Weird Quirk of Mine


I'm a bit of an oddball. I know it. I've been reminded over and over again all my life. I don't like being called a weirdo but I'll admit I'm weird. Take my strange eccentricity for eating meat, for instance. I have never been a big fan of eating meat. I love the smell of it cooking and I'll eat fish, poultry, pork, and red meat. Shoot, I'll even eat some organs. Braunschweiger is one of my favorite lunch meats. The thing is, if it is prepared in a way that it looks like it did when it was part of the animal it came from, I won't eat it. Not because I have some sort of ethical problem with eating it or I imagine how cute and fluffy it once was, but because I can't.

I can remember very distinctly one dinner when I was a child. My mom had prepared some sort of meat resembling steak. I was probably three or four. I wasn't allowed to get up until I had eaten all of it. Everyone had already eaten their food and left the table. I sat there staring at my plate trying to figure out how to get out of eating it. I don't know how much time actually passed before I implemented my plan but it had to be at least a half hour with my mom repeatedly telling me to eat it. I grabbed my form and shoveled bite after bite into my mouth and pretended to chew. I had to hold back the urge to gag. Once it was all in my mouth I ran to the bathroom and spit it all out into the toilet. I'm pretty sure my mom never made me eat meat after that.

I'm pretty sure it's a texture thing. I can't handle inconsistency of texture specifically regarding meat. No skin. No gristle or fat. DEFINITELY no bones! I've tried. Many times. I can't seem to get over it.

Naturally, I married a meat and potatoes eating guy...from Kansas City. You know, the BBQ capital of the United States. It was a bit awkward in the beginning of our relationship when we'd visit family and go out to eat. We always went to BBQ restaurants. Always! And I never felt comfortable eating there. Even being around other people eating meat like normal people do is enough to get my gag reflex going.

I'm not quite sure when the turning point was for me but my ability to eat a variety of meats and enjoy it did happen. Herr Winter asked me to try different meats over the years and after a lot of persistence, I usually gave in and usually liked it. It seems the more odd and unusual, the more likely I'll try it. I've tried a bloody steak cooked to rare {I had to close my eyes before it went into my mouth},  rabbit tenderloin prepared at the now closed Maplewood restaurant called Home, escargot {not in France}, and even the most delicious Osso Buco.

Now that I think about it, I think it took visiting family in Austria that had a huge effect on me eating meat. They didn't speak much English at the same time Herr Winter and I didn't speak much German. It was our first time meeting them in person and they had prepared Wienerschnitzel for us. I sat there, wide-eyed and stared at it thinking there was no way for me to explain my weird feelings about meat and I didn't want to offend anyone so I ate it. It was delicious. Of course, it was followed by three more pork dinners the following days we visited.

Looking for someone quirky to help you plan your wedding ceremony? I'm the one you want. Fellow weirdos welcome! 

Rev Jessica Winter