“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day II, Day 26: What do Hippies Eat for Breakfast?

The special of the day is the "dirty hippie omelet" and two members of this trio order it.  The third person wants it too, but he's on Atkins and the dish has too many vegetables.

The dirty hippie omelet has fiddleheads, homemade sausage, mushrooms, and smoked cheddar.  The eggs are from a nearby farm.

Of the three in this party, one was in the military and now works somewhere with a dress code, another worked many years in marketing and is currently an IT guy, and the third is an English professor, although truth be told, she spent formative years of her youth working at a place that was commonly considered a hippie café, a collectively owned restaurant in Port Townsend, Washington that opened in 1976, the same year as this warm, funky restaurant in Stowe.

The three are eating here for the first time and they are hesitant to leave.  The vibe is so inviting, the home fries perfectly browned, and where else can you get fresh seasonal fiddleheads in your omelet?

Zoe looks at her bowl and says the Dirty Hippie Doggy Special isn't for me
"You have to be careful with fiddleheads," the former marketing guy says.  "You have to blanch them first, to remove a toxin, or you can get sick."  He also has a nutrition degree, which helps when you're trying to figure out what to feed your dog.

"I knew that but I forgot," the former hippie restaurant collective prep cook/English professor says.  "I'm hoping they'll be in season soon at home, and I'm glad you reminded me.  I would hate to get sick eating something good for me."

The slurry is introduced

Meanwhile, the dog is waiting in the car.  The dogs that run with this pack sometimes think they are eating too many things that are good for them, which in Zoe's case means too much to make it edible.

Her food of the moment has kelp in it and that green color looks like grass.  When she wants grass, she eats actual grass.

The three Chinese herbs she takes for bone stasis, immunology boost, and lung cancer look like big doses of garam masala, cumin powder, and coriander, but smell like the medicinal section of a health food store opened in 1976 by back-to-the-landers, as her local one was.  She had gotten used to them, and ate them on her food without balking (when their taste was disguised with meat), but then Zoe's person had to go ahead and add something new to the mix.

after the slurry, the treat
It's called Poly-MVA.  Zoe's person heard that it's helpful in shrinking tumors.  She has recently met a woman whose mother had stage 4 lung cancer, and is now in remission because of taking this stuff.  The same woman's brother was diagnosed with lymphoma two weeks ago and ten days after starting on this health supplement his lymph nodes shrunk back down to size.

The problem is that Poly-MVA reeks of B vitamins.

Imagine your smelliest multivitamin and B-complexes in liquid form.

Zoe looks at her bowl and runs away.

"Dirty hippies," she mutters under her breath, in dog.  "I've been all through France, and I've eaten foie gras and lobster ravioli and the best pâté in Normandy, and they think they can serve me this hippie crap and call it food."

Zoe's person asks the former marketing man with a nutrition degree how to spin this.  He suggests the slurry.  You give your dog the food she really wants, even if it comes from a can, or was served in a Michelin-starred restaurant in France (a place with a dress code that excludes dirty hippies), and you then mix up your hippie ingredients, your herbs and unguents and slithery slime and mud and snake oil and cosmic moonbeams and put them into a giant turkey baster and shoot it down your dog's big trusting maw.

He demonstrates.  Said dog is willing to slurp this concoction down and is promptly rewarded with a treat.

But Zoe thinks this compliant dog votes for the wrong candidates and runs with the wrong pack.  Maybe this dog was programmed by the EST people.  Maybe Christian Scientists had a say?  Maybe the dog hasn't been to France and hasn't sampled enough haute cuisine.

Two humans give it the college try, but the slurry won't go in Zoe's mouth.  She is willing to open her mouth, with some coaxing, but then the stuff just slips right out, all over her fur.

"I think her mouth isn't big enough," the former marketer says.  "Milo has a huge head.  Zoe's is much smaller."

"My husband has often lamented the size of our dog's head," Zoe's person says.   "I think she's beautiful the way she is, but he thinks Zoe is out of proportion.  Her big booty is the first thing some people see."

The dog now has a nasty mixture of expensive hippie potion running all over her gorgeous fur and these people are arguing about her beauty, her proportions, her measurements.  This is the absolute limit.

The dog was clean and shiny, but she is dirty now.  She would much rather soil herself by rolling in something respectable, like a dead deer or maggoty squirrel or fermenting fish, not these hippie herbs and oils.

Later, back at home in Upstate New York, Zoe's other person, the gourmet chef, figures out just what to do.  "I think she was fine having all the herbs and things on her food.  But she doesn't like the taste of the new stuff, the Poly-MVA.  So what if we separate it, and I make a really rich beef stock, like a veal reduction you would use for French country cooking, and we give it to her as a starter course?"

This solution works brilliantly.  Zoe enjoys her two-course meal, and sticks around in the kitchen while we eat our meal, hoping we'll let her lick our plates, instead of going into duck-and-cover mode.

Vive la France!  Vive hippies, dirty and clean, near and far!  And vive la difference!

No comments:

Post a Comment