Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Diet - deadline is 8-9-12 9:59 am NY time. (08/02/12)
TITLE: "Special" at Misty's
By Leah Nichols
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We’re on a special diet, they always explain in a tone of voice as if speaking to a child. Does your kitchen provide a list of common allergens in the foods you prepare?
For crying out loud…
This is a DINER. Not some fancy thirty-dollars-per-plate hoity-toity fine dining establishment you find somewhere downtown in a major city. Just plain old Misty’s Diner in little-town-USA – i.e. the middle of nowhere.
But they still come through, and they still expect us to provide that special service for their special diet.
“I’ll ask the chef – er, cook,” I usually mumble as I stifle a smirk.
My favorite? We’re VEGAN. That means we don’t eat any foods prepared with animal products, including milk, butter, and honey. Honey? Really? Because it’s harmful to the little bees when they get it out. Right. Never mind the beekeeper who got stung a dozen times…
Well then, unfortunately you guys happen to be passing through an agricultural district, and though we have the best in fresh fruits and vegetables, we also happen to have a lot of cows. Which means a lot of butter. The cook doesn’t spare the butter – in anything.
Can they just use olive oil? I’m sure it would be fine in olive oil. Yeah. Um, would lard work? Because that’s the only other option. Small town USA, you know, not Italy.
Never mind. Just skip the whole grilling part and just give me the veggies raw. Sure thing. Another stifled smirk.
Who the heck can live with the whole “vegan” diet anyways? Isn’t it kinda unhealthy to not have a big ol’ steak once and a while? You can’t truly live if you can’t have steak. Anyways that’s what my daddy always said. He was pretty healthy too. Not after his heart attack, of course. He’s on a bunch of medications now, and his doctor keeps bugging him about cutting out the sugar, but Mama makes to-die-for chocolate chip cookies.
I’ve been looking into it, though. Just out of curiosity. I mean, this is the middle of nowhere, yes, but we do have internet. There’s vegan people with crazy blogs who write these majorly intense recipes with weird ingredients that you can’t find in the farmer’s market or Hardy’s General Store. I think our cook would try making more vegan-friendly stuff if the recipes had normal ingredients.
I did find one or two blogs with normal recipes. Someday I’ll maybe try them. I do most of the waitressing at Misty’s, and I’m pretty tired by the time I get home. It’s always so much easier to just grab a quick grilled cheese sandwich on the way out the door before the cook closes up the grill.
Whoops. Cheese is made of milk – see, there I go. I couldn’t be vegan if I tried!
Anyways, at least I know a little bit more for when the next “special diet” family comes through the door. They always seem to pass through just when we have the Monster Burger on display. It’s a good laugh for all the locals who snicker at their disgusted expressions.
Well, time for my shift. Tomorrow I will do some internet searching about the “Paleo” diet. Some family came in just the other day and wanted big plates of steak but no dinner rolls.
Really, what will they come up with next?
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