All weekend long I mentioned to the various large and small people in my family that Sunday was coming up and it was our Day of No Meat.
This announcement was repeatedly met with indifference -- until about 6 pm tonight, when indignation and outrage blossomed. ("WHAT?" "WHO decided THAT?" "Does DAD know about this?")
Here's how my Day of No Meat went for me:
Both kids had sleepovers the night before (a first), so I woke up, as usual, hours before my husband, to the calmest house I've experienced in 10 years. I drank coffee and read Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, which I am addicted to and highly recommend, and then walked the dog.
When I got back to my still silent (ahhhhhh) house, I made an omelette which I filled with a slice of what my husband calls "the Italian version of Brie, but I can't remember what it's called" and a leftover saute of leeks and mushrooms. MMMMMMM! Yes! A bazillion points for vegetarian breakfasts! Another bazillion points for our All-Clad saute pan, which it turns out does a genius impression of an omelette pan!
Later I took a few kids to the zoo, but at the pickup station was unable to resist a half a bagel with cream cheese and lox, which the other parents had spread out right in front of me. Okay, minus 2 (200? 2000?) points for the lox. That was lunch.
For dinner we had rice and black beans, with radishes, tomatoes, onions, cheese and hot sauce. Okay, fine, so the kale and the black beans both had some pancetta in them. I have, like, this HUNK of pancetta in my fridge. What am I supposed to do it with it, as I cook beans and kale? NOT use it?
Fine, so I'm doing the Italian version of vegetarianism. I lived in Italy for a year as a vegetarian; Italians were constantly reassuring me that I could enjoy this or that or the other dish, because the meat was in little little pieces.
Husband: "I thought this was a no-meat dinner."
Wife: "It is."
Husband: "What's with all the pancetta?"
Wife: (shrugging in that irrepressible La Vita é Bella! way): Just a little bit! For the taste!
Dinner was good.
9-year-old ate rice and beans, salad, and everything else on the table except for the kale
5-year-old ("BEANS AND RICE? BUT WHAT AM I GOING TO HAVE?") squeezed her own lime and fish sauce condiment, and ate a massive portion of brown rice, a few tomatoes, and, out of idle curiosity, one bean.
That's all that matters. We're on our way.