Sunday, August 02, 2009

A note on what's bothering me today, plus a sonogram

Here's what's bothering me today.

I've got the pot of saurkraut I cooked yesterday sitting on the stove, still cold from being taken from icebox this morning. And everytime I go in the kitchen, I eat some. I can see my dinner disappearing before my eyes, but I swear to God, I just can't help myself from opening the top and spearing a potato, scooping up some of that wet kraut, a bit of sausage and, wonder of wonders, my own special touch: Brussels sprouts. Brussel sprouts? I'm going with Brussels, since that's how they spell the city.

(The idea of not having anything left for dinner is what bothers me, fyi.)

The recipe is this:
--Saute some chopped bacon (chopped from big chunks you get at Eagle Provisions, not commercial, pre-sliced) and a big white onion in a little bit of olive oil. Grind in a shitload of pepper and some salt. I don't know about you, but where I come from, the onions don't show up pre-seasoned.
--Drain a pound of saurkraut and throw it in.
--Add about a can of beer, a similar amount of chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (the addition of the latter being good clean fun but which adds an unearthly pinkish glow to the final product) and some water. Total amounts don't really matter, since you drain it off if necessary. Bring all this to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.

--Chop about ten small red potatoes in half and throw them in.

--Chop an 8-1o inch length of double-smoked kielbasa into bit-sized chunks and throw that in.

--Trim the ends off about a dozen Brussels sprouts and throw them in.
--Toss in some caraway seeds and whole pepper corns (I like a red/black mix, but whatever is ok).
--Cook for about 30 minutes while you watch Los Mets, then turn it off and let it sit for a while.
Later, when it's comfortably warm but no longer scalding, eat with a shitload of mustard and one of those 16 ounce cans of Bud Light that are all the rage. All of it's good, but each sprout, I have to tell you, is like a jewel.

What is interesting about saurkraut is that, to a degree, you can just let it sit around the top of the stove all day. I mean, it's all acid. Nothing's going to go bad. I remember I used to wander into Pop's kitchen back in the old days when he was his spry self and he'd always have something that I sort of thought should be refrigerated just sitting on the back of the stove. Chili jumps to mind. And hell, he never got sick. Me neither. And there's a certain purity to eating food at room temperature that's not supposed to be at room temperature.

(Although this was a man who'd perfected making hollandaise sauce in a microwave oven--a lens though which much of the man must be surveyed.)

Ironic that Pop would later die from choosing not to eat the food in the nursing home. Or maybe not. Anyway, I just popped a Brussels sprout in my mouth and it, like Proust with those damned marshmallows, made me think of a bunch of stuff.

Not the least being the depiction of sonograms as an interesting adjunct to my exploration of mammograms. Consider this:



Or



I like the second better than the first--the idea that the more mystery the better. And I like both of them better than this one:



This kid's name is John and I feel like I know him already. Which, frankly, is a bit too much. Freaky looking kid. Looks a little like a Brussel's sprout.

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