Shopping for dinner.

I don't eat mammals. A lot of people find this weird, but meat grosses me out. If I look at a hamburger I see a cow, and the smell of raw meat makes me queasy. It might not be normal, but... Normal is over-rated anyway, right? I was a complete vegetarian back home, but Mike and I needed to compromise when I moved to the US, so I now eat fish and birds, from time to time. (If they come in forms that don't resemble the animal.)

Mikey loves meat. He's a skinny man who usually only eats once a day, and it's usually pizza. I'm overjoyed when he wants to eat something that's not pizza - I'm suspicious of the nutritional value of dough and cheese... Thus, I do my best to cook meat for him. Anyone watching me would probably roll on the floor laughing; I hold a chunk of beef between two fingers, trying to touch it as little as possible so I don't get anything on my hands, while grimacing and holding my nose with the other hand so I won't smell the raw ickyness.

Grocery stores around here offer a smooth solution to the problem. There's a kit with a roast, a bag of spices, potatoes, and vegetables all in one. All I have to do is put it together in a pot, cover it with foil, and shove it in the oven. The meat comes conveniently packed in plastic so I don't even have to touch it. I cut the bag open and slide the meat into the pot.

Anyway, I walked around the store with one of these kits the other day, muttering, "You're sticky, why are you sticky? And you smell, even through the plastic. This is soooo gross."

A young woman came up to me and asked, "Is that good?"

I should have said, "Yes" like a normal person would. The answer, "I don't eat meat" still popped out.

It sounded stupid as I said it. The roast was big enough to feed a family, and the woman looked puzzled, clearly trying to ascertain if I was crazy. I hurried to say, "My husband loves it."

That cleared up some of the confusion, and she asked how I cook it. This, I could answer without confusion: put everything in a pan, stir the spice mix out with 1.5 cups of water and pour it over the meat, cover everything with foil and let it sit in 350 degrees for three hours. Now I sounded like a walking cook book. She ended up buying one. I hope she liked it.

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