Sunday, November 4, 2007

Rubber Fungus Mustache

I am very mad at Devin right now. I apologize if it is awkward for me to air out my differences with Devin in this public forum, but it has to be done. There are two main points of contention. First, he writes higher quality blog entries than I do and it makes me look bad. This is my debut on the blogging scene, and Devin – a blogging giant on an epic scale – is crowding me out as I try to get my footing in this strange world of fast-paced wit and rigorous criticism. Bad sport and hardly the conduct of a gentleman. (Here, here! *Pound fist on table and check pocketwatch indignantly*) The second issue I have with our mutual friend Mr. Ellsworth is that he stole my topic for a blog entry yesterday. This issue is not unrelated to the first you may notice. I know Devin and myself make this stuff look easy. But as you sit back and enjoy a daily chuckle perusing our blog, you need to remember that some underpaid intern brain cells have been working overtime to convert our daily lives into the highest quality philosophical waxings with just the right touch of humor. Now, my intern brain cells are of the highest moral character, and despite the thievery of those oppressed brain cells Devin commands with an iron fist, I will politely tell my own story and add some new content, just to show we won’t let such tactics get to us. (Pssst! Devin’s brain cells, you can come work for me anytime, I pay fair wages and provide room and board) Here goes:

My friend Tim drove up for the weekend on Friday night. I had explained to him the situation with the vegetarianism and he pressed me with some good questions about exactly what my goals were and what reasoning I had for believing this was worthwhile, but he ultimately seemed to agree with the idea and encourage it. He is an aspiring Biologist himself, so it was good to get some more diverse scientific criticism. Turns out he is has is own odd obsession with vegetables despite not being a vegetarian in the least. We took advantage of our mutual interest eventually, but first we had to overcome the obstacle that was Applebee’s™ (remember how you are supposed to be reading that little symbol now). Last night we went to eat at Applebee’s™ and I was a little curious how it would turn out because it was my first time at a restaurant since starting this new diet. I found much the same thing Devin found with his restaurant’s menu: 10 pages of diverse meat menu items. I don’t know what I expect them to have, but I did not have many options, which is a sad prospect when you are out to enjoy a delicious meal. I was constrained to a few items on the appetizer menu, so I ordered some bread with Italian cheesy dip and, combined with our chips and salsa and lots of lemonade, it filled me up in the end. It would have been nice to have a bruschetta burger with pesto sauce on focaccia bread though…oh man, it looked so good. I am going to have to plan ahead a little harder before I go gallivanting into local restaurants. I have been informed of a local restaurant that only focuses on vegetarian dishes and has a ‘green’ building to boot! I will have to become a regular.

There is light in this dark world of mine though. No, I don’t just sit around grumbling about Devin’s shenanigans, pouting over the menu at Applebee’s™ and paying wages to my interns all day. No, THIS evening was a revolution of food and light. Not the cultic sort that Devin seems to be getting involved in (why does he turn innocent meals into cultic ceremonies in his imagination?) (Why are you being so harsh on Devin when he is such a great guy?) (I don’t know, I will try to stop now) (That would be nice, Thank You) (No, Thank YOU for having the courage to keep me in line) (Think nothing of it) [Hey guys I am in the middle of explaining a revolution of food and light here, can this wait?] (Oh, sorry we can talk about this later) Anyways, today after church Tim and I went to the local supergrocer to exploit their produce section. We set out with the intent of eating new vegetables we had not had before. More of them were new to me than Tim, but he seemed to have fun too, especially since he could wash it down with some pinot grigio. That’s right, wine got involved as well, we were very classy. We made some fresh Bruschetta with shaved parmesan on Rosemary Olive Oil bread, steamed some butternut squash, asparagus and zucchini, sautéed and seasoned some chickpeas and mixed them with a generous helping of lentils, then topped the mixture off with Portabella mushrooms sautéed in olive oil and some more parmesan. All in all it was a lot of vegetables and weird little round things that I had not had before and it filled me to the brim with a variety of flavors yet…no meat…somehow…then the revolution: I liked it all! The biggest challenge of the whole meal was the mushrooms. Is anyone else afraid of eating a fungus that has fat brown whiskers growing in a hidden crevice? I was. I honestly still get the increased pulse thing going on when I have that rubbery substance churning in my mouth. I try not to think about the fungal mustache rubbing all over my tongue whilst masticating. (That’s sounds wrong - children be careful when you try to repeat that one on in class tomorrow) But really, those mushrooms had the most diverse and exciting flavor of anything that ever grew on a wet stump, or possibly even in the soil (to expand the competition just a little). Now, maybe I am going a little crazy in my meat-deprived state, but I think if I ordered the flavorfulness of various substances, the list would go 1)Steak 2)Portabellas 3)Chicken –PAUSE- Did you see what I just did there? I put the hairy, asexually-reproducing decomposer ahead of the succulent bird. (Succulent is a great word and you are welcome for me making it part of your day) I highly recommend those mushrooms to all who have not violated their instincts and made that leap already. At this point I should acknowledge my dad for telling me about Portabellas. You were right Dad.

As look back on that long paragraph, I am not sure I actually got around to conveying the excitement of that meal. It really was quite a thrill to find out those things did not taste horrible. Let alone that they had a good flavor. So now I have conveyed it. Maybe I should focus on writing relevant content instead of writing imaginary arguments between some unidentified voices. But the meal was probably a turning point in this experience. I actually feel almost overwhelmed with the number of options I have at the grocery as a vegetarian now. I had secretly been thinking to myself that I was going to be hitting the meat hardcore when this was over. That this wasn’t for me. Maybe Devin can join his clubs and run with it even when this is over, but I just can’t find enough ways to enjoy cooking and food like this. But for now I think I have options again. This might stick a little more than I once thought.

Plagiarized thought of the day*: Ever notice how soy beans always go around pretending to be meat, but you never see steak pretending to be soy beans? What does that tell us?

*For proper citation ask Tim Babatz who said it, it was one of his friends


Devin E said...

I have to say my friend.. and this is not me trying to be diplomatic or publicly heal the wounds that still throb in private.. that your posts are most enjoyable and hilarious. Especially this one... I hate mushrooms, gross! Who likes eating slimy slippery sponges that did indeed grow on a log?

Tyler said...

alex, you make me laught so hard!
You explained exactly why I DON"T eat mushrooms!
However, I don't think I will ever give up meat...mmmmm, can you smell that steak cooking, oozing with juices, over the grill?

mom said...

oops, guess I don't know how to use the blog thing...I'm not tyler! sorry!

Tim Babatz said...

Hey Alex. That meal was good. I went to the Supergrocer today and loaded up on fresh plants--I can't wait to steam them up and shove them in my mouth. Thanks for the shout-outs in your entry. Cya around.