Vegetarian stew

We have friends who are vegetarians. Yes, that is probably an oxymoron. Being friends with vegetarians is always fraught with danger.

I accept it when people do things out of principle. In this case, the lady of the couple has been a vegetarian for years, because she doesn’t like the killing of animals. I respect that. And the husband just does what he is told. Which means he can’t eat meat. But he does it or doesn’t do it, with reasonable cheer. Even though I can’t help feeling that he could murder a steak. He has that look about him that vampires get when they are about to strike.

I mean… if you were offered a ham sandwich, and then a little voice (well actually, not little at all) was heard to say, “He won’t be sleeping next to me tonight if he eats that,” well, what would you do?

(Go sleep in the yard. It would be worth it.)

But, you know what they say. Happy wife, happy life. I truly doubt that the life of any henpecked moron is particularly happy, but then again, he probably doesn’t want to make it any worse than it already is.

They invited us round for dinner. Actually, no. That is not quite right. They decided they would bring dinner to us. To our house. They would cook it at home and bring it all over.

A lot of people probably think this was very nice. But I haven’t just come out of hospital. Nor am I bedridden, or otherwise incapacitated. Why didn’t they just invite us to their house? It is only about 500 metres up the road.

And here is the best part.

Dinner was to be – Chicken Curry without chicken. Coleslaw. And rice.

I try to accommodate their habits, but, they never bother to return the compliment. Once, I cooked a delicious mushroom risotto made with cream and Parmesan cheese. With chicken on the side for those of us who eat meat. And I accidentally used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.

Thing is, I lied about the chicken stock. I was interrogated and I swore it was vegetable stock. But they knew. Because chicken stock has flavour. So they knew.

Maybe this was payback time. Because here’s the thing.

I am not a vegetarian.

I hate spicy food.

I hate cabbage.

And they know all this.

They are Greenies too (surprise, surprise) and they know I am a Tory. And after the chicken stock incident two years ago. I should have known I had it coming.

Chicken curry without chicken is… basically… a plate of slop. I really don’t know how else to describe it. I tried to identify the lumps that were in it. I think some of them were potato. I’m not really sure. As for the rest of the lumps, well… it might be best not to know. Even after eating a few of them, I still can’t tell you.

How can you call something chicken curry when it has not even a whiff of chicken in it? Not even the stock? They must call it chicken because they are fooling themselves into thinking they are eating something good. But it is not chicken curry, it is… God, what the hell is it?

They brought rice in a rice cooker (the only edible part of the meal) and extolled the virtues of rice cookers like they had just invented them. They ate their slop with the air of someone who is doing a great good. Like they were expecting to be canonised any minute. A bit like the Whiteadders sitting on spikes.

I guess that looking forward to being rewarded in heaven is the only way you can eat this garbage. But even that couldn’t persuade me to come over from the dark side.

Of course, the only way they could make it taste of anything was to kill it with curry powder. Which is fine if you can eat spicy food.? People who eat spice simply do not understand what it is like for those of us who don’t. They think that, if they just reduce the amount of curry powder by a small amount, the person who can’t eat spice will be fine. For me, it would have to be about ninety percent. They just don’t understand that. No one who eats spicy food ever does.

They look at me like I’m nuts because I like the roof of my mouth intact while I am eating dinner. But this is a taste buds thing. Try as they like, I can’t be educated about this.

So, a plate of slop, blow your head off sauce and raw cabbage was on the menu that night. The only way I could handle this was to drink a lot. Which I did.

Here is the hypocrisy. They are actually just about vegan, as they avoid dairy as well. (So there was no cream in the curry sauce either. That might have made it borderline edible and would have toned down the fire.) But they have two dogs. And guess what? They buy meat for the dogs. And the dogs are partial to a bit of cheese as well. So they also buy that for the dogs.

So, it is okay to buy meat, but not to eat it. It is okay to kill animals for other animals to eat, but not for humans. It is okay to buy cheese for animals, but not to eat it yourself. They positively bristled when I offered some Camembert and Gruyere at the end of the meal, but I know they have a fridge full of Brie for the dogs at home.

In their house, the dogs eat better than the humans. By a country mile.

I honestly and truly think that they believe that their food is so delicious that it is just a matter of bringing people around to their way of thinking. Try this out at home and you will be converted forever. That is what I think was going on that night.

It didn’t work. I have decided to restrict them to coffee and biscuits in the future. And they can provide the vegan biscuits. It just isn’t worth the grief.

Flying home to Wellington a couple of days later, I encountered another virtue signaller. The stewardess offered everyone water. The young man in the seat behind declined, saying “Not if you serve it in a plastic cup”. The stewardess, without missing a beat, offered him a paper cup. He declined. She then said, “We recycle the cups, you know”, leaving him to go back to playing on his phone with its plastic case and screen.

I’m all virtue signalled out. I’ve had enough. The world is full of these idiots, and getting fuller by the day. I need a new moniker. #grumpyoldbag will do for me from now on.