When D went to the naturopath last week (a new thing for him to go to a naturopath for himself), she said he was of a constitution to need much more red meat -- specifically beef. Since I mostly give him tofu and fish, this presented a problem. I haven't eaten beef in 30 years and had been refusing to cook beef here inside the house (even though I've been cooking a lot of bacon this year).
But now is a time for many changes. I went across town today to procure a really good cut of meat from a cow that had a very healthy life. Tomorrow I will make pot roast in a cast iron dutch oven that my mother gave me (which I haven't used yet because I wasn't looking forward to deep-cleaning all spiritual residue of animal flesh that had been cooked in it). My mother used to make very good pot roast in this pot, and she's given me all of her tricks. The roast will be very good, I imagine.
So today I took care of myself and made a pot of beans for me to eat the rest of the week -- black beans, red beans, pinto beans cooked to perfection in the bean pot, in the oven. I can't say enough good things about this method of making beans. They are perfect beans, so easy, and so deeply flavored because they relax in the oven for hours. D and I had these beans for dinner, and now I'm turning some of the cooked beans into a spicy chili for me. I added some of the leftover pulp from this summer's tomato-juice-making, and I'm going to let it simmer all night. I enjoyed making the chili as spicy as I want it to be, and I look forward to having this around while they're eating leftover pot roast through the weekend.
I can't help my reasons for not eating red meat. They aren't political. I just feel very squeamish. I do feel a strong (perhaps political) need to make sure that we buy healthy meat if we buy it. It was no issue for me to drive across town for this meat. I was sad that New Seasons was out of rump roast for the next week or so, but I had no problem calling around and finding it elsewhere. If we will be cooking more beef around here (and that's probably cheaper and better in the long run for David and Ellie if they get deep nourishment from food that makes them feel good), then I'm glad to scope out places from which to procure healthy meat.
It's a big deal for me to cook this thing tomorrow, though. My friends have heard about the "beef issue" for a couple of months because D has been pining for a pot roast all autumn. I came up with all sorts of ideas like "Maybe you could cook it at your mom's house!" When the time of big changes began last week, I realized I needed to accomodate others more. I realized that I'd be happy to designate my mom's dutch oven and my pressure cooker to any of D's meat needs (I make beans in the oven, after all, and don't need a regular pressure cooker anymore). He can continue to use the BBQ for steaks and anything else.
I have never been more prepared to make a dish than this pot roast. I have talked and talked and talked it over with everyone I know. I have learned all of my mother's tricks. I remember (fondly, in fact) how my mother's pot roast tasted, and I know I can coax every possible goodness from the healthy meat, organic vegetables, good stock and good wine that I will use.
So this is how I will say good bye to 2009... In this year, I still grieved my cousin who died late last year. My dad died . I had to make my own funeral for my father. My mother shut down and shut me out. My brother exploded in grief and rage. I burned the journals. We had profound issues with E's school/her changing needs and had to delve deeply within ourselves in order to solve them positively (and this was a subject I couldn't write about here because it involved others here in the community, but we're incredibly grateful for how the issues were worked out in the end). D's work situation went from toxic to worse and then to lay-off (another subject I didn't feel able to write about here but that colored the last two years in miserable shades of angst). I gardened and learned how to make real pickles. I even taught a few nice people how to preserve and to ferment. I made a vine-cage! I learned how to say no, and I learned how to give my daughter space to be herself. I learned how to be grateful for big, hard changes -- even death -- because there's some freedom to be found even when beloved people/things/situations fall away. I learned how to be stay in the present moment.
To acknowledge all of this, I will cook pot roast for D, E and my mother-in-law tomorrow, and I will marvel at what is now okay with me.