Thursday, August 6, 2009

Truth in Blogging

As you may or may not know dinners at family vacation are occasions. We plan and think for months and make the meals an occasion. You've read about the luau, the tailgate and the steak extravaganza and the first night tradition. As my second meal I chose a Texas barbecue and from there it all goes south.

I wanted to avoid accounting for this but I was encouraged by family for truth in blogging. So I lay before you my sadness and sorrow over a meal not great and certainly not up to my desires. Josh and Jen and I planned the said barbecue with guacamole and tortilla chips, brisket smoked low and slow over hickory wood, corn with butter, lime, salt, cheese and chili powder and Lee's beans with a vinegar cole slaw. For dessert we would have our take on flan with a vanilla creme brulee.

All started well beans soaked, slaw made and brisket rubbed. Josh and I awoke early to start the fire and smoke the brisket. After a few false starts we got the fire ignited and made packets of hickory chips for smoking. Chips and brisket were laid on the fire and grew ever more delectable as they cooked. At one point as is usual with smoking we added charcoal and another packet of chips. I left to go to the airport and later Josh called to tell me the brisket had ended up charred because the grill temp couldn't be regulated due to some faulty valves on the grill. The sadness and disappointment are huge. To make things worse the beans I've mad a bazillion times were quite salty. My family is precious and they knew the amount of effort and planning that went into this meal. They did their best to help us feel good about dinner. We made a delicious barbecue sauce to wet the brisket but it really didn't work. It was delicious sauce made by four people together over dry chewy brisket. You get my drift.

It was one of those times that happens to any cook who cares about food and thankfully it isn't a frequent event. For me it's been a rarity and for that I am grateful. I tell this sad tale to offer encouragement to other food lovers who try to make great food for those they love as a sign of their love for those dear ones to enjoy. I think what is most frustrating is that if food is love what have I said to those dear ones? I do love them with all of my heart and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing smiles and hearing murmurs of enjoyment.

However I learned that there is another side to food is love. It is love as the food for family. While chatting with Dad and ruing the course of the brisket my Dad showed his true self when he said, 'I couldn't imagine no0t enjoying any meal that my daughter cooked for me." My sweet younger sister lauded all of the effort and planning to create such a meal and acknowledged that even with all of that there is still an opportunity for disappointment but it was mostly the thought that counted. My sweet Mom loved the creme brulee and it was delicious. She had two servings and stated she loved the meal. How can anyone go wrong with a family like this?

So I have been truthful in describing the highs and lows of the meal. The lows of course are the dishes that failed and the high points were guacamole, fish dip, cole slaw, corn and creme brulee. But the point that was the highest was my wonderful family support and their recognition of the love intended through my cooking. Tomorrow is another day to win the food battle. I will not go down twice in a row - especially for the last supper. Tomorrow we'll have steak with paprika parmesan butter, Mimi's sauteed corn, Sue's twice baked potatoes, some slaw or a salad and for dessert watermelon. It will be an awesome meal that brings love full circle love through food and the food of love from those most dear.

1 comment:

  1. I say BRAVO for all your planning and effort and a two thumbs up for your understanding and loving family. I can attest to the delicious and savory beans, as I have had themand I think we also had the brisket...didn't we? I will look forward to your final menu and Ken and I begin our trip to Michigan tomorrow...Hey, Anne....I'm on vacation, too!!!