Please Read this Blog Using an Irish Accent in Your Mind...

...Because it's all about St. Patrick's day! It turns out, some dude drove some snakes somewheres, so we get to go to the city dressed in green and see our relatives and have a nice pint of Guinness and eat Corned Beef. Which is Jewish, but ok. Besides some issues about ending up on the wrong side of town, and Gavin having a decent case of Pink Eye, it was an alltogether perfect day. As evidenced by the many photos here:

The ladies in green:

Waiting for the F train with Joy and Kristen (and strollers full of babies):

Cousins Erin and Meghan. Those are their names year-round, not just on Paddy's day..

We made it just in time to see Uncle Andrew march with the firemen:

Gwen and cousin Sean, perusing the lunch menu:

Uncle Andy:

"No thank you, I only like my Guinness warm, like they serve it in the auld country."

Stopped in to see Nana at work. She wore no green, so Gwen pinched her. And then watched Elmo videos in her office:

Granola bar on the train home keeps everyone happy:


Somedays, ya gotta dance!

Here's Our Gwen at just shy of the 9 month mark, doing what she does best: embodying joy!

And, because I know a few grandparent-types that read this and like to see footage of Gwendy "in the wild", here's the unedited version of the same stuff, complete with Gwen's babbles and all that jazz.


What Do You Mean He Don't Eat No MEAT?

So yeah, the Mr. and I are trying to be what I shall hereafter term "loose vegetarians". We came to this decision mutually a couple of weeks ago, and so far, it's sticking.

Why, you ask? Or maybe you don't ask, but s'long as you're here, you get to find out. See, I lerv animals. But I also am a firm believer in the edible nature of cattle. Like, name me a part of a cow that isn't useful and/or tasty, right? So as long as that cow is pretty well taken care of, and not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, and killed in a "humane" way, I am OK, morally, with eating his juicy self. Problem- We cannot afford this sort of meat on a regular basis (in case you didn't know, it's crazy-pricey). So we end up with the mistreated, chemical-laden, rather tastless variety most of the time.

But Fitzhusband is a bit of a foodie, and heretofore there was no way he would even consider going meatless. I had kicked around the idea of doing the veg thing for years, but I aint cooking two of every meal, or asking him to. So when he came home the other day and told me of a friend at work who'd been rocking the veg for a few weeks and how interesting it sounded, I eagerly suggested we try it out, and he was down like a clown from Chinatown. With a frown. Colored brown. With Jughead's crown. OK, sorry.

So, lo, there began "Loose Vegetarianism". Rules: Gavin and I generally eat no meat products. We do dairy and eggs, and occasionally seafood. But no chickens or pigs or cows unless it's A: A Special Occasion and/or we B: Can get the Good Stuff (grass-fed la-di-dah meat from the Whole Foods). By not buying craptacular meat, we can afford to get better, largely organic produce and dairy. (*Note: Gwen gets meat in some of her jarred babyfoods, which are organic. The rest of the time she eats what we eat).

The only other rule is that we in no way attempt to "re-create" meat. Like, no gluteny weirdo ersatz meat-crumbles or tofu that's been manipulated to look like bacon or any of that crap. Philosophically, we both feel that no one is fooled by such products, and we would be better off just making vegetables taste so good you never miss the meat at all. Also, these products generally look and taste like something you made in your Play-doh Fun with Food Kitchen:VS

I mean, really people. Tofurkey? You ought to be ashamed.

For the past two weeks I have been re-vamping my normally meaty recipes to go veg, and adding some new ones, with really excellent results. I have done a veg chili (no-brainer, just didn't add the ground turkey which was never something to write home about anyway), a lentil/chard/sweet potato soup (that was out of this frickin world), stuffed peppers, and portabello/roast garlic lasagna. I mean, really, I've been putting more thought into my meals to the point where the taste has actually improved; I haven't missed meat even a little bit. Plus, since we are not rigid about the whole thing, it doesn't seem all onerous and dreadful. If it works out, cool. If not, it sure was interesting.

We did cheat once, though. And if you can believe it, it was to have one of those 50 cent hot dogs at Ikea. I know? Like, how can I be concerned about food additives and eat the equivalent of Chernobyl on a bun? I'll tell you how. With ketchup, mustard, and kraut.