Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sliced Beef Dinner

Louise went to celebrate a friend from works birthday for supper tonight while I stayed home. I was invited, but they were going to a Japanese restaurant and for the most part there isn’t anything I would want to eat there. It isn’t the fault of the Japanese people in general, or that restaurant in particular, it is just that I don’t like seafood that much. I also don’t like to over pay for food that I won’t enjoy. This is one of those ‘it’s my fault, not yours’ situations.


A few years ago I attended a meeting at a Japanese restaurant and unable to find anything palatable on the menu, I opted for an iced tea and the promise of a bowl of popcorn when I got home. Everyone else ordered like they were drunken sailors and the restaurant served rum, salted beef and hard tack. The liquor bill came to $1500 and one of the well healed guys paid that tab and it was decided that everyone else would just split the food tab. That night I paid $30 for an iced tea, and it wasn’t even very good iced tea. If I had known I would be paying an equal amount, I would have stuffed my face with raw fish, seaweed, rice and puked my guts out under those tiny tables.

I wished Louise bon appetite and began a search for something to eat. I found a TV dinner that was in the back of the freezer, a no-name sliced beef dinner with gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and an apple crumble desert. Mmmm…mmmm. I haven’t had one of these in such a long time that I was actually looking forward to it. I popped it in the oven for 30 minutes at the specified temperature and waited rather impatiently for it to cook.

I pulled it out of the oven, tore off the plastic cover, grabbed a fork and went into the living room to enjoy a meal. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the meal, but I really can’t. The sliced beef was pretty dry and chewy, the gravy was kind of congealed in the corner, and the peas were all dried out like the testicles of a 500 year old Leprechaun. The mashed potatoes were okay, but bordered on molten, setting my tongue and cheeks on fire. The apple crisp was vaguely appleish, but not at all crisp. The whole meal left a bad taste in my mouth.

It really did leave a bad taste in my mouth, so much so that I decided that I would spend the next hour making a cake. I picked a devils food cake, mixed up the batter, floured the pans and tossed it in the oven. It took a little longer in prep than it should have because I took the time to blow out a couple of eggs to use with the egg lathe that I picked up today. For the icing, I went as sickly sweet as I could, just making a basic vanilla icing. Thirty minutes later, I stuck a toothpick in the centre and put the pans on a rack to cool.

They say a watched pot never boils and the same is true of a watched cake, it never cools. When I couldn’t wait any longer, I slathered some icing on the cake, put a quarter of it on a plate and finally got rid of the sliced beef taste. I decided that I never wanted to have that particular kind of TV dinner again so I went to look at the package. It was a Superstore Sliced Beef dinner that had a best before date of Aug 03 2006.

You know, when you think that it was about seven years past the best before date, it wasn’t too bad…considering.

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