by Marsha Ward
Okay, so I bought this nice steak for today's dinner, since it snowed yesterday in the morning, and I call that still winter, right? Red meat is great for warming the body and soul.
I heat the frying pan just so, then unwrap the steak and plop it in. It sizzles so nicely, and the aroma is delish! Yum! My mouth is watering, I tell you.
So I wait the right amount of minutes to get a great start on the first side, then I get out my special two-tined fork to turn over the steak. A jab in the thick part, and I'm ready to flip the wrist.
Yikes! What on earth is that in the bottom of the pan? I peer at it, disbelieving my eyes. Yes, there's a black thing stuck to the pan. Ick! Immediately I know what it is. That blood-soaker thingie they put underneath meat to make sure it looks great in the tray. You know, no one will buy a bloody steak!
So there I am, holding a steak on a fork in one hand and the handle of the frying pan in the other, lifting the pan off the heat so that soaker pad won't get any hotter. Now what?
I lay the steak down (you don't want to know where) and use the fork to remove the pad and dump it in the garbage. Great! There's a burned-on, white residue in the pan. Who knows what noxious chemicals are sitting there, waiting to kill me?
If I were 35 years younger, I might be dancing around the kitchen, squealing, "Eeeekkkkk!" But I'm not. I've reached the ripe old age of, but that's immaterial. I'm older, okay?
I'm hungry, I have a steak lying--somewhere, and I want to cook it. So now I have to clean out the pan of noxious chemicals and begin the cooking process all over again. I wash the pan (sizzle, sizzle), scrub, wash again, use a paper towel to make sure any residue is whisked away, then put the pan over the fire once more. I pick up the steak with the fork, and now I'm cooking with gas. Yes, I am. The meal is rescued, the steak is wonderful, and my tummy is satisfied.
Lesson learned: look on both sides of the meat before you plop it into the pan!