Vegetarian Rumspringa?

by April on August 11, 2014

I became at the vegetarian at the tender age of 11 because of cube steak. For those unfamiliar, it’s a cut of meat from the “round” area of a cow, or basically, its hips. It’s a tough cut, I reckon, because Wikipedia says it needs to be fiercely pounded with a meat tenderizer. What I remember of it is a chewy, beige mass that made the thought of eating dinner a horrible one. My mom was/is a good cook, don’t get me wrong. In fact, once I decided to move out at the age of 20 I requested all of my favorite foods for the months leading up, and hovered over her as she prepared them. I asked how much of an ingredient was added, or how long something should be left simmering only to get the annoying response I now understand so well, “Until it looks like this.”

About nine years later, I have developed my own version of what this looks like when it comes to the favorite dishes from my youth, including hash browns, potato salad with extra pickles, brown gravy, and a few others. And since 11 I’ve been a conscious vegetarian, only accidentally eating meat a few drunken times… “What’s in this eggroll? Nevermind I don’t even care wooo!” kind of situations that are becoming increasingly rare as alcohol has started to be more painful than fun while adding more candles to my birthday cake. And now that I’ve been leading this lifestyle for well over half of my life, and honestly, almost 2/3s of my life now, I am starting to wonder if I could ever consciously eat meat again.

I certainly love the taste of the fake meats that have improved a hundredfold and become easier to find since my youth. But I’ve also laxed my stance on some animal products. I won’t turn away soup with chicken broth now as long as there are no chunks of flesh, I get wrist-deep in the beef-drippings gravy on the poutine at the Kraken, and I even have a bottle of disgustingly pungent fish sauce in my cabinet for more authentic tasting Thai.

After seeing a tweet from Max Falkowitz about learning the term “vegan rumspringa” the thought has stuck in my head. Would I be able to take a vegetarian rumspringa? A Rumspringa is the term that the Amish use to describe the time away from the traditional Amish upbringing that they grant to their teens, so that they can experience what life is like outside of their strict and tightly shrouded community. After this period away, the teen must decide if s/he wants to stay in the lifestyle, or venture away for a life of what we call normal- electricity, gambling, booze, and using cars instead of horses to get from point A to point B. Many teens often end up choosing the opposite of what you’d expect and re-enter into the Amish lifestyle, confident in the choice that they have been able to make for themselves after experiencing what the other side is like.

I think that a vegetarian rumspringa could have the same effect for me in helping me clarify why I am doing what I’m doing because really, it’s a decision I made when I was 11. I can’t think of a single thing from when I was 11 that is still relevant to me today. I don’t keep in touch with the same people, I don’t even like the same color (it was purple then). So why am I holding on to this other than for the familiarity? Would taking a step back from it give me perspective on why or would it just cause me to run back to the open arms of the produce aisle?

I’ve pondered it from the perspective of only using very strictly humanely raised meats as an entry to the rumspringa, so that way it’s not so much a carefree meat-for-all, but that almost seems to defeat the point. So here I still sit, pondering, thinking, and maybe one day I’ll decide to turn myself out like a come-of-age Amish kid to the earthly delights that regular folks know, love, and disregard as commonplace every single day.

Other’s thoughts on the subject:


5 Random Things

by April on July 22, 2014

Cause why not, right?

    1. I’m totally procrastinating on a deadline a little right now, because that’s how real journalists roll, right? 
    2. My sekrit- I had never read Harry Potter until recently. My only impetus is an impending vacation to Orlando which will include a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. Of course I wasn’t going to go into it without knowing anything about HP so I am currently about to start the fifth book and subsequently watch the fifth movie. I am enraptured and keep wishing I was a wizard. Life would be so much easier.
    3. This summer I am obsessed with my vegetable gardening and currently have about 40 seedlings sprouting away in the other room for an early fall harvest. Currently sprouting are two kinds of  heirloom tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and broccoli raab. In the ground outside I’ve got several types of pepper plants including jalapeno, cayenne, banana and about ten other surprise shades of bell pepper. Then there’s about ten or so basil plants and a few other various herbs that have been providing tons of flavor so far. It won’t be long before I till up the entire front yard for a garden.
    4. Our fridge (which I bought in 2011 aka practically still brand new) has an incredibly annoying problem up frosting up in the back and it doesn’t cool the fridge or freezer. How many times have I noticed? Zero. How many times has Patrick noticed and taken care of it and researched why and how to fix it? All of them. This house would fall apart without him here to do those kinds of things. Only problem is he blames me for having, cooking, and buying too much food.  
      (except my noodle, but even then my term of endearment for him is food related soooo)
    5. I hate hate HATE the winter but I’m bout sick of bugs. This one mosquito has been buzzing round and round and round in my desk lamp for the past few hours and I’ve all but blinded myself staring into the bulb chasing it with a rag to squash it to its miserable death.


Mid Year Pause

July 3, 2014

Remember six months ago yesterday, when we were freezing and making New Year’s resolutions? It’s definitely six months later and depending on how freaked out you are by how fast that happened will determine if you feel confident or depressed about what you may have accomplished in that time period. I don’t think I made [...]

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June 12, 2014

I like these little memes because sometimes it helps me sort out where I am in the day/week/month/season of life. Plus it’s fun to compare to past ones over time. I ganked this one from Jessica at How Sweet It Is. Eating /homemade  super lemon ice cream with blueberries Drinking / water with so much condensation on [...]

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Summer is Here, Grab Some Pints of Beer!

June 6, 2014

There’s no doubt that cold beer and a hot summer go hand in hand just like that beer should go in your own hand on said hot summer day and no one knows that better that Columbia residents. Both of our local breweries, Conquest Brewing and River Rat Brewery, are ready with cold ones on [...]

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What Do You Do With Kohlrabi?

June 2, 2014

Sometimes these strange CSA vegetables show up and coming up with some way to use it just gets put on the back burner for a while. Sometimes, you even let the questionable vegetable turn on itself, as humidity and ethylene from other produce attack the simple, misunderstood… whatever it is. In this case, last year [...]

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Friday Splurge

May 30, 2014

“Treat yo’ self!” is a familiar phrase to those who are Parks and Recreation fans, but the sentiment should be known to all; because sometimes you just need to treat yo’ self. Maybe you’ve had self doubt, or an insufferable argument or meeting, or perhaps you just had to drop a load of money on [...]

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Spring into the Oak Table!

May 21, 2014

Something that Columbia had been lacking until the past two years was restaurants committed to changing their menu with the seasons, bringing the most flavorful foods to the table at the right time. The Oak Table, a higher end place across from the State House, is one of those places. To introduce their spring menu [...]

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May 18, 2014

It may be slightly obvious that I’ve been half in, half out here on this blog, but I haven’t stopped writing. I’ve used this, my social media presence, and these tools to basically create something out of nothing. I started blogging to find a writing voice that I hadn’t used in a while and I [...]

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Everclear to Perform at 2014 Rosewood Crawfish Festival

May 2, 2014

‘90s alternative rock band Everclear will perform at the 2014 Rosewood Crawfish Festival. “Everclear was one of the biggest bands of the late ‘90s,” said Dave Britt, GRMA Executive Director. “They are going to bring a real nostalgic feeling to the festival when they take the stage.” Everclear formed in 1992 and had multiple top [...]

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