Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Jobes Family's Meat Pie: And What it Says About Disability

So what does vegetarian meat pie have to do with disability?

Because, in a way, it does.

Yesterday, after work, Joe and I made veggie meat pie. It's not tortiere, which is the French Canadian version, it's meat pie from Joe's families tradition in B. C. Joe's mom and dad made huge slabs of these most commonly for New Years. We've been vegetarian now for 24 years now but up until we 'turned' we used to make these a few times a year. Joe mentioned them a year or so ago and I said, "Well, let's make a vegetarian version." It took a couple of tasty attempts to get it right, but we've got it right.

So as we were cooking yesterday we were chatting about the pie and our most recent successful adaption of a meat based recipe, Chicken Country Captain, which had been a favourite in our carnivorous past. I bragged a bit about how I'd finally figured how how to make Boeuf Bourguignon, which was a real test of culinary skill and daring. I mentioned that I liked the challenge of creating new and different recipes.

Joe said, "Well, that's something that's really changed since you became disabled."

I was surprised and said, "Huh?" (I am constantly erudite.)

Joe then said that years ago when we were vegetarian for about 5 years, he'd mentioned trying to adapt the meat pie recipe and I'd brushed it away as not possible. It was MEAT pie, I'd said. But now, he said, "you'll try to adapt anything we talk about. I think your mind now looks for ways to adapt things other than for accessibility or to make things easier physically. I think you are now just good at adaption, I think you mind is more elastic than it was before."

I told Joe that I'd not thought of that nor had I noticed a change, but I did remember the conversation about the meat pie and the impossibility of adapting it. Hmmm. I don't know when I became more flexible in my thinking or more creative in looking for solutions but it makes sense. When you have a disability you look to adapt to to make possible several times a day.

So, here's the ability to adapt recipes for a vegetarian diet. And here's to life with a disability that comes with some wonderful side effects - like meat pie.


Anonymous said...

"The Roman Rule: The one who says it can't be done should not get in the way of the one doing it."

I'm not sure I have that exactly right, since I'm quoting from memory.

Also, "Scientists who say something CAN be done are invariably right, and those who say something can't be done are always proved wrong."

It has to do with putting something into words: if you can do that, you've made a start on making the idea concrete and real.

I bank on that now: saying I can is the first step to figuring out how.

You do this exceedingly well.


Jen said...

But Dave, how do you make the pie????

Mary said...

So I get your point and don't wish to detract from it, but I must say that pie looks good. :)

Anonymous said...

Very insightful! Joe is a smart man. Such a compliment, I think. That pie looks wonderful, too.

Princeton Posse said...

It's all about adaption isn't it? Improvising ingredients to suit your sensibilities. My hint, try thinly sliced potato on the bottom instead of pastry!

AnyBeth said...

Before disability hit, I was going into a kind of mechanical engineering, so I guess I was a step ahead. I remember the lunches where we mused on things judged impossible -- and minutes later we'd start, "but what if..." and do our best to figure how it might be possible. My general rule (and apparently ours collectively) has always been "Don't say 'I can't', ask 'how can I?'" The former shuts down trying, but the latter stands a chance of getting you somewhere.

When I was showing my little cousins how to make jewelry for the first time, the elder of the pair didn't want to try. Between my talk and her younger cousin happily working away she worked up the determination to figure out how to make exactly what she wanted with the available material. I've never seen a more professional-looking first piece, her youth aside. Not realizing how astounding this was, she was happy her work turned out. Having found she enjoyed both the process and the result, she asked me if she could make more. I hope she learned the larger lesson and will be more likely to try things she thought impossible.

Here's to flexible thinking. Here's to getting an idea and figuring out what's necessarily to achieve it. Here's to the occasional hike with two walking sticks and a camp stool when you normally use a rollator (because bilateral support and a place to rest doesn't mandate wheels). Here's to making a "desk" for a desktop out of books when you lack the furniture. Here's to meatless meat pie. Here's to trying... because you just might find something that really works.

Colleen said...

Interesting how you've become a better problem solver. I think it's your zest for life. You strike me as the kind of person who generally loves a challenge.

Any chance you'd publish the recipe? I have an 8 year old vegetarian grand daughter who is living on eggs and cheese right now. Veggie meat pie might tempt her. Signed, desperate grandmother.

CapriUni said...

It's my personal conjecture that adapting to disabilities is one of primary engines of human invention and civilization, period.

...I can just imagine an Early Human, 35,000 years ago, with a weak hand grip, who thought to herself: "This hammer stone would be a lot easier with a handle... Now, how can I attach one?"

A little while later, all her neighbors want to borrow it. ;-)

Meanwhile, I echo Jen and Mary: how about a recipe for that Adaptation Pie?

Ceeej said...

Really do need the recipes mentioned!