I usually cook meats and foods like sweet potatoes in larger portions than we need for a meal for two senior citizens. We freeze the extras and have ready meals for days I/we do not feel like cooking.
Recently we ate the last portion of Beef Brisket from the freezer stash. Mind you, we do not eat much beef, but brisket became something we love ever since Betty cooked and served it to us in New Mexico. She uses Claude’s Barbeque Brisket Marinade from El Paso, Texas.( I cannot find it here in Ohio so I went so far as to order it from Texas! Yes, it is THAT good!) https://www.claudessauces.com/collections/claude-s-sauces Last week, I found a piece of brisket marked down at Kroger’s. It was a splurge, but I bought it anyway.
We have two wonderful women who come in once every two weeks to clean the floors and tub/shower tiles. I can no longer clean the house in one day, even with Bob’s help. They are a delight and always leave things sparkling clean. They were here Saturday morning. That evening I put the beef in a baking bag to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Baked it in the cooking bag Sunday afternoon and the house smelled delightful – almost overwhelmingly so!
After the meat cooled I snipped a small corner of the bag so I could drain and save the juices for making a gravy after I sliced down the meat and separated it into portions. Usually I do these sorts of things in the sink in case I make a mess. I was tired and not thinking clearly. I tried to get the juices into a measuring cup on the glass stove top. In short order the baking bag got away from me. The open tip actually began spinning around. Yep, you guessed it! Brisket juice all over the stove top, down the front of the stove, on the floor, down my pants leg, left shoe top. I finally got it aimed and into the pan where I had cooked the brisket. As I hollered “Oh no!!” Bob came to my rescue asking, “What can I do? What can I do?” I had just placed clean rags on top of the dryer. I asked him to get me the rags. I almost slid in the juice while trying to clean it up. I wiped up enough that I would not fall. Called the beagle over.
After all the excitement it took some encouragement to assure Lucky it was okay to come lick this up. She was entranced by the exquisite flavor. I mean that dog stayed there licking and polishing that floor the entire time I was working to clean up my mess. In the past I nicknamed myself, “Little Molly Make-a-mess.” So apt. Remember when I quoted Hanson as writing, “We also focus on our own mistakes and flaws – and on the feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, and even self-hatred that get stirred up.” I had begun with internal self-castigation and shaming. And then I was glancing down at that dog.
Having just read and then re-read the selection by Rick Hanson, I knew I had several choices here. I could choose to be glad or spiral down into negative, dark thinking. As I stripped off my clothing in the laundry room it hit me that this could have been so much worse had I not cooled the meat before I began. I washed by new slacks right then, but the oil stain remained from the brisket juice. Washed them again. Have not checked that status yet.
Dressed in clean clothing, I went back to cleaning up the stove top, stove front and floor. That dog was still amazed at her blessing from on high in the form of brisket juice. Much more juice than she would ever be given otherwise! She was delighted!
For the first time I used the Lysol cleaner from the other house to clean the stove and mop this portion of the floor. It would cut the grease better than water with vinegar and a drop of Dawn as recommended for regular use on this type of flooring. I used the sponge mop that I prefer. And I was able to do it! Even after bending over to wash the front of the oven door.
Draining the catch pan and measuring cup I got enough juice to fill a 2 cup measure and then a bit more. I began to slice the meat. Got about halfway through when my hand began to rebel (Arthur-Itis is not my friend!) Bob finished for me. Love that man! His help is invaluable.
Measured out portions and had a large dish for our meals this week. Likely too much so will freeze some of that also. Three other portion bags for freezing. While making the gravy Lucky sat on the rug in front of the refrigerator, likely hoping for “More, please!” The gravy worked just fine without the part on the floor. In actual fact, it was better than if I had made the mess in the sink where I likely would have lost more of the juices from cooking right down the drain.
Later in the evening the dog kept going back to that portion of the floor. She does not get the fact that I mopped it. Perhaps she prays for me to make another mess. Larger. Soon. Until then, she will need to be content to lick a little bit of gravy off my plate after dinner. Last thing we need is a chunky beagle!
What might have ruined an evening became an occasion for rejoicing with the Beagle, seeing that even when I make a mess it is not a catastrophe, just a mess. I am even more grateful for our cleaning women and their abilities to make our home sparkle. I was able to “Be Glad” even though things did not go as I planned.