bratwurst: another first

yes i am getting older (wahh!) but i'm still young enough to be able to say that for nearly half of my life i have not eaten meat. the very first time i chose to become vegan at thirteen was because i ended up reading (from where did i even get this book in the first place?)
the book that changed my life. yes, words have power and books can change one's lives. that is why i can theoretically understand why people want to ban them. of course i believe censorship is wrong. but i can't stand when my fellow anti-censorship folks smugly reply, "it's just a book!" no folks, you can't have it both ways. you can't treasure books for their beauty and meaning and endless possibilities, and then when challenged, you claim "it's just a book!"

okay, that was a huge random tangent. anyhoo, since the majority of at least my young adult life has been meat-free, there are many kinds of meat i have never eaten. it wasn't until i was in my 20s when i had a mussel. or a flank steak. but to this day i still have never eaten fried chicken. or pork tenderloin. or duck. or lamb. or many kinds of other beef cuts. etc etc etc.

so i found it amusing this weekend when we went to the farmer's market and in front of flying pigs, mr. mimi asked me what i would like? tenderloin, chop, ribs? i had no idea and i just looked at the stand table, sadly kind of feeling lost. even if i had these things before, i was probably ten years old and i can no longer remember the taste, or feel, or smell of these meats.

then mr. mimi spotted the bratwurst and was instantly enamored by the idea of a proper german-inspired quick dinner. after buying, i asked the farm person why it was white and not red like the other sausages? he did not hear me or did not want to answer. i asked twice. nothing. so we walked away (so unlike me to just walk away! but standing in front of meat induces me into such an unfamiliar bewilderment). i kind of regretted that i let mr. mimi take charge and buy this pack of strange, white sausage. actually, as we continued shopping at the farmer's market, i pouted the whole time and told him i didn't want the 'wurst!

but oh how delicious those strange, white sausages became! i absolutely loved them and felt so good. you know when you have a meal (home cooked or otherwise) that is just so satisfying? it's not really about being full or even being satiated. it's not even about the taste or the ambience. it's never just one thing and i can never adequately articulate the feeling it creates. but i also find that mysteriousness quite sexy about food and eating.

we enjoyed the grilled bratwurst with red cabbage and mr. mimi's dijon-dill potato salad. this is the old standby. the quickie that never fails. no exotic ingredients or creative combinations. just potatoes, onions, and mustard. the way it should be :)

dijon-dill potato salad: serves 6

1 lb yukon gold potatoes
1 large vidalia onion, sliced
1 tb dijon mustard
1 tb dijon mustard, whole grain
2 tb olive oil
1/2 tb white wine vinegar
1 tb water
salt + pepper
1 tb fresh dill, chopped

1. boil potatoes whole. i know what you're thinking, can't you just cut them up and then boil them to make it go faster?! but please don't, because you'll end up with a potato mush as the pieces would saturate with water. so boil the potatoes whole in salted water. you can also bake them if you prefer.

2. cool potatoes. meanwhile sautée the onions with salt and pepper until golden caramelized, about 20 minutes.

3. cut potatoes in 1" diced cubes and put into mixing bowl. add onions.

4. make dijon vinaigrette: in small bowl, combine both mustards. whisk in oil. whisk in vinegar. add water and whisk in until vinaigrette becomes fluffy and frothy. thinning it out like this makes it easier to coat. but don't add too much water where it becomes runny. you can also use milk if you prefer a creamier vinaigrette.

5. add vinaigrette to potatoes, add dill, a little pinch more of salt and pepper. toss and serve!

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