White Bread People

This is my very generic term for people who only eat typical American fare – and fear anything with an unfamiliar or “ethnic” flare to it.  It started with my annoyance at “white bread grocery stores” who never carried any of my “hippie food” (as my hubby and kids call it) – and living in the suburbs in the Mid-Atlantic, this is pretty much ALL of the grocery stores.  It has spread to the sometimes aggravation at people, though that’s not really right or fair since I don’t expect people to judge me based on what I do or don’t eat; it’s too self-righteous of me to judge others.  Still…I will admit that at times it bugs me to no end.

Monday afternoon I realized that I had to cook the veggie sides for a Thanksgiving Potluck the next day.  I always volunteer for the veggie sides since I know that if I bring them, I’ll at least have something I can eat.  Anyway, I had decided to make a butternut squash dish and a roasted brussel sprout dish.  I stopped at the grocery on my way home, and loaded up on a bunch of things (like mushrooms, tofu, squash, fresh brussel sprouts, etc).  I get home and (thankfully) check my email….the menu for the potluck was posted and someone was already making a squash casserole and brussel sprouts!  I’m just glad I bought the industrial sized can of corn!  Anyway…I decided to still go ahead and make a recipe of roasted onions and butternut squash from my Veganomicon book.  It’s not one that I made before, but I love this book and figured I couldn’t fail.  Boy…was I wrong.  It took me nearly 2 hrs to get the dish finished (I was also making dinner in the midst of all this).  What I ended up with did NOT taste good.  In the book’s defense – it was supposed to be onions, squash, and chestnuts.  I decided to forgo the chestnuts and just make the recipe with everything else.  It sounded like it should taste good based on the ingredients.  It didn’t.  Thank GOODNESS for that stupid can of corn!  It was after 9 and there was no way on earth I was going to cook anything else.  Corn would have to do.

While I was drafting my blog posting on Monday, I was also texting with my friend S (yes, I’m a wicked multi-tasker).  I was mentioning my butternut squash debacle and how I was going to just bring the dared corn to the potluck.  There’d be so much food, NO one would notice.  But noooo….she had to tell me how unacceptable it was that the vegan bring canned CORN…and how I had to just whip up a batch of hummus or something else.  Ugh.  So I decided to take a totally awesome chickpea and lentil Moroccan dish.  And corn.  Yeah…awesome food from me!

I head into my main hospital that morning with my briefcase and laptop and a bag with a crock pot of chickpeas and lentils, a can of corn, a can opener, and a corning ware dish to nuke the corn in.  After my morning executive work group meeting, we have 30 minutes to prep for lunch.  I reheat my stew and pour it into the crock pot to keep warm, and then microwave my back up dish of canned corn.  The buffet is set, and it’s quite an impressive spread of typical Thanksgiving fare like turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, pies, cupcakes, and a bunch of other things.  We sit to eat, and not a SINGLE person had my chickpeas and lentils except me.  Of course, they ALL ate the corn…and I ate just the chickpeas.  I had a lot of comments on how good it looked and smelled, but in the end…foreign foods = something different = scary….so no one tried it.  That, my friends, are White Bread People.  They have no idea what they’re missing.  I really should have just bought an industrial can of peas in addition to the corn and not tried so hard. 

I left the hospital that afternoon hungry.  I’m probably the only person who can go to a potluck and leave hungry.  As it turns out…the only vegan-friendly dishes WERE the ones I made.  I had about a half of a cup of the chickpeas, and just chatted with everyone.  Not long after I finally left…I ended up grabbing some Thai food.  Yeah.  Only me.

I went to another meeting at a different location about a new hospital we’re working with in very southern North Carolina.  I’ve been tasked with doing an evaluation of their exiting IT systems to see where they’re at and to determine what it will take to upgrade them to meet the meaningful use criteria from the government on Electronic Medical Records.  I have to do a bit of travel, but it doesn’t sound like I’ll have to do much after an initial site visit.  Most I can do remotely, and I’ll really just be babysitting some consultants, so that’s cool with me.

Tuesday was Upside Down Dinner night.  That’s where we make breakfast for dinner.  We made sauteed potatoes, bacon, biscuits, and omelets.  I think I had pretzels and hummus (still full from Thai food lunch).  We watched Monday’s episode of Chuck, and then got ready for bed.  All in all, it was a good day.

Today was a mixed day to be sure.  My first meeting was at 7 this morning.  I hate early meetings!  At least it was a conference call, so that helped.  I did get Indian food for lunch, so that can only mean good things.

D took the day off to take A to the DMV and get her learners permit.  She’s 15 1/2 today, which is the exact day she’s eligible to get her temp license.  In 9 months precisely, she can drive legally (pending successful passing of drivers ed and her DMV road and written tests).  Kinda scary, but cool at the same time.  I envision 9 months from now cooking dinner, running out of lemons or something, and sending A to the store with $5 to get me lemons!  Or soy milk.  Or mushrooms.  Or toilet paper.  Or pretty much ANYTHING since she’ll become my gofer.  Hee hee.  I’m very happy she’s on her way to being a legal driver indeed.

After my last meeting of the day, I came home.  After working for a bit more, I grabbed R, hit the YMCA and went to a kickboxing class while she was in the PlayZone.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve done that, and it was fun.  It was a killer workout, but I had a fun time.  When I got back to my car and checked my phone, there was a distress message from a good friend of mine.  She needed me, and the answer was wine!  I took R home, said hi to D and M (who auditioned for a role for an upcoming play in his drama club this evening), and then took off.  We went to our favorite Wednesday spot ($10 off a bottle!), had some food, drank some wine, and chatted with our fellow bar patrons.  It was a nice time, and I hope it distracted my friend from her upsetting afternoon.

So now I am home. I took a bath and am getting ready for bed.  Tomorrow is going to be a long and painful day, so my trip to the gym will be MUCH needed at the end of it….

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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