Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm all Woman, I Just wasn't born with a Fryin' Pan in my hand

What I wouldn't give for that marvelous pair of scissors that came with my knife set, which I recently sold at a garage sale to a college-bound, bushy-tailed teenage boy. I bought chicken today. Something I never do, because I can't stand to handle the slimeyness of it. It's a reason I hate cooking and a reason I don't buy meat. It really is much easier to live as a vegetarian. But the scissors were perfect for cutting meat, on the few occassions I did. Now, I'm not talking hacking at meat for the hell of it, no, I'm talking about the FAT. Another reason I don't cook: I can't seem to figure out how to buy the meat without all the fat on it. Then again, I have special requirements for the fat content on my meat. This, folks, is how my whole "I hate meat" thing began.

Between chicken buying and my conversation with Caroline in the stairwell on our way to the Post cafeteria Friday, I need to explain why I hate meat. When I was growing up, I was in one of those families where you sat at the table till you ate every last piece of meat on your plate. If you didn't? You'd sit there as it got cold and stale like a dog toy, and then you'd still have to eat it. Now, I never hated meat until I realized that parts of the steak my parents were forcing down my throat had fat on them. I realized the plasticy material on the meat wasn't just "supposed to be like that." No, it was fat. So I started cutting it off and pushing it to the side of my plate, complaining along the way that I couldn't be forced to eat FAT. By the time I was done, it seemed that half the piece of meat was on the corner of the plate with spare peas (which I also hate) and kernels of corn. My parents got sick of the act and started removing the fat for me, shoving the meat in front of me and saying "look, now it's fine." So I grew to hate meat. I started to master the art of "take a bite, chew, pretend to swallow and go to use the bathroom." Now, I didn't really USE the bathroom. No, I spit that gross tug of war in my mouth out and flushed it. I would return to the table and force my way through the rest of my meal, lest they get suspicious. The parents eventually caught on and that's when the brutal treatment started. I would sit at that antique green-stained-dark brown antique table, elbows on table and hands pressing cheeks staring at the plate of grossness while my family sat in front of the TV laughing and enjoying themselves. After about an hour, I got yelled at, lectured, told to go to my room. Rinse and repeat.

I stopped eating beef the moment I moved out when I was 17, nearly 18. I tried to get around it before that, but it was impossible, coming from the corn-fed-beef state and all. I would eat the occassional turkey or pork, but chicken became my staple. It was easy, good on everything, and no matter where you went, there it was. The only pork I was ever fond of was pork cutlets, but I realized somewhere midway through highschool that they were laden with chewy fat pieces at the Edwards household. I'd never liked bacon or sausage, either. So it seemed natural when I stopped eating it freshman year of college. It wasn't an EFFORT, but just that I didn't need to have to eat it anymore. So by the summer after my sophomore year of college, I'd stopped eating all red meat, period. The occasional hamburger finds it's way in to the mix (on outings to Inn-N-Out in Cali), which I don't mind. There's something about ground beef that is kosher with me. I don't do steak or anything that resembles it, and I definitely don't do pork. It began because of my fit with bacon and sausage, and turned into both a "I hate pork" and "I'd like to keep kosher" kind of thing. Convenience, nu? As for shellfish, well, I never ate much of it anyway -- too expensive for my taste.

So what does that leave me with? Chicken. Turkey. Salmon. Yes, these are my meats of choice, and I wouldn't have it any other way, thank you very much. Hopefully that's the last little rant I ever have to do on it. It isn't some great "SAVE THE ANIMALS!" kind of thing by any means. Don't get me wrong, cruelty of animals in the butchering process is ... well, unfortunate. But I can't manage a completely veggie/fruit diet, honestly. So now, I eat mostly vegetarian at home because, as evidenced by this evening, I don't like dealing with raw chicken. When I go out? C/T/S all the way, baby.

This, folks, is why I need me a husband who doesn't mind cooking. I'm really incapable.