"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mustard and Black Pepper Brisket

I was trying to figure out a new recipe for brisket cooked in the crockpot earlier this week.

I pulled some brisket out of the freezer and let it defrost overnight. Then I brushed it on both sides with some brown mustard, and mixed some kosher salt and cracked black pepper together and patted that mixture over the mustard.

Then I placed it in the crockpot and cooked it on high for four hours. I would have done it on low, but I didn't get it in the crockpot early enough.


I used too much salt, but the brisket was moist and the mustard and pepper flavor was very nice. I scraped off the remaining salt, pepper and mustard mixture, and that did help with the saltiness. I will try this again and cut back on the salt by about 50%.

The Potluck Dinner

Mr. Hairball's workplace is in the midst of a flurry of social activities. We attended a potluck dinner last weekend, will be having dinner with some of his colleagues at a restaurant tonight, and another potluck dinner is scheduled for Friday. I made a batch of brownies to take to the potluck dinner last weekend, and I will do the same on Friday.

Last weekend, his workplace was providing some of the food, and a group of us was instructed to bring a salad, side dish or dessert item. His employer would be providing the hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, plates, and disposable flatware.

We showed up with a quadruple batch of brownies, placed them on the end of the table, and immediately started visiting with the people we knew. Some of his co-workers were unable to attend, some came alone or with their SO, and others brought their entire family along. There were a total of sixteen of us if you include the SOs and families in the "bring something" group.

After the line calmed down a bit, I grabbed a plate and got in line. As I was waiting, I scanned the table to see what was there so I could decide what to get. It was then that I realized that my brownies were the only item on the entire table that was homemade. I looked again as surely I must be missing something. I looked carefully between the hamburgers, hot dogs, condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, tubs of potato salad, bags of chips, various prepackaged dips and salads, cartons of ice cream, and cans of soda. Nothing.

I'm used to being in the minority at potlucks because I'm one of the few people that brings something homemade. This time however, was the first time that I was the only one who brought something homemade. I've felt sad about this since it happened and see it as a sign of things to come. I guess Erma Bombeck's jokes about installing vending machines in her kitchen are not that far from reality for a lot of people.

I used to know someone who would talk about how they just loved dish X that relative Z made for their family. I asked them once if they had asked relative Z to show them how to prepare it for the inevitable day that relative Z passes on. I was told there's no point in trying to learn as it will never be like what relative Z makes. Relative Z is probably dead by now. I guess they just sit around and reminisce about the lovely holiday meals of the past since nobody alive can duplicate it. *rolls eyes*

Other families have recipes that were lovingly passed down for generations, but are now crumbling in a box unused and unloved because everybody that is physically able to cook is "just too busy" and the junk at the grocery store is "almost as good" if you pile on the Cool-Whip. *whimper*

Sometimes, I really do feel like a freak of nature.