequently, as you know.)

But I must say that even my Son of Idaho is coming around to the brilliance of a mostly vegetable diet. He can substitute rice for meat almost effortlessly. And I hope you know I support your moderate meat habits, especially given your Spanish blood.

And, "J grew up in the 1950s" was a really good line. No wonder he thinks the microwave is so spiffy?

(Is spiffy a 50s word? I thought long and hard.)

Jennifer Lee said...

"I know you're leaning that way and that terrifies me." That cracked me up. My husband would say the same thing.

Bek said...

My husband is pretty happy to get what he is served, so no problems there (and he is an adventurous eater). We don't buy and cook it often and when I do it is of the crock pot variety (I made a roast the other day for the first time ever and my husband and three kids ate THE ENTIRE THING!!). We do shephards pie, Irish stew (plenty of veggies in there too), and fajitas. The only time I have ever cooked steak was when my daughter requested filet mignon for her birthday dinner. She got it. When I made the roast she though it was the same thing (score).

I can see how it would be hard, but I am lucky to have veggie eating kids and a husband who loves what he gets as long as he doesn't have to make it..... It seems like such a shame for a culinary goddess like you. Cooking club?

Amy said...

Slightly off topic, but still funny: my 80-something grandpa has been befriended by a young couple who just moved in across the street from him. Seriously every single time he talks about them, he includes a comment like, "They really are nice people, but, you know, they're vegetarian." He sort of whispers the word vegetarian and looks to make sure no one can overhear him, as if he's telling me that his neighbors are involved in some immoral and illegal side business.

More on topic: my husband told me from day one that the way to please him at the dinner table was to have some kind of meat, some kind of sauce, some kind of veggies, and some kind of bread. Simple, but endlessly variable. Don't leave anything out though. And whatever you do, don't cook with "scaries."

Karyn said...

My husband and I disagree on meat theory. I view "sparingly" as not often and he sees sparingly as not every meal. I am from a family that ate vegetarian meals regularly, and he is from a family of meat-potatos-iceberg salad-rolls meals. We agree on lots of other things... Sharp cheddar. Spicy mustard. Mayo not Miracle Whip.

I only eat chocolate. Only dark, good chocolate. Percentage chocolate. Or brownies. Okay... I eat other stuff too, but only inbetween chocolates.

I get very territorial when it comes to chocolate. I don't like to share if it is good. I hide it from the kids... because they really like the good, mommy chocolate. I am a bad bad example to my kids when it comes to chocolate.

If ever in Chicago, don't miss the Mississippi Mud Pie from Heaven on Seven... the best chocolate creation I have ever devoured. This is the only dish that has ever made me want to lick a plate absolutely clean. Get your very own piece... don't think you can share it.

Gee. This is a long comment. Sorry.

The MomBabe said...

ugh. My Husband's family is big meat-eaters and my family is not. It's been a hard adjustment for him, because as I always say

"I am not a restaurant and I don't take orders."

He's just learned to eat what I make....

FoxyJ said...

I buy fancy chocolate bars and keep them in my purse so I eat them on the way to work and my hubby doesn't know. I think it's partly bad habit from childhood, and also because I'm selfish. Plus he's been dieting for two years and actually losing weight and he makes me feel guilty for not losing weight too. I like my treats more than losing 20 pounds I guess.

I think I actually got lucky because both my husband and I grew up "granola" houses with lots of veggies, no soda, little meat, whole grain bread, etc. On the one hand, it's made both of us secret sugar and ice cream freaks. But, on the other hand, we have relatively similar eating habits. He's actually been pushing for more vegetarian meals over the last year, and I've been resisting. Mostly because I love food and I'm always reading about cool recipes involving meat. We actually do eat meatless about 4 or 5 times a week at least. There was an interesting article in the NY Times last week about the meat industry. I made the mistake of forwarding it to my hubby and now when I want to cook with meat he says stuff like "Iowa produces 50 million tons of pig manure each month". Nice.

Kalli Ko said...

I was raised in a carnivorous household. We ate a lot of meat-'tate-n-tuff (translation: meat, potatoes, and stuff), and most of it was venison and other wild game (wyoming, remember?). Now that I'm a bit older, I can't handle the red meat as much. I stick mostly to chicken and pork, but do occasionally enjoy a good roast or steak.

I get the looks because of my aversion to seafood. I wish I liked it, but I just don't. I try new stuff all the time just to check but I've come to accept that it isn't ever going to happen for me. I really don't understand the point of eating fish when people say "it doesn't even taste fishy". It's fish, don't you want it to taste like fish?

Katie said...

I would do anything (okay- almost) for chocolate. If I am having a chocolate attack and I can't find any in those 'easy to find' places- I will look in my kids drawers and eat the chocolate they have from Halloween or Birthday parties or whatever - About the meat thing- my DH is a total Meat & Potatoes guy... he does always say he loves fish- But I hate cooking fish- it grosses me out more than red meat. Any suggestions? I have cut out the 'roll' or bread with the meal habit- so I figure if we have a little meat (mostly chicken) with veggies and a salad- we are doing okay. I have three growing boys (well- 4 with my DH) that eat a lot- and I feel like 'meat' fills them up! (I am totally old school, I know!)

petullant said...

Every night I rush home from work to fry up some horrendous piece of meat and boil one of those five minute bags of rice as I stare disconsolately at the floor. I yell to Ben that his supper is ready. Then I fix myself a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich and wonder where I went wrong.

