After mentioning in yesterday’s post (written on Saturday evening) that I was so happy not to have been invited to a fancy schmancy event during my month of veganism challenge, I received a text from a friend offering me a dining opportunity unlike any other.
My friend was supposed to attend a farm dinner for Outstanding in the Field, an organization that travels the country (and now the world) each year, organizing farm dinners with local chefs utilizing locally grown and sourced ingredients in an effort to “reconnect diners to the land…and honor the local farmers who cultivate it.”She was sick, she told me, and needed someone to fill in for her, take photographs, and blog on her PR blog about it afterward. Would I do it? For free?*
*These tickets cost $200. People sit on their computer the day they go on sale just to get them. (I’m not making this up. I met some of these people.)
Someday apparently came a lot sooner than I thought.
And I hate to say it, but after the sort of mental anguish that only can come from someone more competitive with herself than anyone else….well, I broke my vow of veganism.*
*And I hope they don’t kick me out of the VeganMoFo for it.
Truth be told, it was incredibly difficult to do. And even more enlightening, perhaps, is that the meat didn’t even really interest me all that much.Especially not when there was pumpkin soup served in a Texas pumpkin, chock full of locally raised basil, candied Texas pecans, and butternut ‘crisps’ made from the skin of butternut squash. (Waste not, want not!)I did find out that they had actually made an entirely separate vegan meal for a diner, but as I was a guest* without any life-threatening allergies, I didn’t feel like it was my place to really make any dietary demands.
*read: eating for free
But somewhere between sitting down to a meal with 150 other people……and talking with farmers* and artisans and the people who take this movement around the entire country…
*In an even MORE ironic twist of fate, I sat across from the owner of the Bastrop Cattle Company……sharing stories about life and food with people I’d never met but appreciated for their insight, and with whom I could share a laugh at the absurdity of trying to eat while holding an umbrella to keep off the Texas heat……and the light beginning to fade over the six-hour long event, and we went through course after course after course.*
*And yes, despite my trying to eat very small nibbles of meat and cheese and chocolate, I needed Pepto when I got home. Well, somewhere I realized that I had to do it. I had to have this experience because when would it ever come about in this way again? And just as most health magazines advise for any break from a diet plan, I will not beat myself up about it, but instead, I will pick myself up on Monday morning, wipe the slate clean, and start over again.*
*And I’ll blog about it in November.