Rendered Fat Content


Frans Snijders, Still life with small game and fruits; 1600 - 1657, Rijksmuseum, Netherlands
"Cheers (or something)!"

I'm more skilled at creating leftovers than I am at producing suppers. I possess no sense of proportion. I can't seem to think in realistic portion sizes anymore than I can imagine in cubic furlongs. The Tupperware® remains in near constant use, holding some once-treasure in the often fantastic notion that someone might finish it off later. We periodically purge the fridges of science projects, leaving a congealed centerpiece on the deck for the magpies. Some of that shit, not even the magpies will tackle, and so it smells up the garbage can until the following Tuesday. I understand how wasteful this cycle seems and if I could do better, I certainly would do better, but I seem stuck with this disappointing status quo. Sure, the supper looks like a feast when set upon the table. It later becomes little better than an enduring inconvenience.

Last night, though, I managed to produce what I refer to as an ImmaculateSupper, one which fully satisfies the diners while leaving no leftovers, nary a scrap.
Perhaps one in ten of my suppers ends up being Immaculate, so an appearance of one doesn't quite qualify as rare, but they're infrequent enough to spark recognition if not our-right celebration. The Tupperware® rested easy last night. Nobody needed to ferret around finding fridge space for a fresh batch of impending specimens. A supper free and clear with nothing remaining to later impair my reputation.

"Is this new tuna or old beef?," The Muse might innocently ask as she scours out a shelf in search of a topping for one of her take-to-work salads.

"Don't ask!," I reply, but it's already too late by then to side-step the sting. There are still children starving in Africa, and I remain a sinner, repentant but usually powerless to avoid temptation. Three pounds of boneless short ribs seemed like a reasonable purchase. I figured that six hours of braising would reduce their volume by a third, but then I piled a bumper harvest of winter veg around the meat to yield four pounds of finished entree, so half remains. The remainders will end up camouflaged so well that even a concerted search will not find them. I swear that the fridge holds about half of its space in some weird blackhole suspension. Stuff easily slips in but cannot be recovered until waaaaay past its pull date. I cannot locate whatever The Muse put in and she cannot for the life of her find whatever I filed away, and neither of us can divine what became of anything The Otter piled away. Leftovers seem the very bane of our existence.

A certain beneficence settles over the place whenever we realize what has just taken place. We created a supper that achieved the improbable if not quite the impossible, for we have proof before us that guiding angels do, indeed, sometimes pass by. We both understand that these events amount to accidents, that neither of us will ever learn a whit about portion control. As usual with blessings, we stumbled into this one, special due more to random selection than holy intercession, yet that feeling persists. We hold actual proof that we're at least sometimes worthy of our place in the damned food chain. We actually can sometimes find satisfaction somewhere other than in foregone gluttony, for only abject gluttony could clear a typical supper table here. Cheers (or something)!

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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