The Writing

20 November, 2011

losing metal points, and elk

I spent three hours in the kitchen this afternoon. I made kale salad and curry meatballs, which involves a lot of chopping the same thing for both dishes. Carrots. Apples. Onions. And then, for variety, a leek! Crazy times. I never thought of apples as something for cooking (except for desserts) before I got my Scandinavian cookbook, even though I knew about "cooking apples." I thought they meant for pie. Now I am looking for things to which I can add apples. The good part of three hours in the kitchen is I have enough meatballs for 4 separate meals for the pair of us. And I have enough kale salad for a herd of wildebeests, which means the pair of us will be eating a lot of that this week. But it's kale. It's a superfood! And we both like it, which is rare and wonderful for greens. Usually we just suck it up and eat the damn things because They Are Good For Us(tm).

 Anyway. This cookbook is responsible for both kale salad and meatballs. Shan got it for us last Yule, and it's pretty damn awesome. I count three Viking/Scandinavian cookbooks in our possession, not counting the √¶belskiver cookbook (which Shan also got for me. Do we sense a theme?). I intend to add the Nordic Diet to our collection this year. Anyway, with the exception of aforementioned √¶belskiver, all of the cookbooks include game meat. Elk. Moose. Venison. Reindeer. (oh, Donner!) We count ourselves fortunate if we can find bison around here (yes, but only at Whole Foods). So we were pretty happy when we stopped at the local Sprouts on Friday (because we walk through grocery stores for fun) and found ground venison, wild boar(!), and elk. From New Zealand, mind, but whatever. We stood there for 10 minutes debating the merits of which to buy, and settled on the elk. And it, along with a package of bison, went into the meatballs. Yes, you can tell a difference. Elk's a super dark-red meat, not much fat. I haven't had it since I was a kid, when my dad shot one and brought it home (we lived in South Dakota at the time, and I wanted so badly to go hunting with him; but my mother decreed it too cold for me to go with him. I think it was because I was a little girl, and not a little boy). Anyway, Dad shot this elk and brought her home and hung her carcass in the front yard from the tree and butchered her. He'd skinned and dressed her already; this was the sawing into pieces part of the process. I remember vividly the sound the saw made going through her spinal column. I remember the texture of her muscles in their little sheath of viscera. I watched him butcher her and bring her pieces inside. My mother was Profoundly Unhappy(tm) with the color of the meat, but she cooked it. I remember loving the elk chili. I also remember getting violently ill shortly thereafter, and blaming the elk (unfairly). I wish we could get elk steak, but I'm pretty happy to've found it at all. If I make sausage stuffing this winter, I'll definitely use the wild boar stuff. I'm curious if there's as marked a difference between wild pig and domestic as there is between tame cow and bison.

But the whole point of this post was how I entertained myself while doing the megacookathon. Lady Gaga (newly acquired from the Rat). Dude. I lost so many metal points.  Nous says I am more metal not giving a damn how unmetal Gaga is than if I didn't listen to her because it's not metal. ...because, as we all know, I sit around worrying about whether or not I am sufficiently metal.

Anyway. I think it's appropriate to make a two-meat meatballs while rocking out to the chick who wore a meat dress to the VMAs last year. Well. I like to think I was rocking out, but I know me, and I know how I look when I dance, and I am hoping like hell the solid sheet of rain outside kept any neighbors from seeing that performance.