Another holiday has flown by, as well as another birthday. Sigh. Yes, another candle was added to the cake resulting in a lava flow of icing and a near catastrophic blaze. Actually, we had no cake. Not because my family was holding out on me, but because I don’t lean towards sweets much. On occasion I simply have to have a bite of chocolate or nibble of cookie but my cravings run more in line with carbs or salty foods I’m afraid. My perfect cake would be constructed of a ring of McDonald’s fries circling a big pile of Carol’s juniors onion rings, topped with an In-N-Out Burger sitting on a twice baked potato, don’t hold back on the toppings. Yum.
I’m not fond of birthdays, truth be told. Not simply because another year has floated down the river, or a wrinkle or two has been added. More I find birthdays a day of reflection. Looking back on what I have done during the last 365 days, and thinking about where I am going on the 365 now lying in front of me. Reflection does not always sit well on me. Being somewhat of a “free spirit” most of my life I have preferred swimming along on the surface, sun in my face, rather than sinking to the depths below to see what’s going on in the dark underbelly. Sometimes, however, in order to grow you must explore the darker sides of you in order to become a better, stronger, and more productive being. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh.
I have another bone to pick while I’m at it. Bone, being the optimum word here. According to the latest study (Who’s doing these studies anyhow?) red meat, bacon, processed deli meats, and probably about everything else found in the meat department at your local store without wings or fins is now considered worse for you than cigarettes. Really? Then why did I quit smoking? Apparently the steak I ate for my birthday dinner is going to do me in anyway.
I have one granddaughter who is a confirmed vegan. This little girl is not just saying she’s vegan, she’s living vegan. If there is such a thing. No meat of any kind crosses the child’s lips. When I order a burger she will say, “Nana if you could look into the cow’s eyes would you eat that?”. “Um, yup. Yup, I would.” I might apologize, but most likely the cheese and sliced tomatoes would still not go to waste. Carnivore is my party and that’s how Nana votes. She does get me to thinking about what we put into our mouths. To her, the food we eat with all pesticides, preservatives, unidentifable additives listed on the packages are doing us in. This added to the fact we are the only species who cohabits with our prey prior to eating it, gives you some food for thought (if you will). Quite possibly she has a valid point. Certainly she is not alone in her views. Allergies, such as to peanuts, are clearly more prevalent than in year’s past and many hold to the theory red meat causes cancer.
When I break such thinking down to a really finite point, plants are living things. Do we not eat vegetables or fruit which are born, for lack of a better way of putting it, to living, breathing organisms? I believe I read somewhere plants cry when we cut their limbs. I have to say though cauliflower, not imbued with the same “awww” inducing powers as a brown-eyed heifer in the field, in the end, is still life. If I dwell on such deep thoughts I wouldn’t eat anything an weigh enough to shop in the toddler department. As I said, swim on the top where the sun caresses your face. In some cases ignorance truly is bliss.
I support all manner of thinking. Each of us is entitled to believe as we choose in this wonderful country as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. Whether we agree with a point of view or vehemently disagree is a privilege we are afforded. For me, how dull it would be if we all thought, acted, and looked the same way. Wouldn’t that be a boring party to attend? All the women showing up wearing the same shoes, the same classic black dress, all brunette with brown eyes, 120 pounds with perfectly structured features. The men may be nodding their heads. Certainly would slice a chunk out of that Macy’s bill, but truly who would want that? We would be unable to differentiate one with another and eventually just blend together with no one standing out in the crowd.
So, I will choose to think about life in all forms. Most probably I will give in to my natural instincts and continue to eat meat. I am an old dog and old dogs tend to sniff along the trail where they have already left their scent. However, I respect taking a point of view you really embrace and following it to it’s logical end.
This recipe was sooooo yummy. I wasn’t sure I’d like the white sweet potatoes in it but the little bit of sweet just made it perfect for the rainy day I cooked it.
White Sweet Potato Pot Roast with Root Veggies in Crockpot
2 white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
12 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 3 lb. boneless chuck roast, cubed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 small bottle Corona beer
4 cups beef broth
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. herb seasoned gravy mix
Spray 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray. Layer vegetables in bottom in order as written.
Whisk together flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Place flour mixture in large resealable bag. Add meat and toss to coat. Discard remaining flour.
Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil over high med-high heat in skillet. Add 1/2 of the coated meat and brown on both sides. Add to crockpot and repeat with second batch.
Mix together all remaining ingredients except gravy mix and pour over vegetables and meat. Cook for 9 hrs. on low. Open lid and whisk in gravy mix. Cook for one more hour.