Friday, December 24, 2010

Spikey Punk Cat

Snowin'. AGAIN. At 7:00 this morning I go out to the garage to fix the flippin' garage door. Our journey to the city yesterday began with the garage door opener separating itself from a frozen garage door. 'Snot my fault. I kept the area under the door snow and ice free. Because the garage slab isn't level, water freezes in other areas and drains to a corner. Next time try salt on the slab, my devilish alter ego warns me.

In theory, I was going to fix the door and then have a healthy breakfast. Theory and practice are never the same because of a guy named Murphy. The end of this wale of toe is calling my neighbor to help me lower the 8000 pound door. The in between is the door crashing to the ground, bouncing off the cement slab causing the twisted wire cable to jump off the pulley on the right side. Not only is it heavier without the aid of a spring loaded pulley wire, but it's also out of kilter. Call the neighbor. I bribe him with meatballs.* We wrestle it down. I'll call the door company after Christmas or perhaps replace it myself when my bruised ego recovers.

Spikey, wet cat perched on the island in the kitchen doesn't let weather interfere with his bird watching. I should be a New York doorman complete with braided uniform for the all my open/close/open door routine, since he lasts about 15 minutes in the snow before he's waterlogged.
Mandy on the other hand is perfectly content to sit in her dog bed in the breezeway, munching on a fresh cook leg bone. I allow warm air to drift up the basement stairs to keep the temperature in the entrance-way at 60 degrees.

After the garage door fiasco,I cancel plans to travel to the next town to look for a chafing dish that none of the big mall stores carries. All I want is a small, electric fondue pot in which to heat savory, herbed broth for our Shabu shabu.

We try Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and Target in our suicidal trip to the big city yesterday, battling traffic as heavy as on I-10 in Phoenix. "Doesn't anybody work during the day," I complain. Dawn says they most likely worked until noon on the 23rd. But this is River City not the big time. In the past, I worked for Jacob Marley until closing on Christmas Eve . As my own boss, I kept my store open until the bitter end hoping for that one last big push or a Christmas angel to come and purchase an expensive artwork. Moe is we.

At days end on the 23rd, I grind 7 pounds of pork loin ends we purchased at an employee owned grocery chain called Woodmans. The pork has just the right amount of marbling. My Dad's recipe calls for Boston Butt, trimmed of excess fat. In my experience, the local grocer sells discounted Boston Butt that comes shrink wrapped from big slaughter houses. There's a big slab of fat hidden on on the bottom so the unwary customer pays for garbage.

I mixed the ground pork with one huge red onion, chopped fine, a whole organic garlic bulb chopped fine( about six cloves) from Mountain Man Johann's garden, fresh ground whole black peppercorns( 2T before grinding) , a tablespoon and a half of ground marjoram and kosher salt. My standard for salt is 4 grams per pound. There's a conversion to teaspoons/tablespoons somewhere in my recipe book, but I ain't getting up to find it.

If you're part of the bunch that thinks kneading dough is hard work and getting your hands messy is unsavory, then go to Wal-Mart and buy the pre-made kind. You get what you deserve, so there. Mixing ground meat is much like kneading bread. To get the spices thoroughly distributed through the meat, ya gotta work it.

Our taste test was a meat ball sandwich on olive oil herbed Italian flat bread. It looks like a pita only square and sliced in half. You could do the same thing with a pita and not drop the organic Caesar dressing all over your lap like me.

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