I finally had the nerve to try Jack Fruit. Not able to find any “raw” Jack Fruit, I opted for some flavored variety at the local market. It was BBQ flavored, but with the addition of some traditional fajita seasoning, I figured it might work out.
The family opted out on the JF and wanted the more traditional marinated skirt steak. So fire up the grill.
First off was the veggies. I scored some corn on the cob at the market today. My favorite way to cook ears of corn is a light coating of butter with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. I used vegan butter on mine. Just take a stick of butter, rub it on the corn and season. Double wrap in aluminum foil and toss it in the grill.
It takes about 20 minutes to cook the corn when elevated on the grill grate. If you put directly on the coals, its best not to butter the corn until after cooking or the butter will burn. While the corn is cooking, add the veggies until roasted to your liking.
I played around with the Jack Fruit for a while until the seasoning were close then added them to the grill to heat up while the corn was finishing.
I made a make-shift pan out of aluminum foil by rolling up the edges on all 4 sides. I’ve used this technique for many BBQ applications like heating food, drip pans, and making dividers in casserole dishes.
Once everything was done, I loaded up some corn tortillas to create the little fajitas. I wasn’t sure what to expect on the JF. It was pretty good. The texture is definitely meat like, and worked well for fajita meat. The spices were a little off given the starting point of the flavored JF. I will try this again if I can find plan or raw JF.
Overall, it was a good cook. I was tempted by the skirt steak, because it came out great (according to the meat eaters). Sorry to all the non-meat eaters, but it was worthy of showing (and for what I’m about to say).
I had mixed emotions about cooking the steak, but figured it would be a good test of my current mental state and constitution. Not to mention, my BBQ and grilling is somewhat legendary.
That is the irony of this whole thing. My friends are really taken back by when they found out “Mr. BBQ” was going Vegetarian for Lent. Some are already freaking out that there won’t be any of my famous BBQ at next years Super Bowl party. While it hasn’t been that hard for me to give up meat for the last 6 weeks, it has really messed with my head wondering what life would be like if I didn’t BBQ meat anymore.
How do I really feel about it now? Do I go back to my old ways, which is what most people assume I will? I doubt I will revert all the way back. How could I with what I’ve learned about the issues surrounding corporate farming practices, mass slaughter houses, and inhuman treatment of animals. Could I go for some local raised beef from humanly treated cows that were locally processed at a family farm? It’s a tough one for me to resolve right now.
In the final week of Lent, I am focused on the “Why” more than ever. Today’s sermon at church was focused on the events following Palm Sunday, when Jesus was turned on by the masses once people realized he was not the kind of King they were expecting. He was there to save them from themselves, not the Romans.
How will people perceive me if I’m not what they expect me to be? I doubt they will turn on me, or there really not my friends. Will this influence my decision to choose one path over the other? Will my love of cooking meat influence my perspective on eating meat?
It’s a similar dilemma to when I used to hunt ducks. I only really enjoyed “calling” the ducks. I was really good at it and would get invited to go hunting based on my reputation of calling. Some suggested I enter calling contests. Same goes for my BBQ and some people who have experienced it think I should enter BBQ competitions. Like the biggest one in the US, that’s held in my home city.
Once I realized my love of being in nature and enjoying the interaction with the ducks was the priority, I could never shot another duck. I also no longer wanted to aid others in their desires to kill them. I no longer use my duck calls and those “hunting buddies” are long gone. I’ve since taken a similar position with fishing. So, what will become of my meat BBQ? Will my love of animals prevail once again?
God moves us in directions we don’t understand or expect. We are wired to resist change and things we are not comfortable with. I entered Lent with an open mind, so I owe it to myself to end it just the same.
Peace to all.