Susan’s Brother here again to share with you another intelligent well researched tale…..Oh hell, in this case, it’s just a story from my past. Feel free to let me know if you agree, disagree, or have a related tale of your own to share!
IAN’S STEAK STORY!
I never ever ever ever ever liked steak.
You see, the problem was, I grew up in Ireland. Now there’s a lot of reasons Steak wasn’t on the menu, I mean, think about aul poor poverty stricken Ireland, obviously an expensive steak wasn’t going to be on the list.
Also there was the other problem, the COOKING OF THE STEAK! You see, in Ireland, it was well believed that there are two colors a steak should never ever be. Pink or Red. You see, that means it was undercooked and as a result you would die from eating Pink or Red meat! (oh ok, not sure WHAT the thinking was, but no way you were getting Pink or Red meat).
Steak in our house wasn’t even well done. It was cremated! This wasn’t just my house that practiced this though, just about every house in Ireland cooked steak the same way. Even my Scottish mum in law, she was raised on cremated steak. It seems this was a wide spread cooking technique.
A bad steak was a steak that didn’t take you half an hour to chew one fork full. Oh man, how I hated it. I would do anything to avoid steak. Imagine what an ungrateful little sod I must have been in my family. After breaking their backs at work to splash out and buy an expensive steak (well more expensive than the beans on toast I was used to…), after slaving away over a hot stove to ensure that the meat had reached that proper sun dried leather like quality…. The little brat of a son refused to eat it! In catholic Ireland it was pretty obvious………. I was possessed by the devil himself!
So I grew up HATING steak. Detested it. Avoided it like it was cursed! (or in my case, since I was possessed by the devil, I avoided it like Holy Water…). Then something happened. Something that can only be described as a miracle. I went on holiday to a place called “Texas”. While I was there I discovered many many things.
I felt what true love was like………….when I had my first ever Dr Pepper….
I realized how great an old movie could be when viewed in an awesome theater (http://bit.ly/qDR2UM) (actually, I always loved old movies, just this venue turned them into something even more amazing).
I realized that in Texas, it takes so many acres to feed a cow, rather than in Ireland, where you think about how many cows you can fit into an acre.
In America, it’s perfectly normal for people to wander into a diner at 3am in the morning wearing a bathrobe and slippers…..
I also had my first plane flight in a single engine Cessna, and wondered if turning the propeller off before landing was a way to save fuel! (actually turns out we had run out of fuel……… but I didn’t find that out until I had to push the plane from the runway to the fuel pumps)
And….. I got brought to a restaurant called “The Texas Roadhouse” in Abilene. Wow…… this was a complete different experience. First of all, you actually go to a display cabinet where they have cuts of meat on display, and pick the cut you want! (I didn’t notice a fillet of beans on toast though…). I was weary of steak, however, I was being brought out, and the girl bringing me out was insistent that I try a REAL steak. I had told her I hated steak, I had told her I wasn’t interested, but she looked at me with a smile, and said “You’ll LOVE a real steak, besides, if you don’t eat it, it doesn’t matter, we can get you something else…”. That was a far cry from being raised in an environment where I was told “You can’t leave that table until you finish every bit!” or “if you don’t finish all of that steak, I’ll send you to an orphanage…”. So because of her, I tried it. She ordered for me, and she asked for it medium rare….
It arrived…. It was………….. PINK IN THE MIDDLE!!! Oh god……. It was going against everything I’d ever been raised to believe in. Surely there was some mistake, they had brought me out an undercooked steak by misteak… I mean… mistake…. However, her steak was the same, she cut into it, and I followed suit…. (looking back on this, wow……… I must have REALLY seemed like I just crawled out from under a rock). Then, I did what I had always hated to do…….. I bit into the steak. I expected it to be tough, I expected to have to chew on it, I expected to have to smile at her and tell her I loved it, while trying to drop bits into my napkin, fold it up and deposit it in a bin without being seen………. What I DIDN’T expect…. Was for the steak to melt in my mouth. What I DIDN’T expect was for it to be juicy, tender, and full of flavor…… What I DIDN’T expect…….. was to fall in love with steak and order it every time we went out for the rest of my holiday…….
1998, I flew to Texas, I discovered the love of steak, I discovered a love of Dr Pepper, I discovered that Twinkies are in fact horrible, and that soft dough cookies are indeed lovely (usually in Ireland if a cookie is soft, it’s gone off…).
To this day, I still love my steak and it’s all thanks to one person who was kind enough, patient enough and had enough faith in steak to know that I could love it too.
It’s funny though, even now, when my parents come to visit me from Ireland, even when I was still living in Ireland, I could never get them to try a medium rare or rare steak. They really really don’t know what they are missing.