Christmas dinner was epic. We had a house full, company from out of town, eleven/twelve people, and spent all day cooking; a fourteen-pound turkey plus a breast left over from Thanksgiving and a nine-pound ham—the Girl, thankfully, put her newfound vegetarianism on hold for the holiday—along with stuffing, potatoes au gratin, sweet potato casserole, and a number of sides. Later in the week we ordered in almost a hundred bucks worth of Chinese take-away, and lived on leftovers a long time afterwards.
Tonight was the first time I’d really cooked since Tuesday. Made a variant on Italian wedding soup, with fresh turkey stock from the Christmas carcass and tiny, fragrant meatballs and chopped fresh spinach, instead of the traditional endive. In deference to the Girl, we served the meatballs on the side. She tried a couple anyway, and pronounced them good. And we ate, and we talked.
And I’m writing this down so I don’t forget the riff, but I’m already hazy on how it started—we were talking about a joke the priest made this morning at church, and that led us to the old gag with the Buddhist monk and the hot dog vendor, and the Girl, who is eleven, said monks are probably veegetarian anyway—with a long e and a hard g: vee-guh-tarian.
“What’s that?” I asked.
The Girl shrugged. “I was thinking something stricter than plain old vegetarian, not as strict as vegan.”
Not to be outdone, the Boy (who is five) said, “How ‘bout vogue-itarian?”
“That’s if you follow a vegetarian diet because it’s fashionable,” I said, quick as a flash. “And if you’re, you know, just kinda sorta trying to not eat meat—”
“Vague-itarian,” said D, cracking up.
“And if you’re eating a diet inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies, you’re a Viggotarian,” I said. Groans all around. “Okay, that was a reach.”
And I thought I was done, and talk turned to other things—and then something so hilariously filthy sprang to mind that I nearly blurted it out, kids or no kids. And as I, smirking uncontrollably, looked over at D to see if she was thinking the same thing, I hoped to God that no-one would ask me what was so damned funny.