Monday, April 9, 2007

pot roast post script

As sort of a post-script to the previous post (about doing things that distract you, and are also productive) and also just as a sort of "I'm proud of myself so I want to tell you all" shout out, I wanted to talk a bit about pot roast.

Today I made my first ever pot roast. I said to Marlo, "This is one of those dishes that mark adulthood for me." As a result of having to clean out my freezer over the next few weeks, in preparation for moving back to Cape Breton, I have to eat some of the meat I didn't eat all year. There are a few pot roasts in there, meat from Cape Breton farms, meat that was allowed to graze free-range, and fed good, chemical-free grain. Pot roasts are the sort of thing I've put off making because I was busy, and I had never done it before, so I was nervous to try. It takes patience, several stages of cooking, combining ingredients and heat and time in a specific way for a specific outcome. I wasn't sure I could attempt it! But since the freezer needs clearing I thought I would give it a try.

So today I followed the list of instructions Mum had given me. I browned the big chunk of beef on both sides, tossing in some chopped onion. I made the "pot likker" with water, old spaghetti sauce, and a can of mushrooms. (Apparently you can also throw in things like wine, sherry, yogurt, gravy--anything you've got in the fridge.) I set it to simmer for a few hours. About a half hour before I wanted to eat I threw in carrots and potatoes. When I went to cut the meat for my plate it practically fell off the bone, and subsequently was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I mashed up the potatoes and carrots on my plate and put a few spoonfuls of the pot likker on top, which was all full of beef fat--yum!

As I sat at the little table here in my apartment and chewed, I felt that distinctive feeling that you get when you are both remembering a taste from childhood and realizing that you're making a new memory, that of your adult self re-creating the childhood dish. It's a feeling of pride, of "Hey, I can do this after all!" And the sense that you're growing into your mother, and that's OK.

As this is a post-script, and comes soon after the last one, I'll still read the comments of the last post, as I'm still interested in what you might have to say about it.

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