July 26, 2008

thoughts from the seat of the lawn tractor...

Taking time out of the busy schedule to backpack takes its toll. The lawn desperately needed mowing today (apparently our new top of the line ride on mower was for me) so I decided to get at least the front yard mowed before turning the job over to greg, who is now perfectly capable and did an awesome job. While I was mowing, my thoughts turned to some articles I have read online about using more of your lawn for growing food, not using harmful fertilizers on it and the fact that watering your lawn is a huge waste of water, a natural resource. I chuckled to myself thinking about the fact that we haven't done anything to our lawn since we had to quickly throw down grass seed before our closing 12 years ago and that all of this new to me, eco-friendly info gives me a good excuse to continue not caring if we lack a thick, beautiful green carpet of grass. Our "lawn" used to be a beautiful hay field before my grandparents so graciously gave us our acre of land as a wedding present. In between mowing it is full of daisies and black eyed Susan's and other wildflowers. I actually felt bad running them over this morning. Thinking of the lawn as the hayfield it used to be brought me back in time to the extensive farming my grandparents and parents did when I was a child. (I think my pattern of thought was being driven by the lunch I was planning to prepare for myself..which I'll get to) We had cows, pigs and turkeys and they had the best of circumstances before making it to our tables. My father took care of the farm animals as if they were household pets.
In light of the ongoing reports of factory farms and their inhumane treatment of farm animals, we have remarked that even our 100 year old barn gave way to more sanitary conditions than modern meat plants.
I am not a vegetarian. Perhaps all of the homegrown meat I ate as a child lends to the fact that I do crave pork chops, ham and occasional red meat. However, I recently began adding meatless options to my diet and have come away quite satisfied. Which brings me to lunch today. Back in my Papa's Ice Cream Parlor employment days, my sister and I were connoisseurs of the Reuben and all of its relatives, the Rachel (pastrami) and the Rastis (turkey). I can still eat a real Reuben with corned beef, but I usually don't feel so hot afterward, physically and mentally. So today, I used Tempeh (pronounced Tem-pey, not Tem-puh) and made a guilt free Reuben. Thanks to my vegetarian friend who advised me what the heck to do with it. Tempeh is a meatless option used by vegetarians and vegans made from soybeans, grains, and veggies. It definitely provided the substance needed between the Russian dressing, sauerkraut and swiss cheese to make a flavorful sandwich that could give the old Papa's Reuben a run for it's money! My max of meatless days in a row stands at 11, and I am encouraged that small changes do make a difference for the environment, for the humane treatment of animals and I am pretty sure that the Tempeh Reuben has a lot less fat and calories for myself. Tempeh is going to rank right up there with the soy sausage that even Dan agreed was pretty good.

2 comments:

sheri said...

Yup, some meatless options are pretty good. I've bought a lot of meatless ground meat and sausages. It's pretty good. I've thrown them in there to mix up my diet...which you know gets pretty BORING!! --Sheri

renee said...

yeah!!!!
the reuben is def the best place to introduce someone to tempeh...
(love the pronunciation correction!)