As you all know, I recently made the leap into true carnivore-dom (yep, I’m totally calling that a word) by killing, cooking and eating my dinner for the first time: lobster! As it turns out, the cooking part of the meal was quite straightforward (aside from placing the live, moving lobster in the water – that one got my heart pounding a little)… if you can boil water, you can cook a lobster. The bigger challenge is getting all that delicious meat OUT of the lobster’s shell so you can actually enjoy it. Luckily, my brother Andy was on hand to do the dirty work of cracking shells and harvesting the meat. Poor guy had no idea how much work he was getting into!
Or, How I Killed and Cooked My Own Dinner.
I am a carnivore. I love meat… grilled, cured, raw, stir-fried, dried, whatever. I’m a huge fan of all pork products, from bacon to jamon to pork belly to chops. Seafood? Yep. Poultry? Yep. I love it all, and I’ve eaten loads of it over the years, giving little to no thought about where that yummy meat was coming from. As long as it tasted good, I wasn’t bothered. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and my dog, Piggy, is basically a full member of the family. That said, I’ve always been able to disassociate my love for animals with my love for eating them. I do truly believe that there is a natural order of things and that our bodies crave animal proteins to function at our very best.
Anyhoo, after years of guilt-free animal consumption, this meat-loving gal met the man of her dreams, and he turned out to be… (gasp!) a vegetarian. Who’d have thought I’d end up marrying my food opposite? Early on, P.J. and I found that we could happily co-exist – a carnivore and a vegetarian living in peace, albeit mostly on pasta at the time. Lately, as a result of P.J.’s influence and my transition to Paleo, I’ve been giving the origins of my food a lot more thought. I’ve been exposed to a whole new way of looking at meat – responsible, sustainable farming practices and cruelty-free animal husbandry. We visit the Austin Farmers Market every Saturday to stock up on grass-fed beef and pork, fresh eggs from happy pastured chickens, and loads of locally grown veggies. When we eat out, we find ourselves gravitating to boutique restaurants serving locally grown and raised fare. It’s been a gradual evolution, and an important one.
On our recent trip to Martha’s Vineyard, while I was snarfing down a silly amount of lobster over three days, it occurred to me that I’d never actually killed my dinner myself. Ever. I can’t even recall cooking a lake fish that I caught as a child (this is probably mostly due to the fact that I was an AWFUL fisherman… fisherwoman?). With such easy access to beautifully butchered and prepared meats, I’ve found it to be so easy to insulate myself from the realities of eating animal meat. It occurred to me on this trip that I should, at least once, do the deed myself… I needed to kill and eat my dinner. Myself. I see it really as an act of respect for the animals we consume… if I’m not “man” enough to kill the thing I’m eating, well then maybe I shouldn’t be eating it. Now, I’m not advocating regular at-home butchery for everyone, but I think there’s something important and elemental about respecting our meat enough to be the one to kill it.
Well, so sorry for the radio-silence! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me and the hubby at our respective jobs… that, coupled with some fun travel to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, has made me a less-than stellar blogger. We just got back from a lovely weekend up north with two of my favorite people in the world, my brother- and sister-in-law. Those of you here in Austin can certainly appreciate how incredible it was to leave our 107 degree state for 75 degree highs and evenings that required a jacket.
While I didn’t eat 100% Paleo over the weekend, I did take every opportunity to eat lobster. Seriously – I had it for multiple meals every day. Lobster rolls (sans bread), lobster mac & cheese (loved it, but not going to lie… the pasta, cream, and cheese made me feel less than 100% for hours after), surf & turf, lobster sauteed in butter… you get the idea. It was a lobster-fest.
After enjoying such copious amounts of this delicious crustacean, I finally decided that I need to conquer cooking lobster at home… I’ve been intimidated (naturally, I think!) for some time, but I spent a lot of time thinking about why. Cooking a lobster at home is probably as close to killing our dinner as most of us ever get, and it can be daunting to end the life of these little critters. That said, I’m trying to eliminate hypocrisy in my carnivore nature, and I feel like I should be able to man up and kill/cook my own dinner. So, stay tuned… lobster at home is coming soon!
Anyhoo… we had a fabulous time in Menemsha, and one of our favorite memories was our dinner at the Beach Plum. All of the carnivores at the table tucked into this gorgeous surf and turf – 8oz ribeye with 6oz. of butter-poached lobster. The sauce certainly wasn’t Paleo, but man-oh-man was it good! Might just have to try it at home Paleo-style!