I have just learned—and this piece of knowledge could prove to be crucial to the success of my Vegetarian Year—that my beloved Kirkland Sweet Mesquite Seasoning which is also known as G-d’s gift to chicken, is also mighty fine on potatoes. To the uninformed, this may not seem to be a big deal. In fact, when I was debating whether or not to take on this challenge, one of the very first things that crossed my mind (and I am being completely serious here) was “hey, you have a practically full container of Mesquite Seasoning that Kayla brought you from her last pilgrimage to Costco. If you go veggie now, by the time the year is up it will have hardened into a giant orange lump and you will miss out on eating it! Horrors! ” Somehow, I managed to convince myself that a year of good, wholesome, vegetable and whole-grain-rich food was worth the sacrifice. However, in a stroke of inspiration, I just dumped a bunch on some potatoes and now that I have tasted the results I see that this sacrifice is not required after all. So it shall be a year of good, wholesome, vegetable and whole-grain-rich food with the occasional dose of spice-and-chemical-enhanced potatoes.
It’s all good.
Anyway, between Rosh Hashana (three days of big meals) and my stash of leftover lasagna, I did not do too much cooking this week. My vegetarian culinary adventures this week were limited to (1) making a salad with quinoa in it and (2) getting myself invited to a vegetarian Shabbat dinner and then stealing their leftovers to eat next week. And the potatoes. Cannot forget the potatoes.
Aforementioned vegetarian Shabbat hosts (who are fine cooks and were really good sports about the leftovers) were curious as to the ideological reasons behind the Vegetarian Year. They seemed to be a bit shocked that I really and truly have none, unless one considers “it sounds like it might be fun” or “periodic life crisis” to be in some way ideological.
As far as field trips are concerned, thanks to the holidays and the associated days off, I have actually racked up six in my first two weeks: one movie (The Magic of Belle Isle) and five off-road bike rides. The latter included one ride with a friend who is blessed with a sense of direction, two rides in which I actually succeeded in reading a map well enough to make it to my intended destination with various periods of being lost, and two rides in which I rode around at random for a while, with no idea where the hell I was on the map, until I found myself spit out on a road that appeared in the Google Maps app on my iphone, thereby allowing me to follow the little blue dot to freedom.
Today I was out for over four hours--about 3.5 of that off-road. This sounds impressive, no? It impressed the hell out of me...until I sat down with my new navigation program and mapped the off-road route and discovered that I had covered all of 22 kilometers in that time. I am a turtle on wheels. This does not bode well for my expected performance in the Wheels of Love Ride.