In which you are what you eat and I am a mystery

I very nearly ended today’s earlier post with a suggestion that I might take a couple of days off. I deleted it on account of no I fucking won’t, so of course here I am a few hours later with a second post for the day.

We are doing a vegetarian week this week. This is not as big of a deal as it might sound; while I am very much a fan of meat and remaining a vegetarian for my entire life is not really something I’m interested in doing, I’ve been eating veggie burgers for lunch for like two weeks and I enjoy eating damn near everything vegetarians eat. So a week of being a vegetarian is really not a terribly difficult thing to do.

At least, when I’m paying attention.

The boy wanted McDonald’s for lunch today, and I couldn’t think of a good reason to tell him no, so we went. I toned down what I usually get on account of I’m trying to pay more attention to eating better in general (yes, I know McDonald’s is not progress in the “eat better” department, but at least I had less of it) and I swear to you that it took until well after I was finished with my lunch to realize that a McDonald’s Daily Double is made of meat.

Which, you need to understand here, this is a category error on my part, and not me just forgetting that I was a vegetarian this week. There’s been at least one vegetarian week where there was pizza at work and I absent-mindedly had a slice of pepperoni without thinking about it. This isn’t that. This is a McDonald’s Daily Double does not process in my brain as a cheeseburger, and it did not even occur to me to think that those two delicious, peppery patties were meat. What the fuck are they? They’re Daily Double patties, apparently. Made of what? Love and cholesterol. Sure as hell not meat.

I’m a lot of things, but “bright” ain’t one of them.

7:45 PM, Tuesday June 16th: 2,134,973 confirmed cases and 116,854 Americans dead.

In which tofu is delicious

…okay, none of the small number of vegans I know are like this at all, and at least one of them is an outstanding cook, but I have to admit I was laughing so hard I was crying by about halfway through this video– enough to get it posted to the blog instead of Facebook or Twitter.

In which this is not the meat you’re looking for

IMG_1558Yes, that’s spaghetti.

But that isn’t ground beef, nor is it sausage.

Longtime readers know that I dabble with vegetarianism occasionally, and that I enjoy me a tasty boca burger from time to time.  Meat substitutes intrigue me.  Some of them are better than others, and some of them are just good on their own merits.  Boca chicken, for example, tastes enough like chicken for me, but Boca burgers don’t taste like meat at all.  They’re still good, because lots of things that don’t taste like meat are good.

Some of the Subways in Chicago had a veggie patty that was goddamn delicious, but none of the ones in Indiana seem to have it.  It’s very depressing.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I suddenly saw a bunch of articles all in a short period of time about Beyond Meat, a company that was so insistent that their plant-based meat substitutes were indistinguishable from meat that the CEO was insisting that, chemically, they actually were meat.  I can’t find any of the articles now, unfortunately, but this page on their website makes a similar claim.  Key to their definition: you have to call it “meat” because of what it is, not what it comes from.

Available at Whole Foods, starting in January.  Well, OK.  There’s a Whole Foods in town, and I’d needed an excuse to go pop in anyway, so I used part of my free day off yesterday to go check the place out.  I came home with some Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles, which were around $5 for about 11-12 ounces.

Preparation was exactly the same as ground beef; I tossed it in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and sautéed it.  I made the tomato sauce from scratch, and after tasting and seasoning it a bit I tossed it into the tomato sauce and let the meat and sauce live together for a little bit.

So here’s the skinny on Beyond Meat: It looks and cooks basically exactly like meat. I don’t think anyone would look at that picture and not recognize ground beef or sausage.  And so long as you season it and put it with something, it tastes fine.  But you know how whenever you make a meat sauce with pasta, your last bite is always just the meat, because the pasta is always gone first?  Okay.  That bite’s gonna be weird.  The primary ingredient of Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles is pea protein, and that last bite’s gonna getcha a little bit.  The texture is a little– just a little— off, still, and you can sorta taste the pea even through the tomatoes and the oregano and rosemary and thyme and all the other stuff I had in my tomato sauce.  Mixed with some spaghetti, though– basically anything else to chew on— and I would have fooled you.

