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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Vegetables and Bloodlust

Posted by Bob Kohm on July 9, 2009

My son could make a Vegan cry. Which is good, come to think of it, because Vegans should cry. Here’s some bacon to dry their tears.

Marcus is a sweet kid; he’s compassionate to a fault, he has a greater weight in stuffed animals in his bed than he weighs himself, his teachers have used him to help the kids who aren’t getting along in class because everyone likes Marcus and Marcus can tolerate anyone.

Animals? If this isn’t the kid who grows up to actually become a vet I’ll be shocked. At three he decided on his own to run a lemonade stand and give the money to”whale scientists”, he fawns over his pets and talks constantly (and if you know him you know what “talking constantly” really means…) about animals.

Marcus had a new obsession this Spring– he wanted to plant a vegetable garden because “it would be good for the Earth”. Ten trips to Lowes and the local nursery, two weekends of ripping up old tree roots and building 12×10 garden boxes and a dumptruck load of topsoil moved up a hill a wheelbarrow at a time and voila, Marcus had his garden. He busted his butt working next to me to put the whole thing together and takes an extreme amount of pride int he whole endeavor. The daily “checking the vegetables” has become a sacred ritual.

Yesterday we came home form the day’s outings, pulled into the driveway and saw– gasp– a rabbit coming out of the garden.  Marcus’ usual reaction to seeing a rabbit runs towards, “Wow, a bunny! Do you think she has baby bunnies? Do you think we can have a bunny for a pet? Do you think we can have bunny babies?”, which generally goes on for about 20 minutes or until he sees the next animal.

Yesterday was slightly different. Yesterday’s bunny was met with a scream of “WHAT is that bunny doing in OUR garden?!?!?!?!?” He charged up the hill out of the van screaming the whole way at the formerly beloved bunny, which, of course, hopped away at Bunny Mach 3 much to Marcus’ consternation. He had turned into our family dog who bolts from the backdoor to chase squirrels that he never catches and wouldn’t know what to do with if he ever did.

With the immediate crisis passed, Marcus set about surveying the apparent carnage… which consisted of one of the first ripe tomatoes of the season and a not so ripe one partially munched. Hanging offenses if ever there were any in the court of Judge Marcus.

Marcus immediately set his mind to ways of keeping the bunnies at bay. He spent the next ten minutes designing elaborate bunny traps that would allow us to capture and relocate the offending lagamorphs to woodlands far from our own bordering woods or that would discourage the bunny from eating OUR vegetables. He decided that these would be unworkable, and things darkened.

The next set of ideas was decidedly more violent. “Daddy, maybe we could get Rob to come over with his bow and arrows and kill the bunnies!” “Daddy, how do rat traps work?” Finally, “Daddy, just leave Tonka out. He killed a snake, he can eat the bunnies!”

Wow. I guess it all goes to show that underneath all of the kiddy cuteness we’re accustomed to seeing in our kids beats the heart of the coldly rational adult… if you dig deep enough to find it. It’s so easy to take kids at face value and forget that there is so much going on within their little heads and hearts.

Especially when they get in touch with their inner adult and declare a rampage against cute little bunnies who eat OUR vegetables.


Posted in Cultural Phenomena, Food | 4 Comments »

On the Nobility of Crustaceans

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 11, 2009

georgedalobsta1Most would say that I’m a pretty liberal person, at least on social issues (on foreign policy those same might say I’m slightly to the right of Atilla). I believe fervently in civil rights for all, that undocumented immigrants are far more scapegoat than problem, that people are inherently good unless they hail from New England and illogically choose to wear their socks on their hat. I believe that many liberal groups are in the right but that the ACLU isn’t of the left but rather a force for neutrality. Hell, I even think that PETA occasionally has a clue and I’m as carnivorous as they come.

This is not one of those occasions.

Apparently someone dropped a dime to the good folks at PETA to let them know of a travesty occurring at City Crab in Manhattan. Now I’ve eaten at City Crab and can personally attest to the fact that several humanitarian tragedies happen there every day, but this isn’t an entry about the quality of the cooking there. No, this is about a very different situation– the plight of George, the 120 Year Old Lobster.

I think that many people harbor some deep seated guilt about lobsters sitting idly in restaurant tanks, rubber bands on their claws and a date with a vessel of water somewhat less commodious than their display aquarium on the horizon. I always chuckle when my kids insist on paying a visit to the lobster tank at our local supermarket to say “Hi” to the lobsters in the same way they want to stop and say “Hi” to the rescue cats up for adoption at the pet store. Many would like to harbor that illusion; we’re societaly uncomfortable with the concept of meeting the meat.

Enter George, all 20 succulent pounds of him sitting on display at City Crab waiting for that special moment in which he can be truly appreciated by some expense account salesman trying to prove to a client that his company isn’t impacted by the economic downturn. George, as I said, is estimated to be 120 years old– he looked up at some point and saw the last of the wooden-hulled schooners pass overhead into New England’s harbors, he saw the WW II convoys form and the days of the passenger liner come to an end. He has struggled mightily to overcome the pollution of his waters, the rapacious overfishing, global warming– but was ultimately betrayed by hunger and was captured by humans, only to be eaten. It’s a tragedy… or would be if George wasn’t an ocean-going cockroach with the awareness of a brick and the brainpower of kelp.

You see, lobsters are alive by all biological tests– they respire, convert energy, reproduce– but so do dandelions, which seem to be a much cannier species as they have developed defenses to chemical warfare that would be the envy of DARPA. Yes, George is a 120 year old lobster… which I guess some think is worthy of respect? We’re not sticking Great Grandma in a tank and then steaming her up, folks– we’re talking about something more closely related to a scorpion than a cow. George can make a bluefish look like Einstein.

PETA, of course, sees things differently– they’d have us revere George and never eat anything that has a face. Upon being informed of the plight of poor old George (informing George of his plight of course being useless), PETA swung into action and talked the owners of City Crab into “liberating” George and then burned fossil fuels enough to drive him back to Maine, ship him offshore, and dump him back into the Atlantic. 10 out of 10 for style, I suppose, but minus several hundred for logically defending the planet’s resources, eh?

So George, venerable George, can now live out his days at the bottom of his Atlantic home chomping on whatever it is that lobsters chomp upon.

At least, in the end, one boon to humanity has resulted from this whole imbroglio– City Crab will screw up one fewer expensive entree. For that, PETA, I thank you.

Posted in Food, Jerks, Just Annoying, Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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