In graduate school I had a couple cooking-related jobs, one was at a child development center of the university. It all happened by chance, meeting the director happenstance, and her offering me the job.
It was easy stuff, provide breakfast, snacks and lunch for around 20 kids age 5-7. It took me maximum 3 hours a day. What I gave them varied between tossing boxes of cereal and bowls on a table, putting some fruit in a bowl, etc. Other days I put real effort into it, it was usually 2 days of slacker meals, sandwiches at lunch, etc...the other three days it was a bit more, simmered stew from scratch for lunch, french toast for breakfast. One frequent breakfast was hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, milk and fruit. I did the potatoes from scratch, grated, added chopped onions, green peppers, red bell peppers, and my secret ingredient.....a pound of finely-chopped pork sausage. It called for 25+ potatoes, so it was good sized, at least 5 parents dropping off their kids would stay for breakfast. The sausage was in tiny bits, hardly noticeable.
Which gets us to the point of this post:
One couple had an extremely interesting boy, around 5. They could be described as eco-hippy-activists...nice people, I liked them. The dad was in a history class I taught. We often talked when they were there. Dylan, the boy, wore suits (seriously) to school often, with a tie. He carried a briefcase. He would lead his parents around, introducing them formally...."This is my mom, this is my dad." If he kept it up, these last 30+ years he's in the tea party now. I doubt that happened, the kid seemed much too smart.
I'm getting there.
One morning towards the end of my year there, they came over, eating from a plate....my hashbrowns and eggs. The dad, around my age, said something to the effect of "Your hashbrowns are the best we've ever had, they are great!" I thanked them. "What makes them so good, so special?" the wife asked in her flowered skirt. "I think it's the pork sausage." I said.
They both looked at their plates, at each other, then at me. I thought they were getting pale. "But, but-we're vegetarians!" one exclaimed. They had been eating it occasionally for a year. "Huh." was my only response.
Heading to Seattle for a couple weeks, see you down the creek.