Monday, September 28, 2009

Who's the Vegetarian Here Anyhow?

When V bought his flat in San Francisco, his real estate agent gifted him a bottle of champagne and gift certificates for various shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. Saturday night we had dinner at one of the restaurants, a pricey place that was new to us. We ordered a bottle of wine, an appetizer to share, and a couple of entrees. Things began well. The restaurant was cozy and intimately-lit, the waiter friendly. The heirloom tomato salad was lovely. Our mains arrived. On the surface, V's halibut paled in comparison to my smoked tofu. We began to eat. So far, so good. Then I noticed something strange on the cucumber garnish. Something black. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a fried insect. A male earwig, from the look of it.

V was shocked, appalled. I was inclined to move it to the corner of my plate and forget about it. But we brought it to the attention of a waiter, who acted likewise appalled (and apologetic). He mentioned that the produce was organic and thus more inclined to be buggy than conventional. Then he pointed to the restaurant's perfect rating from the SF Health Department. He said he'd return shortly with a new dish. In the meantime, V went on and on about the outrage we'd suffered. I've worked in my fair share of restaurants and understand that insects will find their way into a kitchen via produce. Even after I'd received my new plate, V just wouldn't let the matter drop. So I told him a story.

Two monks were walking along when they came to a stream. A young woman was waiting at the bank to cross, and the old monk had her climb on his back and carried her across. The monks continued on their journey. About an hour later, the young monk said, "I can't believe you carried that woman across the stream back there! We're not even supposed to touch women." To which the old monk replied, "I left the woman back at the stream. Why are you still carrying her?" You, I told V, are like that young monk. To which a delighted V replied, Yes! And you are that old monk.


Blogger Lore said...

Cute. I find slugs in my organic salad mix all the time, often alive. I take them out and find them a good home on someone lawn..LOL..I think to myself "lucky slug that "ended" on my plate!"...

5:25 PM  

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