WND – The Zubin Look

October 2, 2009

mushroom stems

When I was in college I did a Junior Year Abroad in Edinburgh and ended up hanging out with a wide variety of other displaced US students (and a couple of Germans and a Welshman, but no actual Scots).  One of them was a Philosophy Masters student named Zubin.  He had a look that he would occasionally level at you that said – what planet are you from, and could you possibly return there posthaste.  It was an eloquent look and we promptly named it after him.  After graduation and upon joining the unwashed ranks of the working world I came to a greater and greater appreciation for utility of this particular gaze, because people are weird.

Case in point, about a year ago I was at a going away party for a co-worker and somehow ended up in a conversation about food allergies/food preferences.    My co-worker (not the one who was leaving, he was actually mostly sane) started talking about how she’d always toyed with the idea of being a vegetarian because animals are just so cute.  I confessed to a certain lack of heart when it came to the cute factor of baby sheep and cows.  She pondered this for a moment and then posited the idea that this was because I was European and therefore had fewer qualms about my food.  I cautiously allowed that this might be true.  I never like when people ascribe sweeping generalizations to entire continents, but if there’s anything the French won’t eat I haven’t come across it yet.

And this is when the conversation got weird.  Having ascertained that I (a) cheerfully eat animals of all ages and levels of cuteness, and that (b) this was because I was ‘European’ she then asked if I had a pet.  Bemused by the change in conversation I nodded yes.  She gave a small gasp of horror and asked in a sepulcher whisper, “To eat?”

That’s just such an odd question that I can’t even get there from here.  What does eating lamb and veal have to do with having a pet?  And how does any of that lead to the stray thought that I might eat my pets?  Fortunately it was a dim bar, and I’m pretty sure she was a little squiffy so she didn’t really register it when I gave her the Zubin look and backed away slowly.

My point is, I’ll respect a decision to be vegetarian or even vegan (provided you don’t try and turn me into one) if you have a moral or religious conviction that eating meat is wrong.  I tend to be a little more cynical about people who tout abstaining from all meat as a health issue, but I’ll let it go because different strokes for different folks and who knows, they may be right.  I’m just not willing to give up bacon on the off chance that they are.  However, if your moral line is that a baby calf has a velvety nose and is exponentially more winsome than 1400lb of mama cow and therefore you won’t eat veal but have no issue tucking into a 12oz steak, I reserve the right to mock your logic mercilessly.  Equally, not liking something is not the same thing as it being bad.  I don’t like oysters or kalimari but that’s because I think oysters are slimy (also, alive when you eat them) and that kalimari tastes like rubber bands – even deep fried it just tastes like deep fried rubber bands – but I don’t have a moral issue with eating them, much less with other people eating and enjoying them.

And in conclusion let me state for the record, to the best of my knowledge I have never eaten either my pet or anyone else’s.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini
Not made from last week’s chicken mostly because we ate most of it at Dinner, and what we didn’t eat at Dinner I nibbled on straight of the fridge later in the week.  The rest got boiled down for stock, some of which then got translated into the sauce for the Turkey Tetrazzini.

Recipe previously given: Turkey Tetrazzini
filled plate

Last of the summer fruit – and nuts because the guest with nut allergies is absent from Dinner until January.  I should find all the recipes with nuts that I’ve never made and take advantage of the opportunity.



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