You Can Lead a Vegetarian to Chicken, But You Can’t Make Her Eat It

1 Feb

A few weeks ago, the father of a close friend of mine was very ill and had to go into the hospital so my grandma and I offered to make dinner for their family. We didn’t really have a menu in mind, but I have a great recipe for tortellini soup and I knew I wanted that to be a part of our meal. As we were racking our brains for an entree, I had a doh moment and remembered that my friend is a vegetarian.

Now, one of the many reasons I love my grandma is that for a 92 year old woman, she is a very modern thinker. But she did not seem to grasp the whole vegetarian concept. I was worried that my friend would not eat my soup, since its base is chicken broth. Here is a fairly accurate recreation of the conversation that went on between me and grandma:

GRANDMA:  “Why wouldn’t she eat the soup?”
ME:  “Because it’s half chicken broth. If she doesn’t eat chicken, why would she eat chicken broth?”
GMA:  “She doesn’t eat chicken??”
ME:  “No, I told you she’s a vegetarian.”
GMA:  “Well what do vegetarians eat?”
ME: “Vegetables…maybe tofu.”
GMA (in an insulted voice):  “Tofu!”
ME:  “Well, sometimes people are selective vegetarians. Like, they’ll eat fish but not anything else.
GMA:  “Well, everybody eats chicken. I thought we’d make lemon chicken for their dinner…”
ME:  “Not everybody eats chicken! That’s the whole point of vegetarianism! We can’t make lemon chicken.”
GMA:  “Well, how about pork chops?”
ME:  “Grandma, she doesn’t eat meat! That means noooooo animals!”
GMA:  “Well, God!”
A thoughtful silence passes and then…
GMA: “How about pot pie?”
ME: “You mean your pot pie recipe with chicken in it?”
GMA:  “Yes…What? Everybody eats chicken! What’s the matter with that?”

You are what you eat?

We ended up making vegetarian stuffed peppers, which came out quite good despite my grandma’s declaration that they “weren’t real.” I did make my soup, because I thought that maybe someone else in my friend’s family would eat it (and, okay, I was attached to the idea). Turns out, my friend does eat chicken broth. When I told my grandma, she threw her hands up in the air and said “I told you everyone eats chicken. Psh. And you wanted to make tofu.”

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5 Responses to “You Can Lead a Vegetarian to Chicken, But You Can’t Make Her Eat It”

  1. savuryandsweet March 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    i love this little anecdote. vegetarian? well how about pork chops :)

    • Oh My Words! March 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      she was so convinced that pork chops and chicken were appropriate! haha
      glad you enjoyed the short story!

  2. NuttyNeuron March 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    hahaha love this :) your grandma sounds lovely and she was right in the end – sort of :D

    • Oh My Words! March 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      thanks! yes, she is lovely and she especially enjoys being right :-)

  3. Sandra December 8, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    I am reading and laughing!! Your grandma sounds so much like my two Grandmas! So cute (and frustrating at times).

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