I haven’t written anything in a while about my adventures in vegetarianism, mostly because it’s going really smoothly. I’m eating food, I haven’t had any major problems, things are good. But I do have a few little stories to share.
The day we moved our furniture into our new house, we had some friends over to help, and we ordered the requisite pizza to feed them. One of my friends is sensitive to gluten, so we also ordered some chicken fingers and wings so she’d have something to eat too. Everything was out on the table like a big buffet, and we were all happily chowing down. The wings happened to be right in front of me, and they looked really good, so I reached over and grabbed one. My husband F had to had to say “They’re meat. They’re meat. THEY’RE MEAT!” before I realized and put it back. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t even really like wings back when I ate meat, so maybe I just wasn’t making the wing = meat connection in my brain.
That was a few weeks ago. This past weekend, my sister-in-law Meg came to visit. Meg has been a vegetarian since she was maybe eight years old; she’s also a trained chef. Woman knows how to cook. I learned about freezing tofu: F and I already knew that it was good to freeze the tofu, but not why or what to do with it when you wanted to then defrost and cook it. (It’s good because it gets a lot of the excess water out of the tofu, and to defrost it you just stick it in the fridge the night before or put it out on the counter like you would with anything you were defrosting, and then you can just dump it in the stir fry and because it’s not watery it won’t hardly crumble at all!) Now I know. I also made the stir fry sauce from scratch, learned about what to do with the cornstarch to make the stir fry sauce thicker, and learned a better way to prepare couscous than what I had been doing. Bonus: we found a restaurant 2.5 miles from my new house that I am sure F doesn’t know about; I don’t know of any other restaurants in our area who make this sort of cuisine, which is a cuisine that F likes, and the food was damn good, so I’m really psyched to surprise F and take him there.
My other lesson from my weekend with Meg involves protein, and how you should, um, make sure to eat it. I had just been haphazardly planning my meals, figuring that I probably get enough protein and not worrying about it, but Meg sort of made the point that one ought to eat some protein with every meal. We’d be talking about what to eat for dinner, and she’d say what do we have, and I’d rattle off a bunch of items, and she’d say okay what will we have for our protein, and I just kind of looked at her. It just made me think in an obvious sort of way that I should plan for the protein thing and make sure to eat it regularly. And now that I understand about tofu a little better, I feel more confident about that. (We ate all the tofu that was in our freezer, so I got more at the store tonight and cut it up and froze it, although I’m realizing now that I forgot to press the water out of it first so I’m hoping that it’ll freeze okay. Clearly I still have plenty more to learn.)