Eat Meat.

I was a vegetarian for a couple of years in high school. Not a real one: I ate yogurt, cheese, butter and eggs. As well as salads and bread.

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I quit that gig when I was visiting my great aunt in Sacramento. She cooked steaks for dinner once, for everyone except me, the vegetarian (an idea she and my grandma scoffed at). For me, she sautéed onions in the grease from the steaks and put them on a hamburger bun. I could taste that savory deliciousness in every bite. I didn’t say a word about this blunder of vegetarian ignorance — after all, she did fix something special for me to acquiesce to my food preferences.

Yeah, that killed that ruse. I love meat. Not the stuff you kill to eat. The kind that comes in packages from the grocery store.

Just to be clear.

Steaks, sausages (most kinds that I’ve been exposed to), bacon (although not to the degree of the current national obsession), pork chops (even if fried to crispy dryness like my Grandma used to make), ribs —I love ribs! Pork or beef, or pork AND beef—, ground beef if done interestingly, ham … are all on my list of Yes, Please! — when done well, but not well-done. Although ribs are good with a little burn on them.

Roasted chicken is the best. Yum. I could eat chicken (which I can cook to a degree — no pun intended) five times a week. Okay, maybe three. I love it. Turkey is good once in a while as long as it’s the dark meat, but chicken is so much better. Except in the ground stage: there I prefer the mixed turkey. Chicken is soft and pale, reminiscent of what rice that has stuck to the bottom of a pan looks like after you’ve let it soak in cold water for a while. A bit maggoty.

Both chicken and turkey, white or dark meat, make excellent sandwiches. Plain with some real butter, salt and pepper — or loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce. Okay that’s not really loaded but I don’t like too much on those sandwiches. Home-baked white is my bread preference, if available. I’ve been known to make a loaf just for that purpose. Otherwise, a good many-grained organic bread is yummy too!

I don’t eat a lot of meat in all. Maybe a little each day. Since I can’t cook steaks or any other beef that doesn’t require braising, we eat ground beef or chicken a lot. Hot dogs.

Now pork tenderloin I can cook to perfection, for some reason. Other cuts of pork — besides bacon — not so much. Seems my taste for overcooked greasy pork chops is in the minority. So, I have to rely on others (chefs in restaurants) for my “real” meat fix — meaning something that hasn’t been through a grinder and bone separator (one would hope)— although my husband grills a mean steak, and great burgers.

I can do the vegetarian for a couple of days at a time, but then I need a fix. I’m a meat girl at heart.

No pun intended.

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