So like I said, I'm giving up meat for Lent. Here's how that breaks down:
Duration: Ash Wednesday to Easter. February 17 to April 4.
Exceptions: Sundays and St Patricks Day. The traditional Lenten fast applies to meat and poultry, but not fish. It was often extended to eggs and dairy, but not always, and I'm allowing them.
Those are the Catholic rules. My addition: no fake food. Tofu is fine, for instance -- tofu isn't imitation something-else, it's real tofu. But no textured vegetable protein, no quorn, no tofu dogs, no meatless hamburgers, no imitation chicken. That's all nonsense. I have a blog to run here. I'm not going to stock up on horseshit junk food and all that college kid crap.
This isn't some sophomore fling with vegetarianism, after all. This is about Lent. I've been neglecting both seafood and vegetables since moving to New England, because my options are so much poorer in both departments than they'd been in the past, but committing to do this will force me to explore what options I do have, and come to terms with them. There's nothing wrong with meat ... but sometimes it's too easy. Sometimes "sear this, with a side of sauteed that, and some sauce of the other" is a little lazy. There's nothing wrong with good beans. You don't have to put a sausage next to them or mix them in with ground beef.
So. Coming up in the next seven weeks: Pistachio and camelina oil. Vinegars: red pepper and tomato from Gegenbauer, unfiltered aged cider vinegar from Pierre Gingras, beer vinegar from my own kitchen. Minestrone. Gumbo z'herbes. The underappreciated carrot and radish greens. Eggs. Cheese. Pasta. Peanuts. Platonic fish. Courtbouillon. Fish tacos. Patatas bravas. Three- or four-bean chili. Lampascioni. Clams. Erstahs. Maybe a lobstah roll. Who knows what else. I've got notions. There's plenty to talk about. We'll be back to pork belly and burgers later on down the way.