A couple of people commented after yesterday's post and asked if I was a vegetarian because I said I wouldn't eat ham or turkey.
I am NOT currently a vegetarian, but for nine years (1983 to 1992 - from the age of 15 to 24), I was a vegetarian.
The moral and ethical principles were a part of it, but my primary reason was that I found (and to this day, still find) many meat products to be distasteful... i.e. they don't taste right to me.
The ham and turkey thing started long before I became a vegetarian, so I never really "gave" those up. I never ate them - ever. I'm sure I tried them at some point and decided "Yuck, never again", and that's the way the story goes.
Just the smell of turkey makes me gag.
So, I'm not cooking one. Besides, even a turkey breast would be wasteful in this family. The Evil Twin will eat it, Buddy will eat a small bit, Sissy will eat a smaller bit still and we'd be left with a metric assload of leftovers that would eventually go in the trash.
To save myself of the trouble of all that, I just go to Heavenly Ham, which I believe to be a chain type store, and buy a sufficient quantity to feed the savages and have no leftovers. My normal cheap self must reconcile in my brain that this is for the best. Heavenly Ham is expensive (their Heavenly Turkey is also pricey per pound). But, once a year, it's not going to break the bank.
In addition to not liking ham or turkey, I also don't eat anything on a bone. There are only a few chicken type dishes I like.
I have never eaten: a pork chop, a buffalo wing, lobster, any organ type meat, or duck. I'm also picky about the preparation of meats - to wit: It must be WELL done. Nothing pink, nothing wet, nothing raw.
I agonize while at restaurants and rarely order chicken dishes because I'm positive they'll be under-cooked. I also don't do roast beef unless I am completely convinced by the waitstaff that the roast beef is well cooked and almost devoid of fat.
Oddly enough, the pork products I do like are quite possibly the nastiest around: bacon and sausage. Love the stuff.
When I was a vegetarian, I didn't eat ANY meat. I didn't eat soup made with any meat stock. I didn't even eat fish or seafood. I was what is known as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That means I would eat products with eggs or dairy (milk or cheese, yogurt), but didn't eat anything with a face.
The funniest thing about being a vegetarian in this area at that time was that it was difficult to find vegetarian products (like soybean or textured vegetable protein), so I pretty much had to be really creative.
Also, I found it amusing that I encountered people who told me to "just pick the pepperonis off" a pizza or would think it was okay that my item was cooked on a surface that had just been used for a meat product.
What was the one food I missed most of all during my nine years of no meat? Tacos. I tried Tofu Tacos, but it just wasn't even close. And I do like tofu. These days, I can easily find TVP (textured vegetable protein) in my grocer's freezer (they're like little crumbled pieces of ground beef, but not actually meat at all) and I bet those would make good tacos.
So, the first thing I had when I decided to walk away from my vegetarianism was a taco from Taco Bell.
I still order vegetarian options at restaurants all the time and I'm quite happy with that. But, there's also nothing wrong with a big old cheeseburger (well done, please) either!