Monday, September 27, 2010

Meatball Surprise

Susan had a rough start to her day, waking up an hour late because her alarm clock, unplugged at some point over the weekend, had been set to display afternoon hours during the morning. Somehow, she still managed to feed the dogs, give Moose an insulin injection, prepare a quick lunch for Tristan and walk to her train, on time! Of course, if ever she's running behind and is forced to decide who, among her significant others, will be provided sustenance, rest assured, the dogs have nothing to fear. I, on the other hand, will be pawing the earth for bones!

I deliberately try to minimize my intake of red meat. A study released in March 2009 reinforced earlier research and only served to encourage me in that regard. It suggested men and women who eat about four ounces of red meat per day had a higher risk for overall death and dying from heart disease than people who ate less than one ounce of red meat daily. As a result of the study, the Canadian Cancer Society now recommends limiting red meat to 500 grams...or 18 ounces...per week.

When we first started dating, Susan made me "sweet & sour meatballs". I thought they were extremely tasty but, apparently, the tedium of meatball rolling was so cruelly intense, that they rarely crossed my dusty plate. Forced to fend for myself, I learned the recipe and became the household's official meatball cook. I'm also its official hamburger cook, but that shameless scam on the part of Susan and Tristan, served to illustrate a glaring and troublesome truth; I'm also the household's official meatball.

Susan and Tristan really enjoy meatballs. After her stress-ridden morning, I decided I would make the meatball recipe before going to work, to surprise them. I still feel terribly guilty when I eat them because it's red meat.

The recipe takes time and I also had a train to catch, so, at 8 am, when the local grocery store opened, I hurried in, bought chili sauce and cans of cranberry sauce, but the store had no ground beef. I bought the supplies I had collected and then headed over to another local supermarket. There, I grabbed two packages of extra-lean ground beef and proceeded to the checkout counter. At the cash, I patted down my pockets only to realize I didn't have my wallet! I told the cashier it must be out in the car but, when I didn't find it there, I ran back in and put the meat back in the section where I had found it. I then headed back to the first grocery store, hoping they had found my wallet, which, as usual, was carelessly crammed with thousand dollar bills. Oh, wait, those were discontinued ten years ago. Would you believe it was full of twentys? How about fives? Fine, it was empty.

I walked into the first store and the cashier, who was serving another customer, looked up, smiled and said, "Votre portefeuille....".  I said, "Oui, l'avez vous?" They had it. I thanked them as sincerely as I could and, had my wallet been full of thousand dollars bills, you can bet your bottom dollar I would have given them each one. Then again, had my wallet been full of thousand dollar bills, I would have demanded our cook whip-up a batch of meatballs and I would have contentedly slept in!

Since I was back in the first store, I went to the meat section and there sat neatly-placed new packs of extra-lean ground beef. I cooked and prepared the meatballs and stuck them in the fridge. Tristan and Susan were both delighted and thanked me. I smiled; end of story.

Yeah, I'm thinking there's a moral here, too.

One possibility is "nice guys finish last" or, "be prepared" or, "stress begets stress". Perhaps it's simpler still; "wait until the butcher brings out the morning stock".

Frankly, I'm stumped.

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