Saturday, December 13, 2014

I Might Be Going to Hell for This....OR, If I Choke on Dinner, I Won't Be Surprised...

So I was at the store, looking for a nice piece of chuck steak. I like to cook them like regular steaks if they're properly marbled, and chuck cuts generally are wonderfully marbled. But there were none to be had. Darn, I was in the mood for meat. I bought a rack of ribs in case the girls came over tonight; I bought hamburger meat and buns in case they came over without warning and I still had to serve them. I bought a beef heart to marinate to make heart on a stick--grilled heart, slices thin, marinated in garlic, a bit of oil and white vinegar--for tomorrow because I'm writing a new story and that came up in the story recently. I also bought Boots, the blind wonderdog, a package of chicken necks and backs--currently in the oven at 330 degrees, lightly sea-salted and crack-black-peppered. But then I noticed some rib eyes in the meat case. Gorgeous rib eyes. They were $7.99 a pound, just a couple of bucks more than the chopped meat, and they were grassfed, organic, free range. I couldn't believe it. I had to ask the meat counter guy if that was the right price. That's normally $21 buck a pound meat and I've never had it. (When I was chef'ing restaurants in New York there was no such label as organic, grass fed, free range beef.) 
       The meat guy said "yup, that's the price. I didn't believe it myself but they told me to put it out for that so get 'em while you can because someone's gonna realize they made a big mistake in the morning."
       I ordered three and he cut them for me. Full inch or better thick. Gorgeous, if you eat meat. I'm hoping, of course, that the cows all had fantastic lives and volunteered to die--something along the lines of knowing they were getting old and their knees were giving out and rather than suffer for a year and then die naturally, volunteered to take themselves out while they were still relatively healthy....Oh shit, I'm going hell just for that. But it gets worse.
      When I went to pay the woman said "$38,92". 
      I said, "That can't be right. It should be more than that."
      "You think I made a mistake? I didn't miss anything."
      "I'm sorry, I'm not saying you did, it just seems awfully low considering how much meat I bought..."
      "Yes, $3 for a beef heart; $1.81 for chicken necks; $4.59 for ribs on sale, couple of mushrooms, spinach, a tomato..."
      "But then the prime was expensive..."
      "You want me to check it, I will but I didn't miss anything..."
      And then she gave me the receipt and I walked out and didn't look at the receipt till I got to my truck and put the groceries away. Sure enough, no prime ribs. I thought about going back inside but rethought--or simply justified not going back inside--by thinking that if I went in there with a pack of ribs and demanded I get charged for it, she might get in trouble. So I didn't. So if I choke on the ribs it's because I killed a cow and didn't even pay for it to clear my conscience. 
      Karma will have me pay, probably 10-fold. I'm not looking forward to it.

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