I actually like cooking. But I hate having to do it every night when he's been home for two hours, hasn't eaten all day, and only likes meat and rice. I swear when I walk in the door I just spell oil and meat. And to think that the rest of my life is going to resemble this at 7pm each night makes me more than a little depressed.

Oh wait, was this supposed to be a helpful/funny/amusing comment? Whoops.

Fig said...

Ha. Ha ha ha. I can relate to this post on pretty much every level possible. I will melt chocolate chips and slick the stuff off my fingers if that's all the choco in the house.

I lived veg for most of last year, to my husband's absolute horror. He started in denial and eventually went into survival mode, snagging mammal flesh every chance he got (plain lunchmeat from the fridge, McNuggets on his way to the gas station, etc.). He did understand where I was coming from, sort of, and tried to be understanding, but he too grew up in the '50s, or at least in a house where Meatless. Meals. Do. Not. Happen. Ever.

In the end, I kept pork chops and chicken tenders on hand and pan fried him one or the other as a side to every meal. Although, he ate veggie stew, lasagna, and enchiladas without complaint (I thank the Lord every day for a husband who loves EVERY vegetable).

And finally, the steak. When I cook steaks I never make more than the bare minimum, on the off-chance that there will be leftovers, since leftover steak has to be eaten cold, since steak CAN'T be microwaved. Ever. 30 seconds in the zapper takes a perfectly medium-rare steak to a state of hideous well-doneness.

So, I feel you.

Lindsey said...

I'm just annoying the heck out of my husband because I never eat meat unless I'm pregnant. And now, I'm pregnant. That's all I want. Day and night. He keeps asking me when we're going to start eating vegetables again. I'm like, "We have vegetables. They are in the freezer--here--LOOK." And there were no veggies in there. Then I remembered that all I have been buying is beef and chips and salsa.

I wish I had cravings like you had--the sound much healthier.


Am'n2deep said...

I could totally become a vegetarian. In fact, for a time I went so far as to only eat whole foods--nothing processed, refined, no meat or dairy. I made a serious effort to bring my family along. They revolted. I ended up having a complete melt-down. Still, I won't budge on a few things, and overall we eat healthier, but if it were just me...

Lois said...

I became a vegetarian while working at a veterinary hospital so that I wouldn't be killed by my animal rights fighting coworkers. Nigel and I tried being vegans for about a week, but I love real cheese too much (though I do make a killer chocolate tofu pie). I think that if I lived alone, I would be a vegetarian (who am I kidding? If I lived alone I would eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Jill said...

I have eaten hot chocolate mix directly from the can.

It was the ONLY chocolate I could find in the house.

Marge Bjork said...

I try to tell people I don't eat meat and then they ask me if I'm vegetarian, which makes me feel awkward because I have lots of friends who are gung-ho about saving the world. Whereas I would rather recycle quietly and equally quietly wear large quantities of leather.

sara said...

I once gave up chocolate for lent and will never do that again. Pure torture. But I had to, it was on a dare.

I adore potatoes in any variety. I have a few meat recipes I love but I don't know enough about bovines to be a great meat cook so I don't try very often. Could never be vegetarian though.

Emmie said...

Oh, the things I have done in the name of chocolate... (Nothing illegal, mind you. Just embarrassing.)

I am really good at baking cakes, cookies, breads, etc. However, as you know, I cannot eat cakes, cookies, breads, etc. unless they're made from rice or soy flour. And then, you know, why bother? So I make gluten-filled delights for others (most especially my husband) to enjoy, and I do not partake. Don't cry for me, gluten eaters - the truth is, I used to be one of you...

I'm usually the only gluten-intolerant at any table or social gathering, and I get frustrated with the amount of attention that gets, and the trouble people have to go to in order to feed me. I always tell host(esse)s not to worry about it, that I can just eat around the gluten, but they usually don't buy that, and go to the trouble of making a wheat-free meal that no one enjoys but me. It's a sad state of affairs, really. I think I'll go eat some chocolate.

~j. said...

What I would, and have, done for chocolate is nothing compared to what I'd do for the very meal you ordered last night.

Rynell said...

I have sent my husband out into a blustery blizzard of a cold night to go buy me chocolate. He gets that about me and actually offers.

But...he is a meat eater, who cannot stand onions. Except in my salsa, and that he gobbles. So he's just a little inconsistent there in the whole NO ONION WHATSOEVER rule. He also dislikes salad, unless it's iceberg lettuce drenched in honey mustard salad dressing. But great salads are not great to him. He will eat most veggies, but he prefers them cooked to the point of soggy. Ew. Sometimes I remember to remove my serving when lightly steamed, but only sometimes.

I prefer not to eat so much meat and I wouldn't mind just going meatless most of the time. Not really out of principle or anything, I just like other things better, well most of the time. I guess his inconsistencies are not the only ones around here.

At least he buys me chocolate.

Gee, sorry my (long) comment got away from me.

AzĂșcar said...

After I re-read this entry, I realized that I didn't clarify that El Guille did the breaking into the chocolates, not I. I, in fact, are quite capable of opening a box of chocolates. El Guille singlehandedly destroyed my visiting teachee's gift. Golf clap.

MoJo's Weekly Update said...

I am that person. I loved steak, in fact in high school I wanted to go to steak restaurants, if we ever went out. Now, not so much. In fact, I shudder sometimes when I think of eating meat and sometimes I fully welcome it. Also, I agree, the only way to eat a steak is medium rare.

Likely said...

Other Half is soooo Uncle Rico.