Friday, July 10, 2015

The Blueberries Are Killing Me

The blueberries are killing me.

I just checked the pork loin and it needs at least forty-five more minutes in the oven. What the heck? It was only a little frozen when I put it in the oven. You know, that squishy kind of frozen when it hasn't defrosted in the fridge quite long enough.

Damned safety people, telling me I need to defrost my meat in the fridge. Blueberries? Right, I was telling you about blueberries.

There's also a blueberry cobbler in the oven with the pork. The pork was supposed to come out fifteen minutes ago and the cobbler was supposed to come out of the oven in about a half an hour. Perfect timing, right?

I am a good enough cook, but I never did get that timing down. You know, the cooks that have the Thanksgiving turkey coming out of the oven just when the yams are smelling up the house and the kid - me - has wrapped the spoon up in the mixer in an attempt to help whip the potatoes?

Yeah, that. I did it. That spoon was suitable for jewelry after I was done with it.

I can make some meals, but there's fifty-fifty potential for hockey puck food when I've been gone all day and am scrambling to get a hunk of meat and some vegetables on the table when everyone is finally home and staring at me, yes me, with those hungry eyes. Tonight, it's not hockey puck food, but it is raw. Raw pork. That's bad. What was it, trichinosis, that you can get from raw pork? So, we wait. We might be eating blueberry cobbler before the meat is close to finished. I'm still trying though. Me. I'm the only one in the kitchen. Well, I'm not in the kitchen, not exactly, but it's me who's paying attention. Me.

To Mike's credit, he made dinner last night and once last week and now and then as far as I can remember when we've all been too busy to be home at a reasonable time.

Mike's dinner was perfect and perfectly timed. It all came out at once. I suppose I could argue that beans and rice don't exactly have to be timed. First, he layers cooked minute rice on the bottom of a microwaveable plate. Personally, I like jasmine rice better, but I have to admit that the minute rice is quick. Still, it always irks me that it takes a whole five minutes for minute rice. Shouldn't they call it minutes rice instead? Isn't there a law about truth in advertising?

So then Mike adds diced tomatoes and sprinkles it with basil. That's the most important part of the layering. See, I always forget and add the basil after the beans and the flavor isn't just right then. The tomatoes love the basil. They really do. Beans? Not so much. After the basil, Mike adds the beans, hence beans and rice. And he tops it with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese, ready to be melted in the microwave. I like a quarter of an inch of cheese which almost makes it taste like beans and rice pizza, but Mike is a little more scrupulous with his cheese. Damned heart attack.

This is one of those recipes in our family that I'm not allowed to mess with. Kidney beans, not black beans. Canned tomatoes and not fresh. And no damned lime juice. Personally, I love the lime juice, but then it would not be beans and rice as we, in our family, know it. It would be something else.

And in the meantime, the blueberry cobbler is done, just bubbly and browned and the damned trichinosis pork loin is still raw in the middle.

The guys are digging into the blueberry cobbler now. Blueberry pie for dinner! Yay!

Thank you for listening, jb

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