Not quite perfect yet, in other words.  But I’m keeping an eye on this company, and I’m curious about their not-chicken, because for whatever reason chicken seems to be easier to fake than beef.

In which… well, not much, actually

My son is apparently reading a book called “The Alphabet for Hippies;” so far I’ve heard him mention that R is for radicchio and K is for kohlrabi; I feel like he should not know what these things are. I barely know what these things are, to tell you the truth. S is apparently for Swiss chard.

C is for cookie, dammit, not “currant.” I rebel against the tyranny of the good-food alphabet!


Featured events for today: One of the two Kids who are Always Suspended came back from suspension today; the other was himself suspended by the end of the day. At the moment I don’t know what for. Another kid has just been put on half-days due to behavior issues and has also been suspended for the last several days; he managed to last literally less than five minutes before getting sent out of the room and then home. That’s not a joke or an exaggeration. Here was his school day: 1) came to school; 2) ate lunch; 3) four minutes of class; 4) sent home.

Also, I intercepted a note from one student to another that turned out to be a rather detailed and surprisingly well-written and romantic description of her first kiss. The girl flipped out in a fashion that was probably supposed to be dramatic but just ended up hilarious; when I stopped laughing I assured her that I didn’t give a good goddamn who she was kissing and gave her the story back. There are certain situations when we find out about stuff that they’re doing where we become mandatory reporters; a two-second kiss is not one of them.

At some point I actually did do some teaching today, too. This has actually been a pretty good week (the absences of both of the Always Suspended twins for the first two days of the week helped) and I’m hoping tomorrow keeps the trend going. Especially since the other possibility is that the week has been saving all of its bullshit for Friday. I’d prefer that to not be the case.

(He’s still reading that book. What the hell is a Xigua?)

Tonight’s activities will mostly involve reading, vegetating on the couch, and trying not to die. Forgive me; I can’t be exciting every day.

In which TMI for serious


Do not read this post.

I repeat: do not read this post.  You don’t want to know anything I’m going to talk about in this post.

I’m not kidding.


You’re still reading.  You understand that I’m not kidding and you’ve been warned four fucking times now if I don’t count this warning which is technically the fifth if I’m allowed to count the word “seriously” as a warning which I can because this is my blog and I make the rules.  Plus, like, the title of the post.  And the picture.


Here, I’ll put a line so that you can have a place to stop:

So I was a vegetarian for a week, right?  One of the unexpected awesome things about being a vegetarian was the awesome bowel movements.


Seriously.  Pooing as a vegetarian is the absolute best kind of pooing.  I’ve never been this damn regular in my life, and some of the stuff that was coming out of me was the kind of bowel movement that you want to take a picture of so that you can reflect on how proud of it you were later.  (Shut up; you all know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.) And, like, high enough in quantity that you feel pleasantly emptied-out after each bowel movement, as opposed to pooing and then feeling like you still need to poo five minutes later, which I believe is known as the “Chinese food poo” across most of the Western world.

For a week, I was a poo king.  Like, Count Poo of Happyshit Mountain, the Grand Regent of Poo, the Magnate of Meconium (you clicked, didn’t you?), His Majesty the Lord Superior of the Seven Heavenly Principalities of Poo.  It was amazing.  This ought to be in the vegetarian brochure, people.

(Mental note: write the vegetarian brochure.  Make millions of both brochures and dollars.)

I had three meals today, and all three involved meat.  This was intentional, obviously; I usually don’t eat meat at every meal but I missed it.  Breakfast involved sausage, there were hot dogs and some beef soup at lunch, and dinner was a Triple Coronary with a side of clogged arteries at Culver’s.  Delicious.

And I’m gonna have to sleep on the fucking couch tonight because of the beef farts.  My nose hairs are singed. Jesus.  My wife’s gonna kill me if I hotbox the comforter tonight.

And by “if” I mean “when.”

If I never post again, you know why.