Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fireplace Cooking - Part One - Pot Roast Season

Fireplace Cooking

Part One

Pot Roast Season

            We’d just started out after having the snow tires mounted and
            Mailing the mail

            The tires had waited and it weren’t gonna snow

            The post office line
            Went just fine.

            “So what are we having for dinner”
            “Leftover (homemade) Kim Chi Soup (Korean)”.
            “It’s gonna be cold tomorrow; wicked
            “Seems to me
            We should be inside most of that day.”

            “I know what I was going to say
            If it’s really going to be that way:
            Pot roast.
            Cooked in the fireplace
            All day.”

            We were headed up the coast so looked at a chuck roast... a small one... at the Waldoboro Hannaford’s; “$3.00 OFF” meat manager’s special.  But we saved our purchase for Wiggins Meat Market in Rockland.  He’s a local fella; as if buying your meat from a local lobster man ‘right off his boat’.  He had two chuck roasts ‘put up’ ‘himself’ “Two hours ago”.
            “Good-ah-nuff” for the larger “five pound” one.  Put it in the cooler in the back seat.  We always have a cooler in the back seat for such emergencies.  Then we went to the rest of our day ‘cept for having to get a chicken “somewhere”.  Wiggins’ whole chickens “HAVEN’T COME IN YET.  THIS MORNING”. 
“Cold enough that the damn chickens WILL come in.”
            “Oh they’ll BE along.”
            Wiggins said.

            After it got to be the next day at dawn and that being a Maine below zero (“Minus six at my place”) dawn... starting the fireplace kitchen seemed quite a natural thing to do.  Our pot roast “begun”

            To be cooked.  The cast iron pots; one of two; a larger and a small, come in from a shed “late fall”.  Now the large one was washed off and air dried sitting on top of the dishwasher’s load rack.  The chuck is “sat out” on a platter and “salt and peppered”.  Then the chuck was “browned” in the iron pot on the gas range.  The spice bundle and “use ‘em up” “lots of” small onion go in the pot too.  And water “to feel” (not too much not too little).

Then that whole pot with the lid on tight “goes in” “the fireplace” for the rest of the day.  “Turn it (the pot) when your going by”.  Keep the fire “up” but never TOO ‘up’.  And not “down” either.  Its an art.  Right?

            Don’t forget to bake your breads.

After lunch or so... put the carrots in.  We have a lot of a lot of carrots ‘put in’.  If you don’t care for ‘a lot’ of carrots cooked “right” with your roast... that’s your problem.  If your new to cooked carrots; they go good with the ‘a lot’ of small onions already “put in”.  I promise.

            Most of the day and the rest of the day have nothing to do with the pot roast
            In the fireplace.

            At supper time we take the iron pot out of the fireplace and put it on a damp towel on the counter.  We open the lid and “fork” the roast onto a platter and
            Slice off a sample “end” “to SEE if it’s ANY GOOD”.  Then each eater cuts a slice to suit and puts it on top of their bowl after putting ‘bow tie’ cooked noodles in the bowl bottom and ladling onions, carrots and “the juice” over those noodles.  We have a “green” of peas too.  The meat goes on top... sort of.  I like my meat ‘sliced up a bit’ and ‘pushed down in’.
            It gets dark early right now (December 16th) so we eat in the light from the Christmas tree
            And television.

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