[Sca-cooks] Vegetarian & Vegans was Re: lethal drinks

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jul 22 13:53:36 PDT 2008

On Jul 22, 2008, at 4:17 PM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

> --On Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:11 PM -0400 "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus  
> Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:
>> Around here the vegetarians (of whom there are some, possibly more  
>> than
>> in some places, but perhaps not as many as in, say, Northern  
>> California)
>> find out in advance who's cooking, and either ask in advance what, if
>> any, arrangements are being made for non-meat-eaters, and, failing  
>> that,
>> are happy to eat what there is to eat (I tend to do modular foods,  
>> with
>> vegetable dishes made of vegetables and meat dishes made of meat),  
>> and if
>> I serve something specifically tailored for them, they're extremely
>> appreciative, and always very polite.
>> Of course, I also go out and threaten to withhold sweet courses if  
>> people
>> don't eat their vegetables, so these people know not to mess with me.
> I don't have a problem with vegetarian or vegan per se, but I do  
> have a problem that those who apply these terms to themselves seem  
> to have such a Humpty-Dumpty approach to what they mean.
> If I've gone to a lot of trouble to provide ovo-lacto or vegan  
> dishes along with a meat dish (in particular of things that I would  
> normally put meat in, or that I made both with a without meat so  
> that my vegetarians would be able to eat it), and my self-proclaimed  
> vegetarian is digging into the meat, then yup, I'm annoyed.  But  
> this is really a communications issue. I'd rather know "I don't eat  
> beef and pork, but everything else is fine" than have the "I'm a  
> vegetarian" declaration.  At least that way I know where I am. But  
> if a Doll is saying "I'm a vegetarian" and ordering steak, where am I?

Yes, that can be a problem. Just about all I can say about it is, if  
you spend a little time developing/acquiring a reputation as one who  
will meet people halfway, but not be taken advantage of, people will  
know what they can get away with, and not abuse the privilege.

I used to go ape-feces over people with, well, there's no other way to  
say this, obviously fake allergies. I'm not saying there aren't  
genuine food allergies, some of them very dangerous, and I'm extremely  
careful and considerate about protecting people so afflicted as much  
as possible. I have no problem with them and they, none with me. But  
there are some people whose parents obviously just threw in the towel  
and let their kids take charge of the menu from age two or three on,  
and some of those people continue to act that way at 40, but are  
ashamed to admit it, so they claim allergies to things like liver,  
turnips, and my fave, "all spices". It's too often a code expression  
for, I don't like X and I've never had to eat more than half a bite of  
anything I didn't like in my life. They're standing there in front of  
me, eating huge chunks of lebkuchen or gingerbread, showing no ill- 
effects and no interest in the posted ingredients list for it, and  
telling me they're allergic to all spices. I wait about four hours and  
then ask them which spices they're allergic to, again, and they say,  
all of them... I say, I see...

This situation has gotten better over the years, but I've probably  
been pretty scary to some of these people at times. I'm pretty tall,  
have sort of penetrating eyes, am built like your fridge and have  
terrier eyebrows. It's gotten to the point where some of the locals  
have my standard rant memorized and will, as need arises, recite it  
for me while I get on with the business at hand. "#4... the  
perspiration you see us wiping from our brows right now is the  
physical effort we're putting on the line, like professional athletes  
fighting for a championship, to give 432 paying event-goers the most  
memorable dining experience possible. We're all sure the other 431  
will be pleased as punch to hear how we spent the last ten minutes  
assuaging your fears..."

But really, I'm extremely cuddly...


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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