This is Frank, one of the chefs at work. He teases me all the time because I don't eat red meat, or pork and chicken. Frank, on the other hand, is always putting some type of animal flesh in his mouth whether it be a chicken wing, piece of steak, or something else that had a face. I tell Frank that my cholesterol count is low, but I doubt that same for him. He just laughs and eats more greasy bacon.
Whenever I do consider eating something at work that I think might be appealing, and meat-free, Frank will shout, "that has diary in it Susanne. Some poor cow gave up it's milk for that." I was going to try the black beans the other day, and he yelled that the beans had pork or beef in the sauce, something involving an animal. So thanks Frank for being such a loud advocate for my diet. I try to do the same for you, but you won't listen.
This winter I made the mistake of wearing a leather coat I got at years ago at a yard sale in Nebraska. (I couldn't resist! It was a great deal. At the time I didn't even look to see that it was leather.) Boy did Frank have fun with that. I hoped might not be leather, but then I looked at the tag and saw I had no defense. Okay so I admit it, Frank. It's leather.
Anyway, because everything that comes out of the kitchen at work is meat-related, I never eat at work. Sure I could order a salad, and I have, but for once I'd like to order a meal that was meat free, a tofu stir fry, or a soy burger with avocado. Even the nightly specials are meaty. We had a special the other night that was, gulp, duck. A sweet little duck that was one moment happily splashing in a pond, was next on a plate being served with some gooey sauce. It looked a slimy pink color. I asked the other chef, Chandler, if he planned to serve bunny or lamb, as Easter was right around the corner, and he smiled and said he just might. I was trying to be sarcastic. Didn't work.
Frank said he did make a tofu special one night, but I don't remember that ever happening, so I think he was just taunting me. Frank calls me a hippie because I don't eat meat and because I made the mistake of telling him I stopped eating meat when I was a hippie in Colorado in the 1970s. So it's my own fault for admitting I am old enough to have lived when people gave the peace sign, wore bell bottoms, ate tons of sprouts, and thought it was cool to be broke.
It can be challenging working in a restaurant and being a vegetarian, especially when guests ask me questions such as, "What is your favorite thing on the menu?" The menu has meat loaf and rib eye steaks and meatballs with veal. I am a good actress, though, and point out various items on the menu as if I think they are all delicious. Girls gotta make a living!
Chefs come and go at work and they all make promises to include more vegetarian items on the menu, but no one yet has come through, yet. Oh but I have a vision. My dream is for a "green" chef to come to work at the restaurant. One who grows organic vegetables in his or her back yard. Who knows a zillion recipes for tofu, and who advocates to put vegan items on the menu, who fils the kitchen at work with rich scents of herbs and spices, not grease. Maybe he or she will even wear bell bottoms. Until then, there's Frank.