Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Vegetarian in the Land of Turkey Legs

My Loving Duke assists our two year old in using a bubble wand at the Renaissance Festival!
There is a really long and involved story behind this decision that includes signs from the Universe and long discussions with My Loving Duke.  But in an attempt to force myself to try new recipes, to eat more healthfully, and because we entered a drawing to win $1000 if we commit, MLD and I have decided to go vegetarian for the month of October.  (Just October, mind you-- we plan on returning to the land of the Omnivore November 1st, but hopefully with some new and exciting food ideas practiced and under our belts.)

We're pretty excited about it, and looking forward to including lots of new winter veggies into our diet, and we've been mulling it over for about three weeks now.  Fully vegetarian with the promise to eat vegan (no animal products including milk/eggs) at least twice a week through Halloween.  Its kind of a scary prospect, even for me, who was vegetarian for six years as a teenager.  Last time though, I went about it all wrong, and didn't end up any healthier or wiser for it.  This time, we're committed to eating more healthfully and trying new recipes to broaden our repertoire.  I'll be blogging daily in an account of how it's going, weather it is actually healthier/cheaper/easier, and giving feedback on new recipes I try.  I figure the daily blogging part is going to be harder than actually giving up meat for a month... we'll see.

In choosing October 1st as our start day for our Vegetarian Challenge, we neglected to take into account our plans to attend the Renaissance Festival with family that day.  Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival?  Not exactly a haven for vegetarians.  Not, presumably because people back during the Renaissance at meat at every meal, but more likely because the meaty dishes such as beef stew and turkey legs have a much larger draw to the average tourist than, say, a vegetable mash.  Everywhere you looked there was primitive meat for sale.  And it all smelled delicious.  And looked more and more inviting as the day wore on.  I could personally feel myself wearing down already, and it had only been half a day!

But we had made a committment, and spent the day at the Renn Fest enjoying the fun festivities, and trying to ignore the giant turkey leg in the hand of every third spectator.  Our son's favorite activity was watching the "hosies" at the jousting competition, followed in a close second by making bubbles at the Bubble Fountain.  My Loving Duke and his sister bonded over knife and axe throwing.  And four hours after we arrived, as we were gathering to find something to eat, it began raining rather hard.  It was almost like another sign from the Universe-- "DON'T EAT THE TURKEY LEGS!"  This was a hard sign to take, as MLD had been talking about the turkey leg and mead since we went to Renn Fest two years ago.  And this was only the FIRST day of our vegetarianism.  We could always start on Sunday, the first day of the week, which could arguably be a clean start as well.  But no, we decided that with two kids under the age of two, it seemed best to head out to someplace dry and with more non-meat options.

All in all it was a good day!  We did enjoy that glass of mead- I was at one point, carrying mead in both hands with a three month old strapped to my chest, it was quite a sight- and had a blast.  We saw elephants (didn't know those were big during the Renaissance, did ya?), listened to some great music, found our official Scottish Tartan, and drank some mead.  (Oh, did I mention the mead?  Mead is yummy.)  We're sorry that it rained and we felt we had to leave, but in the end, we survived our first intentional day without meat, feeling rather proud of ourselves for sticking to our (potato) guns.  Even if we did end up with cheese pizza for dinner, (which isn't a new recipe OR healthy) we are one day down, and looking forward to the next 30!
My Bad-Ass Duke and Sister-in-law during the knife throwing contest.

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