Friday, November 14, 2008

Follow Your Heart

Some years ago I produced a spectacular, possibly magical, meal partly by design and partly by providence.

Over time I changed up the recipe adding this, subtracting that until I settled on something that produced consistent results:

This is YUMMY!

That to me is the ultimate accolade. If my diners shout “This is YUMMY!” and solicit back rubs or offer to have my babies, I figure I’ve done well.

“Just rub my upper back” indicates to me that I might have left out some salt.

“I’m going to call him Bill!!!!” is a clue that I got it right.

So, there I was some months ago doing my Special Porky Thing.

The Special Porky Thing is pork chop cubes stewed with peppers, squash and tomatoes, with few spices, actually, nothing more than salt and pepper, but cooked long enough for the flavors to mingle and form a Special Porky Goodness.

I usually get rave reviews for the Special Porky Thing and half the kids in the state are named after me as a result. Yes, I know it’s a burden, but somebody must shoulder it and speaking of pork shoulder, that’s a good ingredient!

Thus it was that one fine day I decided to Improve on the Proven Recipe.

Instead of using fresh tomatoes I relied on a large can of tomato paste.

My rationale was this: if all those tomatoes boil down into a paste, why not skip the middle man and go for the end game.

Yeah, baby, efficiency!


Not. Not. Not.

In fact the KNOT was on my head.

I soon learned that a can of tomato paste is NO SUBSTITUTE,

let me repeat that,

N O S U B S T I T U T E ! ! !

Oh, let me repeat that,

N O S U B S T I T U T E ! ! !

for real tomatoes.

So, in case you’re thinking about doing a Porky Thing using tomato paste, brother, let me tell you from the heart.

Don’t. Do. It.

Lecture over.

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