It’s Memorial Day weekend. And, no matter what the weather, all across New England backyard barbeques are heralding the start of summer. It’s the perfect time for a vegan spouse to step into his comfort zone.
To be sure, there are healthy choices to be made. Roasted chick peas with just the right spiciness and a crispy crunch. Slabs of watermelon, as thick and juicy as a romance novel. A dazzling variety of fresh vegetables cut into bite-sized morsels: celery, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green peppers, and baby carrots. Homemade humus for dipping.
But then there are the non-vegan choices.
Where to begin? I may not see food like this again until Thanksgiving. Deviled eggs made with local duck eggs are a great place to start. Then it’s on to crackers, chips, and dips. There’s even potato salad which contains more duck eggs.
By now the grill is ready and pumping out a variety of treats. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken thighs, and sweet sausage that dwarfs the bun that will attempt to contain it. But I opt for a hot dog. There’s something about a grilled hot dog that just does it for me. Maybe it’s the smoky flavor of the grill or the snap as you bite into it. I can’t really say.
I didn’t have just one hot dog. I had two. I even ate one that fell on the deck. As far as decks go, it’s pretty clean. And as far as hot dogs go, they were pretty delicious. Was it the mustard or the relish that brought everything together? Maybe the root beer that washed it all down, readying the palette for the next bite? They all had a part to play.
As the coals cooled and ice cream cones had been devoured, the host asked, “Did you get enough to eat?” My brain, I think, heard this as, “Did you get enough meat?”
Either way, the answer is yes. In the days and weeks ahead, the occasional turkey sandwich or bacon strip or meatball will cross my path. I’ll grab a few and I’ll let a few slide on by. For now, I’ve got hot dog memories to carry me forward. And that’s enough.
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