On our last trip to the market in the Bigger Than Dinkytown we encountered “marrow bones” in the meat department, three packages, all of which came home with us. Those, with vegetable trimmings I always keep just for this purpose, things like onion and garlic skins, tough broccoli stalks, and so on, along with a few pounds of a bottom round, are on their way now to becoming beef stock. Or estouffade if you’re snooty. I’m half-snooty — Escoffier (the American version of his book Guide Culinaire, not Auguste himself) is on the bookshelf behind me, but Larousse Gastronomique is not. If I ever acquire the latter (which is really redundant with the former) then I’ll be snooty. So I’m making a half-snooty estouffade just because I found bones at the market. I have no plans for it, but that’s true of most of the ingredients I keep on hand all the time anyway. Because that’s what half-snooty food geeks do. I have no idea what fully snooty food geeks do. Maybe it’s the same.
As I explained to the (20-something) kid behind the deli counter a few hours ago: There are only two things that every human should be very good at and eating well is one of them. I won’t be able to use that line again at the local market until they hire someone new; everyone else has heard it. It wouldn’t do to have them thinking I’m a dirty old man. I’m not quite old enough for that yet.
I also managed to get about 3/4 cup of flavorful rendered beef fat out of the process, might get more tomorrow when the stock is done and cooled so the fat rises to the surface. What can I say? Animal fats don’t scare me. It’s the stress of living in 21st century America that’ll harden and clog your arteries. I don’t have a plan for the fat, either, but it won’t go to waste. Johnny at the Chinese take-out joint thinks beef fat is teh evils, was outraged when he heard that the Mexican restaurant down the street buys the stuff… he doesn’t think twice about his soybean oil. 😀
I’m glad now that I didn’t throw in with Johnny to shovel southwestern breakfasts out of the window of his Chinese take-out joint. I was looking forward to it, but things got that twitchy, tense feeling to them and I just let the matter drop. Then he forgot how to cook. His wok oil is usually polluted, his deep fryer oil is often a day or more past its prime, and he’s tending to overcook dishes. His volume is down, I think, or maybe I’m just not there when it’s running at its peaks. He’s hired himself a sous chef, I think to take up the slack when he’s too hung over to carry on without help. His kitchen is too small to afford a third pair of ass cheeks, but none of those asses are mine so I don’t mind at all.
On the other hand, I’ve got a new long term client with lots of work to be done and revenues enough to pay for it, and I might be about to bag a seriously fat contract with another. Seriously fat. Fat with an ass so big you could hide Roseanne Barr in it and never hear her nasty damn voice. And on top of that, I’ve got a thing to do that might just make a career for Amethyst and get her off of the working for wages treadmill. Neither of those two things that every human should be very good at is wage slavery. There’s just no percentage in it. If you’re lucky you can work without serious injury or disease until you reach “retirement age”, and if you’re even luckier you have financial resources that enable you to retire once you get there. Otherwise… bad shit, man, bad shit.
If you don’t get the bad shit reference, here ya go:
Can’t finish this right now. My dick’s on fire.