Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pot Roasts & Dog Hair Flies

Written and contributed by Erin Block

Sitting in a pot-roasting house, can make people do crazy things. If I am to be home for the day, or even just the afternoon, I avoid turning that little gray knob to "warm" on the crock -- as if it contains a plague of locusts liable to swarm from that small steam hole on the top, olfactorally overwhelmed until I am nothing but a pile of sniveled senses begging with psychotic hunger upon my kitchen's wood floor. My kitchen's dirty wood floor. Which, makes it all the worse, those bits of "dirt" a.k.a. food, all around, on the ground -- the carrot tops, celery feathers, and potato peels which escaped hours in purgatorial heat. But, they can't duck my glance.

I see you...

There, now you understand this hunger psychosis. I just admitted to talking to bits of vegetable waste composting on my kitchen floor. Honestly though, I have a very strange relationship -- errr, sickness -- regarding crock-pots. Diagnosis: a chronically stimulated nose.

I'm also, chronically, an off the hips kind of girl; and, small hips though they may be, they manage to swing a lot of spontaneity. That day's plan was to avoid the self-inflicted torment cooking on the counter. But, snowshoeing feet got cold. Fingers neared frostbite. My dog Banjo started tearing at ice balls between his toes as though he were a coyote over a carcass. And, crock-pot-roasting or no, ready or not, we all came home... a house full, of mouths now watering.

You know this feeling...yes, you do. Of, being driven a tad crazy having food so close and yet so far away. It must be very nearly the desperation stock feel when their hay is kept just out of reach. As if the farmer measured neck-reach-index, found the wanting 1/2 inch, and put the blue tarp covered alfalfa round-bale just --- right ----> there. I've always thought this to be a mean practice, however pragmatic it might be.

One of the tribe of Mouths Now Watering, was trying to be pragmatic. To work. To get things done, while dinner desire roasted away au jus. But the lone man's work was so interesting, so new, so foreign -- so far away from cornfields -- that the three women Blocked him in. What was he pulling out of that green bag? "Crafting supplies?" the matriarch teased. It was her prerogative, of course, to tease this new man.

And then, Banjo played his note in the wrong measure, entering the kitchen when he did. The sound of a scape, goated the tease on. "Ever tied a fly with dog hair?" That there, is a crazy idea stimulated by a crazy-good-smelling roast.

Run, my! But Banjo played on to the composed tune of tying, as my mother and I finger picked his coat over. Repeatedly.

The man grew serious, deep in design; yet he managed to sneak smiles -- threading, tying, dubbing...creatively tying with a coat. As a true artist, a master of his chosen instrument: the vise.

Inside the light grew brighter, as nature's dimmer switch softly set the evening's mood -- like hands did the table. The torment of noses and dog finally whipped to a finish, a very delicious finish. Yet, crazy things aren't ever really completely finished now are they? Nope.....there's always another roast...

The food was divine, the company and conversation comfortable, the laughs plenty, the dog happy with his fat-trimming coat donation compensation, and The Fly? Incredible.

Erin Block
Coal Creek, Colorado

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