One of my online writing friends writes a blog piece everyday, even when she is traveling. When I told her my life wasn’t so interesting that I had something to write that often, she said she just writes a slice of life. Another of our friends chimed in that she loves that attitude and does the same thing.
So, here’s a slice of my life:
On Saturday, I stood in front of the meat counter at Trader Joe’s sorting through packages of Corned Beef looking for the one with the lowest price. One of their employees must have wondered what I was doing because suddenly he was there wanting to know if I had a problem. The first package I picked up was $13.29, the lowest, and I was contemplating whether I wanted to spend that much. He went on and on about how great it is to have corned beef on the shelves again now that St. Patrick’s Day is approaching.
Memories of one of my mother’s meals activated my salivary glands. The employees enthusiasm made my mouth water more.
When I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money but Mom knew how to make it stretch with simple meals. In those days, it was possible to purchase slices of corned beef from the deli counter. The slices were already cooked and all Mom had to do was lay them on top of the potato and cabbage stew she prepared and the corned beef melted in.
While I enjoyed this meal and would like to replicate it, it is not possible to find corned beef like that anymore. And I’ve always been intimidated by the huge corned beef briskets that could feed a huge family. I usually cook for one. But these packages were smaller and the directions indicated it would be done if baked in water in the oven for 25-30 minutes. So I decided to give it a go.
Tonight I attempted to replicate Mom’s stew as best I could. While the potatoes, onions, and cabbage cooked, the corned beef baked in the oven. After 25 minutes I added the meat and water to the potato-cabbage pan. I had already seasoned it with thyme and tarragon. I love tarragon and use it as often as seems fitting. Then I cooked it for ten more minutes before digging in.
It wasn’t as good as Mom’s. But then, other people’s cooking almost always tastes better than mine. But I do remember Mom saying that, too. I did enjoy having a little bit of the flavor of corned beef, something I haven’t had in years.
And best of all, I was able to divide the two pieces of corned beef contained in that $13.29 package into six pieces, so I’ll have five more meals. That is $2.22 per meal. Mom would be proud of me.