Green Eggs and Ham? Oui.
As I mentioned, my Big Sis, her partner, and a smattering of Texas gay boys, lesbos, and I are going to Paris in a few months.
Our father was a life-long vegetarian, so Big Sis and I grew up with his oft-encouraged aversion to all but the most common of meats.
We ate beef, pork, turkey and a little bit of fish as kids, but my sister saw some goddamn chicken report on "60 Minutes" back in 1968 or something and hasn't touched chicken since.
I like chicken. It's a very versatile protein and I have lots of great chicken recipes. If my sis would start eating chicken again, it would solve a lot of culinary restrictions when I cook for my family.
It's not like I'd expect her to eat wings or thighs, for God's sake.
Both my sister and I are frightened to death that our lack of French speaking skills will cause us to inadvertently order duck, pigeon, innards, frog legs, escargot, or anything with liver in it, including foie gras.
Recently, I read an article about some Parisian chefs buying bush-meat from Africa and serving it in their fancy-pants restaurants at a very expensive price.
Bush-meat might include monkey, monkey brains, zebra legs, elephant dicks, gazelle gizzards and other exotic meats too horrid to contemplate. Some of it is basically road kill, but everyone knows Parisian chefs can cover cat crap with a sauce so delicious, it'll render the droppings tres magnifique.
Stupidly, I e-mailed the article to my sister, whose already red-lining gross-foods-in-Paris-paranoia spun into overdrive after she read the article.
She got so wigged out, she made her partner install an app on her iTouch that asks French waiters, "Does this have chicken in it?" and "Are any vital organs used in this dish?" "This isn't rabbit, is it?"
The voice it uses has a really terrible American-French robot accent, too, so I'm sure the snooty French waiters will spit in our boeuf and put boogers in our mousse du chocolat when we aren't looking.
I love to over-research places I've never visited before for months before I go there.
As such, I have read the menus of tens of dozens of classic French restaurants, and I mistakenly had thought their amazing sauces were what made French dishes world renown.
Turns out they all serve basically the same stuff--escargot, frogs legs, pigeon, pate de goose or duck liver, assorted offal, wild game and fowl, and maybe one beef, one chicken and one fish dish.
That means Big Sis will have to subsist on ham and cheese sandwiches, beef, and maybe a dab of fish- but no scallops, crab or pretty near any fish but salmon and tuna.
Even some beef dishes are disqualified because the sauce is made with bone marrow, foie gras, pig ear consomme, or some damn thing.
My Sharona was not reared by a queasy vegetarian daddy, so she's planning to wolf down pretty much everything but the bush-meat. That means anything sis or I find even slightly questionable will end up on Sharona's plate. And she will like that.
But I'm not too worried about starving.
As long as there are pastry, chocolate and bread shops on every corner, I think I could easily subsist on bread, butter, candy, fruit tarts, more chocolate things, custards and foofy pastel things filled with glistening sugar, caramel and other goop. Not to mention wine.
About four months before our departure date, I announced with great certainty my intentions to eat almost anything they served, because I knew it would all be excellent. Pate? Sure! Escargot? Absolutely! Duck? Why not?
But I lied.
When a good Parisian lesbian friend of mine told me via e-mail that she'd cook me dinner at her flat, I exclaimed, "Oh my God, the thought of a Parisian lesbian cooking dinner for me is almost too wonderful to contemplate!"
Alas, I think I spoiled it when I sent an e-mail reply and asked her what she'd make.
"But of course, I would make for you zee deesh I like zee best!" she replied.
"And what is that?" I replied, foolishly.
"Canard a la (something I forget)."
I immediately raced to Babel Fish translator and typed in, "canard."
It was duck. Oh no!
Without carefully considering the French sense of pride and culinary tradition, not to mention their widespread dislike for boorish Americans who need a good slap in zee face, I replied, "Oh no, I don't eat duck or other cute animals. Unless they moo, cluck, oink or gobble, I don't eat them."
No further mention of the French girl cooking me dinner, either.
The one bright spot in my callous reply?
I won't be sitting around after dinner with duck stuck in my teeth.