It’s our last day of summer holidays. We are waiting for the Beast’s parents to arrive. We messaged them yesterday saying, “Can’t wait to see you at noon,” with the hope that they’d understand that any time earlier would be obscene. But it is their cottage, I guess, so they are really free to come and go as they please. Thank goodness the mother of the Beast slept in (the father of said Beast was rearing to go at 8:00 am.)
One day not too long ago (they’re all a blur now), we went for a canoe ride to the other side of the lake so the Beast could do some field recordings for his music projects.
I had to stay very quiet as he recorded sounds of babbling brooks, trees blowing in the wind, and birds. So I looked for stuff. I found these:
Foodie: Look! I found two things with the number seven on it!
Beast: Shut up!
And then he hit the mother load of sounds: a train! We sat on the rocks as it passed us. It’s amazing how being in such close proximity to that power can incite such awe and wonder.
And then on another day, a rainy day, we drove to Perry Sound because Mactier, the closer town, didn’t have the canned clams I needed in order to make a pot of Manhattan style clam chowder. Not only did Perry Sound have the clams, but they also had a chip wagon, a Walmart, and a Starbucks. Like eager tourists, we visited all three sites.
That night we had our first successful meal: flank steak on arugola with a warm potato salad based on this recipe that my friend Katie suggested I try.
Last night we had the meal of all meals: burgers. Now, I’ve been reading Mark Bittman’s Food Matters while at the cottage. The basic premise is that if we eat less meat (meat production creates more greenhouse gasses than transportation does), less dairy, less junk food, and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, not only will we help save the planet but we’ll lose weight and save money. It’s embarrassingly simple really, but it’s a lifestyle alteration that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) sure doesn’t promote. Bittman himself lost over 40 pounds by eating nearly like a vegan would for breakfast and lunch, and allowing himself to indulge a bit at dinner. He hasn’t cut out anything, like red meat, white bread, cheese and wine, from his diet completely: he just limits how often, and how much, he eats them.
Foodie: We are going to stop eating white bread when we get home.
Beast: No. We. Are. Not.
Foodie: And we’re going to eat meat only once or twice a week from now on.
Since I didn’t want to ruin the Beast’s last dinner for Summer Vacation 2010, I didn’t say a word when he returned indoors from the grill bearing this platter.
Instead, I simply dressed my burger with a piece of bacon, caramelized onions, dijon mustard, avocado and a nice slice of a field tomato.
And I let the Beast prepare his plate.
We both agreed that they were the best burgers we’d ever had.
Before bed, the Beast suggested we go down to the dock to look at the stars. Now, I know everybody has seen a magnificent night sky before, but I always wonder if people who live in the city, like me, always get such a thrill out of a spectacular starry night–when you can practically look straight out through the Milky Way and still further past our own galaxy into who knows where. And I wonder if people who get to see a show like this nearly every night ever take it for granted.
Anyone ever read The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles? I sure as shit haven’t, but I’ve seen the Bertolucci-directed movie based on the book. And there’s a line at the end where the narrator says,
“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
It gets me every time that line. And I always think about it when I see a starry sky.
But I don’t think about it when it comes to Meatloaf (the recording artist, not the food. I do tend to wonder how many more times I’ll be lucky enough to eat meatloaf the food). The Beast decided it would be hilarious to keep playing the song, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, over and over again in bed. I was trying to read and he kept asking for my iPhone, which I stupidly kept giving him, and then he’d find that song on YouTube and play it, and sing along to it. Come morning time, he asked for the iPhone because he said he had to look up the word, “peudemna”. He said it was a word he read in a poem and he just had to know what it meant. But he didn’t look up that word ( which isn’t a word)–he just played that Meatloaf song again. He was behaving like it was the funniest thing he’s ever done in his entire life.
I think it’s time we went home.
Flank Steak Dinner: Foodie **1/2, Beast ***
Burgers: Foodie ***, Beast ***1/2