|Sniff. What's that smell?
||[Jul. 17th, 2012|02:25 pm]
So, yes, we had a tasting here and one of the items under review was a salmon breakfast sausage. Except, of course, they didn’t tell us it was salmon, so it came as a surprise. A nasty, nasty surprise. I’m not a huge fan of seafood sausage to begin with – fish isn’t fat enough, for the most part to get any kind of good mouthfeel in a sausage preparation. It’s easily overcooked, which easily happens with sausage, and gets all…mealy. And let’s face it, stores who make their own sausage, which is typically where you find seafood sausage are really just using up fish trimmings or ugly pieces. Which is fine, but they’re not making it because it’s good…just trying to squeeze a little more out of their shrinkage (the food you throw away and can’t sell) margin. |
But breakfast sausage – in this case the manufacturer used traditional breakfast seasonings, which was a BIG mistake. The spices just emphasized the gaping chasm in loveliness between a pork sausage and a fish sausage. And I dunno, I don’t think sage plays well with salmon. If I were going to do a salmon sausage, I’d go all bold with herbs de provence, garlic, some black olives, tomatoes, lemon zest and then a fine dice of pork or goose fat.
Except that I could just sear a salmon filet in some pork/goose fat, or even olive oil, with the above as seasoning and it would be a lot less work.
But still, back to the sausage of heinousness: here’s the thing, right, the first small group of us were horribly tricked into eating it. But several other chefs and nonchefs came by and when handed a sample, along with the disclaimer “Try this, it’s awful.”, the chefs all ate a bite, and only a couple of the nonchefs did. Which is not crediting chefs with a certain amount of badassery when it comes to trying things. I see it more as a weakness: vulnerable to peer pressure and driven to put things in our mouths.
Still and all, at least I could take a bite, chew it long enough to figure out what and how it had gone terribly awry and then spit it out and badtalk it. And run to the fridge to wash it away with some DMD. Much easier than in years past where tastings often happened in front of the manufacturer. Augh, trade shows where the person who made the product is RIGHT THERE in front of you and that thing that you just put in your mouth tastes like a blossoming carrion flower but you can’t flinch. Because that’s their BABY. They have spent months, years, carefully crafting this piece of expletive, and you were brought up right and want to save your inner asshole for navigating the streets of New York later tonight, so you cheek it, smile weekly and say “oh, that’s lovely” and carefully make a beeline for the nearest trash can out of the manufacturer’s line of sight.
Okay, I’ll be honest – things are rarely THAT bad. Unless you’ve been tasting them for two damn days. And it’s 11:15am and the world has decided that jalapeno filled chocolates are the next big thing, and you’ve now had to taste twelve of them, searching for the “best” one, the one worthy enough to be featured in Unmentionable Gourmet Store, but really there are not enough TUMS in the world. And in self-defense, you run to the Italy section and just stand in front of a giant wheel of Parmesan, inhaling and willing your stomach to calm down. On the one hand, I don’t miss those days at all. On the other hand, I totally miss that. Like everything in my life, I am of TWO MINDS.
I’ve been making some progress on my personal development – namely my penchant for completely unrealistic estimates of how long any given task will take. Me and the reality of how long any project or task will take is like a startled mourning dove flying into a picture window. Wait, wait, the day CAN’T be over yet! Thank goodness I do take my sleep very seriously – or at least have really internalized that when I get adequate sleep, over time, I don’t get sick and when I don’t get adequate sleep over time, I’m a magnet for vague colds, infections, and whatever else everyone’s passing around like a bottle of Southern Comfort at a high school dance.
I’ve said “no” to things. I’ve napped unashamedly. (I still suck at it – waking up ten minutes after I fell asleep, heart racing, holy carp, I fell asleep during the day, surely there’s something I need to do!) The list of things I am behind on, have promised or have an internal promise to deliver is still frighteningly long and I suffer a fair amount of guilt there, but “hey, I can only do so much” is starting to nestle alongside. I’ve set the bar for tasks accomplished in a given weekend ridiculously low and only suffered a vague sense of unease. Although I’m still making lists of all of the things I need to do: home improvement, yard, general projects, and then sometimes I have to go sit in a corner and breathe into a paper bag. But the central air died, so that removed the mental energy I was wasting on which financially hurtful thing I should do next, windows or A/C. So, I can write the big check and move on with my life and replenishing the account for windows. And having crossed off replacement freezer and new dehumidifier for the basement, as well as repair siding and next week will be able to include new A/C and kitchen moulding and drywall repairs, at least I’m taking care of the house.
And I harvested four okra and have several small eggplants near ready, so I can stop questioning whether all of the gardening was worth the time and trouble…again. Admittedly, what I harvest is never enough financially or even emotionally, from a cost-benefit standpoint. But, the few evenings I’ve been able to sit out there amongst all of my pots and gardens, having a glass of wine and reading a book, have brought me to near break-even. If only this asinine humidity would break, I could recoup the entire investment.
I did manage to get a project done at work that was long overdue, and although I’m now behind on everything else, still, I feel so giddy to have it off my plate – to have lifted that dead, rotting horse carcass from around my neck – (you may need to remember the “like pushing a dead horse over the finish line, using only a frayed rope and a teaspoon” analogy to fully appreciate) – that I feel as if I actually have a chance of getting the rest of my book of work done by the end of the year.
And then I get a call from a client and:
Sometimes it feels as if my job is sitting in a room watching children stick a fork into a wall outlet. No, wait. Like pulling together an assemblage of cool components that they can use to build a miniature town, with solid foundations, but enough extra fillips and accoutrements that they could choose from several different eras or themes. And they start playing with it and everyone seems happy, so I turn my attention to developing the next project, only to hear a noise and look up just in time to see Billy using a flying buttress to whack Jimmy on the head, Susan’s been carefully stealing all of the doors and hiding them under her desk, Joey and June have both decided that they must have the dolphin fountain, even though there are seventeen other fountains just as nice, and are playing a tug of war that has no possible outcome but complete annihilation and Bronwen is sticking the church steeple into the wall outlet, while sitting in a puddle of spilled juicebox.