Monday, October 12, 2015

Khaki-Colored Pork Sauce

The neighbor is blowing the leaves from our tree back onto our property. Oh, we deserve it. Last year, Mike blew them into a pile just on his side of the line and I promised I'd pick them up but I forgot. I want to go out to the pile now and offer to pick them up, but I'm not sure I'd be welcome. That man must feel so self-righteous by now.

The cat escaped last night and managed to survive the coyotes and the highway, but when I turned the lights on this morning, I heard him crying at the back door. He's asleep now. I wonder if he'll try so hard to get out now that he knows he might end up spending a cold, wet night on the back doormat when he sneaks out past our feet. I wonder if he'll appreciate the warmth and comfort we offer? It seemed instead that he blamed us for his predicament. He looked at me as if I'd betrayed him. We didn't come calling for him. We abandoned him to the elements. He was so cold, so damp. He had no food, no clean water. He felt so unloved. After he came inside, he ate so much food, he puked right then and there into his little dish, a little khaki-colored pile of puke. A lovely way to begin the day, don't you think?

I just looked into cheese drawer and we have four opened bags of shredded Mexican cheese in there. I hate what happens in a refrigerator when I'm not paying attention. Melted pickling cucumbers, unidentifiable green glop that was only the leftover pea soup from yesterday when I remember details. I do not want to eat that shit even if it is relatively fresh.

I took pork tenderloin out of the fridge. It was at risk of going bad before I'd even cooked it. It hasn't been a good season for dining at our house. I blame football season. I have to pick up my boy every day at 5:00 pm and by the time I get home, we're down to chicken patties or hamburgers. Sometimes I think of the simple peanut chicken mix and coconut milk, but only rarely. I shopped and cooked for twenty-two people last Friday, a Scout camping trip, and by the time we got to dinner that night, I had taco meat for twenty-two and chicken fricassee for about thirty set aside for the weekend, but nothing to eat for that night. Mike and I had argued that I didn't need five chickens to feed twenty-two people. It turned out that two big chickens were more than generous. Now our fridge is full of at least three more meals of chicken fricassee, but we're all tired of it by now. Lunches for Nick for the week? He throws away most of his lunch anyway. Why not the leftover chicken fricassee that nobody wants now that they've had it for three meals running?

So, I cut the end of the plastic wrapper and spooged the pork tenderloin out of it into the slow cooker and set it to five hours slow. The honeymoon is over with my slow cooker. I realize that it's only as good as the ingredients I put into it. I've got pulled pork down, I'm telling to you, shredded beef too. Barbecue sauce and meat. It's a plan.

Until it isn't a plan.

These days, my clan rolls their eyes at pulled pork or shredded beef, even when I buy those big sweet buns with the shiny glaze on them.

Mike was in the kitchen making his own lunch, likely trying to avoid the neatly stacked containers of chicken fricassee in the fridge.

"How should I season the pork tenderloin?" I asked him.

"Don't know. Look it up online," he replied without looking up from his task.

"I have looked it up, multiple times, and they keep telling me to marinate it in soy sauce. I tried that and I didn't like it. Too salty."

"Mustard?" So, I got out what was left of the Grey Poupon, the dry mustard, some marjoram, and a little hickory smoked salt and blended it in a small bowl. I dipped my finger into it and stuck my finger into my mouth. Not bad, I thought as I whisked a little water into it to thin it.

"Here, taste this! It's close, but it needs something else. Can you tell what?" I said, handing him a spoon and holding out the bowl with khaki-colored liquid in it. He dipped and tasted.

"Well, you have the savory part down. Maybe a little brown sugar."

So, I added brown sugar. The color was nicer, a slightly darker green than before. I dipped my pinkie and popped it into my mouth. You can use your fingers when you're cooking for your own family, right?

You know when there's that two second delay after tasting something? Usually, it's a good thing, right?


That was the taste I had created. Fresh, unadulterated puke. The only thing I was missing was whole peas. The taste blended with my morning mouth and held on well after I swallowed, salivated some, and swallowed again.

"It's gross!" I cried. "How do I fix it?" I held the bowl out to Mike. He looked at it, green scum floating to the top of a darker brown gunge. I stirred it a little. He shook his head and backed up.

"I'm not eating it."

"Oh, just try it. I really need help now." He shook his head again and pointed to the sink. I dumped the bowl into the sink, splashing a bit onto my shirt. I was going to smell like vomit until I changed my shirt. And I still tasted that crud. How could it still taste so utterly vile in my mouth?

I splashed water around the sink to rinse it and took a sip of water from the faucet, trying in vain to wash down the taste. If I'd still had long hair, I'd have been reminded of my college days. I dried my hands and walked past Mike and opened the fridge.

Barbecue sauce. We were destined to have pulled pork with barbecue sauce yet again. Oh joy.

Thank you for listening, jules

No comments:

Post a Comment