Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have a little secret.

I like pot roast. I just discovered it a few days ago and frankly, I'm still weaving a bit from the shock. I'm not supposed to like it. I've spent 36 years not liking it and 19 of those years refusing to eat it. Then on Sunday, in an effort to be a good example to my children, I tasted it. Shortly after that, I found myself using the leftover shreds of beef to scrape the sour cream gravy out of the dutch oven. Who knew that falling from grace could be so delicious.

I grew up in a meat-and-potatoes family. We ate beef at least three nights per week. Since we were solidly working class, most of those beef dishes were cheap cuts that required some sort of tomato product and a pressure cooker. We knew dinner was ready when we heard the hiss of steam being released.

When I left home, I started down the path toward vegetarianism. I took my time and then stalled out at fowlpescalactotarianism (in other words, I'd managed to stop eating mammals). When I married Nick, I decided to stop there. I felt good about my choices but I didn't have to be inconvenienced by cooking multiple meals. Nick actually encouraged me to really give up meat, but I was happy to be stalled.

Then, as any home cook will profess, adding more mouths complicated the meal selection process considerably. As I struggled to find common food likes, I decided to just give up on the whole pseudo-vegetarianism. I capitulated last Easter when a particularly lovely ham sang her sweet, salty siren song. Then came salami, Italian sausage, pork chops, mortadella, and the list goes on. That's how I found myself with two slices of pot roast on my dinner plate.

When I took a second helping, Nick exclaimed, "Wow! You LIKE pot roast?" That's when I made a big mistake. I let my pride get in the way. I answered, "Well, it's not my new favorite or anything, but it's not as horrible as I remember. Just don't be expecting it every week." As soon as the words were out, I wanted to snatch them back. Now I have a dilemma - admit that I was foolish or devise a zany scheme that will force me to make pot roast again. I suspect that I might just be inviting all the pot roast afficianados I know over for dinner someday soon. After all, a good hostess prepares her guest's favorites.


Mary Witzl said...

Years ago, I had an elderly relative in San Francisco who knew a restaurant that made wonderful pot roast. Everything they cooked there was the type of thing that people born before 1900 liked. I came from a largely vegetarian household, but that pot roast was heavenly: it melted in your mouth.

Now you've done it: you've made me go and remember! And I want ham, too.

Katie Alender said...

The night you extend that invitation, you may just find me on your doorstep, Christy!

cheribear said...

I love a nice ham, or roast beef. I think if I'd had roasts cooked in a pressure cooker with tomato something or other growing up - it would take me a while to even want to try or enjoy a nice pot roast.

Fortunately, my mom was the kind who dumped a packet of onion soup mix over the roast and put it in the oven, rather than tomato soup in the pressure cooker. Sometimes the cut wasn't good but it always smelled wonderful cooking and the gravy would be so good, I barely noticed if the meat wasn't.

Christy said...

Sorry, Mary. Or maybe I'm not so sorry - it's always nice to drag someone else down with me.

It's a date, Katie! Let me know the next time you're in town.

Don't get me started on gravy, Cheri. I sincerely believe that gravy is one of mankind's greatest inventions. It's what seperates us from the animals.