All’s right with the world . . .

After failed attempts to get my children to even look at pork heart or liver, I fed last year’s supply to the dog. Cleaning out the freezer this week, I found a beef heart. Please note, I grew up with a man who threw whole squirrels on our plates fresh from the frying pan. “That there’s some fine eatin,” he would say. I realize it is a small number of persons who can share my memories of plates around a table each containing a headless, but mostly intact squirrel carcass. Use your imagination and understand that I just couldn’t throw away that beef heart.

Some cultures would count it wisdom, eating the heart of fearless, Charger, the Holstein steer. Charger was named after a football team, but the name fit quite well. He went to the butcher ahead of schedule due to his proclivities for charging after whoever came into the field as well as refusing me exit from the barn one too many times.

In the back of my mind are the stories about all the research going on to get us to eat bugs someday. I question the number of us who would rather eat beetles than starve to death, but it makes the brave heart of Charger seem more appetizing. Not enough to get kids licking their lips though.

Subterfuge was obviously in order. After consideration, I selected chili. Big bowls of hearty beef chili with cornbread. Oldest son would throw fits if he knew. Instead, he had seconds. I imagined feeling a sense of satisfaction about frugal use of resources once I finally started preparing that heart. But that was nothing compared to the actual meal.

I work hard at my cooking. I care about variety, nutrition, presentation. Everything is as much homemade as I can get it. While some meals are met with gratitude, the response to others is somewhere between tepid and disdain. Perfectly good meals full of ingredients they all like are randomly met with staring and stirring. Bathroom trips are requested to unload pockets of food into the toilet. The dog is given innumerable numbers of carrots and small vegetables.

It takes it out of me to put so much effort into a meal, only to hear that the short people don’t think they’re in the mood for it. I don’t provide alternate meals. They eat what’s there or feel hungry. But them feeling hungry is really of no use to me. I can’t even see it.

So back to that heart. Chopped up in little pieces in that chili they were all swallowing. My goodness, I simply had not realized how deeply satisfying it would feel to watch them eat it. Knowing they would spit it across the room if they knew. Smiling, making pleasant conversation while they chewed. Even the next day, I find myself smiling. Knowing young Charger’s tongue sits waiting in my freezer for the next time I need a little pick me up on the justice front.

11 Comments to All’s right with the world . . .

  1. Erma Joy Cann says:

    Next time I visit have cold heart or tongue for lunch. I love it in sandwiches. :)

  2. Samuel Jones says:

    Sneaky and I know where you got it from…I wonder and perhaps you know just how many times did mom pull something like that on us.

  3. Esther J Cann says:

    You are so like your mother sometimes Dear, that I actually have to remind myself who is writing what I’m reading.

  4. Abby Savoie says:

    That is so funny! I’m going to continue to believe that the macaroni and cheese your mom made had nothing strange in it. It was my favorite. :)

  5. Doug says:

    this was great, enjoy reading your thoughts.

  6. Gayle Hamilton GIll says:

    Michelle, I used this in class today to help a group of 14 and 15 year old girls understand the tone and relationship with the reader in a blog. They loved it and there were some astonishing results as they reworked their first drafts. Thank you!

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you! I’m so pleased that you are reading and very honoured that you would use my work in your class.

  7. Claudia says:

    Wow I am so glad it went well with the heart! Like I said to you before, Cow heart in Peru is one of the best dishes and very popular with the tourist, it is call anticuchos and it is just so delicious, I really need to make it for you! and also watch your kids eat it. :)