Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Interdietary Couple

What happens when a vegan and an omnivore fall in love? Well, first the vegan takes the omni out for her birthday and she eats a salad with bloody rags of medium-rare flank steak and he asks her, "Uh, is that how you wanted it cooked?" And she replies, with her mouth full, "Mhhhmmm." The omni has a Nigella Lawson fetish and especially enjoys baking. Around the time these two meet, which is Christmastime, the cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Romero very conveniently comes out. It takes the omni baker until Easter to actually bake something from this book (the lychee cupcakes with coconut glaze). They are a huge hit with the vegan and his mom, the omni and her mom. The omni eats ham on Easter. And steals some of the vegan's Morningstar Farms fake steak strips.

Throughout this time, the omni sometimes wonders if she could go veg. Maybe. She's always loved animals. She, like most, tries to put out of her mind that the rags and strips and legs on her plate were once alive and walking around (or most likely not walking, as she soon discovered). One day, she gets a magazine from the Humane Society and reads their article on factory farming while chowing down on a piece of lemon roast chicken (an all-time favorite) and suddenly cannot chew it. This is where having a dog comes in handy. The vegan and omni have an idea to start a blog about their experience on sharing the table together. But suddenly, the omni is sorta kinda a vegetarian (she's still eating shrimp and such).

This blog is about something that most couples and groups of people do together: eat. When we're around those who enjoy eating the same things we do, we don't have to spend as much time thinking about what we're eating (or not eating). Brian and I have spent time with our respective groups of friends and families and have been the odd one out at least once during a meal: Brian with my crew at a soul food restaurant in Manhattan eating a very bland (and expensive) plate of wilted greens and starch while the rest of us ate fried chicken, buttery cornbread, and ribs. Me with Brian's crew eating at the vegan Native Foods in Southern California, enjoying the un-chicken wings but being sorely disappointed when my entree comes and it's just a sour lemon mush of quinoa and flavorless steamed veggies. Brian tells me I should have picked the fun junk food instead of trying to eat healthy.

Now, more than ever before, we're all concerned in some way with what we do or do not eat. Food is a communal experience that has incredibly personal meaning. It is a matter of simple likes and dislikes that is backed up with our family histories and hundreds of years of culture and history guiding our desires. We don't want to shy away from the politics of food but our primary aim is to find a way to make sure everyone is, at least most of the time, fed to their satisfaction. Since Brian isn't much of a chef and I am obsessed with cookbooks, the Food Network, and baking at 2 am, I've discovered a whole new way of cooking as I've tried to find options we can both enjoy. While I've never had any troubles finding vegetarian recipes to cook for Brian and I, I could not find many resources that dealt with couples, families, and friends managing the day to day life of loving and living with people whose diets may not always blend. Brian's had years of people asking him what a vegan is and if he can eat fish so he can offer his perspective on how to make veggies feel welcomed at the table as well as how to answer the question of whether or not fish is a vegetable. I am just exploring vegetarianism for myself and often feel torn between my ethical concerns with eating animals and my tastebuds. Mostly, we'll just be eating and posting pics of what we eat and hope anyone who visits will share their ideas about eating.

Mostly, we'll just eat.

1 comment:

The Lazy Vegan said...

Hey, Joselle and Brian, love the blog! FWIW, in the three long-term relationships I've had, my SO has not been vegan or even close; happens a lot, I'll bet, so this is a good blog to have. Brian, you're lucky to have Joselle be willing to give being vegan a good go. :-)

Take care,