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    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    The Trouble with Meat

    I’ve just put two racks of ribs on the grill and a shepherd’s pie casserole in the oven. Later I’ll slap some hamburgers and a steak next to those ribs. No, we’re not having company for dinner tonight. I’ve spent the week cooking meat because our big chest freezer in the garage went the way of the dinosaur.

    It happened sometime on Tuesday, I’m guessing. I went out Tuesday evening to grab some ground beef for tacos. When my fingers squished into that plastic wrapped log of pink, it took me a second to process what was wrong.

    Once I registered that the hamburger I held was defrosted, I dropped it back in the caput freezer, shut the lid, and calmly walked away.

    While I waited for Kory to come home and save me from Too Much Meat, I pondered how to break the news to my mom. You see, the freezer is hers. So is the half a cow in it. And the turducken. And the buffalo. And the various bits of lamb.

    When I buy meat, I buy chicken. And even then I’m not happy about it. I’ll never forget the first time I had chicken in peanut butter sauce at a Chinese buffet. I almost cried. At last, a way to fully disguise the taste of poultry!

    If only I could do that to all forms of meat. You see, I’m a vegetarian stuck in a body that should be on Atkins permanently.

    But Mom is a carnivore. I didn’t know how bad the situation was—if any of the meat could be saved. And as I’d be inclined to chuck it all, I knew I’d better wait for Kory.

    When he got home we tackled the mess. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. The stuff on the top was defrosted but cold and the stuff in the bottom was still frozen. We threw out one or two questionable packages, transferred the frozen stuff to other freezers, and stashed the rest in the fridge. That night I cooked six pounds of ground beef and buffalo, mostly to freeze.

    The next night I cooked five. And tonight I’ve got the last of the lot cooking. Well, there are still three packages of bacon. Now bacon is a different matter all together. Even a meat hater like me can’t deny that bacon is important for a person’s mental well-being.

    When I finally told Mom about the casualties I broke it to her gently, emphasizing everything we’d saved. She said, “Well, that freezer is older than your brother!”

    And here’s the sad part. My brother and his wife are carnivores too. They both love to cook. I so wish they lived closer and could come take some cow off our hands. Especially since I just remembered to check on the ribs. They’re burned.

    Meat. It just isn’t worth the trouble.


    Donita K. Paul said...

    and I bet she threw away the burnt ribs as if Sammy's and Down South don't deliberately burn their ribs.

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    You are the only person I know who can turn a freezer disaster into a comedy routine.

    (And if my comment shows up twice, I apologize. The comment moderation made me a bit c-r-a-z-y this morning.)