It’s not often that I get to cook for just myself. So when walking home from the library I decided “today will be the day to indulge in a meal made just for me!”

Normally this means heading out to the closest Thai place – but tonight I decided to slave in the kitchen for none other than myself.

Here’s what was on my ‘”me” menu:

  • Freshly picked salad, topped with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Potato salad made with home grown chives, rosemary and peas
  • Garlic bread on locally baked wheat bread, sharp cheddar, garlic and sweet cream butter
  • Chilled ice tea with windowsill grown mint

Two things inspired my fare: The immense heat that would soon destroy my lettuce patch and finishing Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer

When the heat kicks in lettuce does two things: bolts and wilts. Bolting is the plant’s last ditch effort to get its seeds out before the temperature ruins its leaves. What’s so bad about bolting? It creates a bitter taste that makes it difficult for even the most devoted foodie to devour. With this in mind, the first thing I did after walking the gremlins was harvest my lettuce garden. I was shocked by the quantity! I have a tiny front balcony where I grow my herbs and veggies. Considering the cramped quarters I am in awe of how much salad I can now make – enough to feed a family of four for a week!

Beyond my use of the last of the season’s lettuce – my dinner was inspired by the completion of Eating Animals. Picking up this book I assumed that much of its contents would prove repetitive compared to all the other literature and documentaries I have absorbed on the topic.

I was wrong. Foer lays out the meat industry like no author before him – making a clear cut case against meat consumption – even the ‘free range’ variety. In his book he presents the deception of factory and independent meat production and even takes jabs at Michael Pollan’s suggestive ‘selective omnivore’ diet. Foer also explains that despite small farmer’s most earnest attempts for their animal’s welfare they continue to use archaic practices that cause unnecessary suffering. Having been a vegetarian for over five years this book reaffirmed why I have chosen the veg-head path and why I will continue to stick to my guns no matter the Thanksgiving consequences.

And in case all this jargon hasn’t made you lose your appetite – consider cooking up a meal for no one but you.

What will you make? And what will your inspiration be?

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