The other day I was wandering through the produce section looking for just a few things and enjoying talking to my daughter on the phone. Since she lives half way across the country, we do this a lot. She just happened to be shopping also and naturally the conversation led to what we were buying and what we planned to do with it. My daughter said she was making her Shepherd’s Pie for dinner (fantastic, I might add) and I replied with the usual delight that a past favorite always inspires. I pledged to create a vegan alternative for it (which I have yet to do) and she laughed and said it wouldn’t be the same.
Well… she’s right. It won’t be the same. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as good…. or even better! Trying to save face in this battle of the culinary arts, I spied some cauliflower. Knowing it’s one of my daughter’s favorite veggies (she doesn’t have many), I promptly used it as an example. I reminded her that I could make an excellent alternative to popcorn that was raw, vegan, and deliciously buttery and healthy. Right away this elicited peels of laughter as she responded “That’s NOT popcorn! I don’t care what you call it, Mother, it’s NOT popcorn.” I could do nothing but concede to join her in laughing. She’s right of course.
Now I know I’m not the only one out there who takes this kind of ribbing on a near daily basis. Even my almost vegetarian daughter-in-law thinks I’m a bit out there. The truth is we bring a lot of it on ourselves. We create a recipe to replicate bacon out of eggplant strips and then call it bacon. My carnivorous family cannot help but double over at the idea. Or we make “meatballs” out of nuts… can somebody say ‘Where’s the beef?’.
Such are the days of my life now. Do I mind? No. Not a bit. I’m happy with my choices. I’m happy with how I’m feeling physically and I enjoy my “bacon” and my “meatballs”. A very big part of me also enjoys all the kidding I get for this. It’s my family’s way of saying they love me. They are proud of me even if they aren’t at all interested in joining me. I can laugh at myself knowing that I’m doing what I believe is right for me and knowing that in some way I’m leaving an impression with my family. I don’t have an overwhelming need to try and change them and we can respect each other’s choices. Is there stress because I eat different. Sometimes… yes. Logistically, it’s difficult at times to make two meals. Or in a social setting when my friend is trying to find a place for us to eat and suggests a restaurant because it has “all kinds of funny looking food there” so it must be right up my alley. Vegans, Vegetarians, Raw Foodists, Gluten-Free dieters… we are a different breed. It’s okay. I am thrilled to be different. Celebrate who you are and the choices you make… and have some “popcorn”.