December 7, 2009

we're all in this together

I'm a month into this vegetarian conversion, and I've got to say... It's going so very well. Last night we had dinner with a handful of some of my very favorite people, including my dear cousin, and the friends hosting us made us the absolute best pot of chili ever. Ryan preempted my request for the recipe written down, proving that he, too, was won over by the meal.

The chili abounded with beans in every size, shape, and color; tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, corn, and, instead of the beef, seitan. (For those of you not familiar with seitan, it's a wheat-based meat alternative. Wikipedia, you can take it from here.)

Our group of seven gathered around a table, placemats and all, beers tucked comfortably into koozies, devouring this amazing vegetarian chili. And over the meal, I felt so very connected to these friends of mine.

Food isn't just about offering sustenance to a hungry body; food has the unique ability to draw people together, in any culture. I was worried that my shift to vegetarianism would begin to alienate me from close friends who didn't eat the way I now do. I couldn't have been more wrong about that.

After making it through Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, and then having this wonderful dinner last night, where everyone cast aside omnivorism and was momentarily vegetarian, I am understanding that it really doesn't matter what dietary restrictions you put in place: food will always bring you together.

So, thank you for a fantastic evening, Kit, Dylan, Callie, Dave, Brian, and Ryan... It was definitely more than just a pot of chili!