The problem with poultry and pork

Have you ever had to cook for a vegetarian? My daughter became one when she was in high school. Not a big deal, you might think. And, if that were the only issue in my kitchen, I would have agreed with you. But she had also given up pork since she was about five. Thanks to my father. Not intentionally, of course. But he had bought her a cute stuffed pig who was named Rollo. And when my daughter put two and two together — that pork and bacon came from pigs — that was the end of pork in her diet. Rollo is still in my house, still unawares that his owner has once again embraced bacon as a food group. Mostly pancetta, for seasoning. Her culinary skills are growing, and she’s discovering that pork products can go a long way in creating interesting flavors in dishes.

But so what, you say? What’s the big deal about cooking for a vegetarian. And not cooking pork?

Well, my husband doesn’t eat poultry. No eggs, no chicken, no turkey, no chicken soup. He will eat cookies, cakes and brownies which he knows contain eggs. But he really won’t even touch a delicious vichysoisse with a chicken stock base.

So, tell me where you build an evening meal that is tasty and nutritious, but doesn’t have pork, or chicken? You can’t eat fish everyday. And where my daughter could live on pasta, my husband can take it or leave it. Preferably leave it. He’s recently decided that he can tolerate rigatoni, as long as it’s loaded with tons of meat sauce.

My husband doesn’t think he’s a picky eater. But he really doesn’t eat steak, he prefers hamburgers. And he likes tuna and salmon, but I don’t want that more than once a week. And he doesn’t eat shellfish, although he said he’d try eating shrimp. Great.

When my daughter lived at home, I usually ended up cooking two meals. One for my husband, and I’d usually eat what I cooked for my daughter. And if cooking for a foodie dysfunctional family wasn’t hard enough, there was the planning. What planning? Exactly. There was very little. I wanted to make a weekly schedule, and my husband was less than helpful. If I asked him in the morning what he wanted for dinner that night, he said he had no idea what he’d be in the mood for at dinnertime. So usually, we’d be running to the store after work, grabbing up the ingredients for dinner. Or, more than likely, ending up eating out.

To this day, my happiest days are those when I know that morning what I’m having for dinner that night. And despite the fact there’s only two of us to cook for, the age old problems are still there. So, I cook for my husband on the nights he doesn’t play tennis, and I cook for myself on the days that he does.

I really really like tennis nights!

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~ by Heather on July 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “The problem with poultry and pork”

  1. How true. Love, Mom

  2. He’s going to miss out with our farm fresh eggs!!! Sooooo yummy!! But we’ll get him some sausage to make up for it.

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