Today, I made a brisket for the first time in my life. It was quite an experience. I started at 9:30 a.m. and only just finished, over eleven hours later.
Now, I have to confess: I didn't do everything a die-hard grillmaster would have done. For example, I short-cutted the marinade time and cooked the meat in the oven, not on the grill. I know: gasp. But, bear with me. It was, after all, my first time. For those of you who are still reeling from shock, be encouraged: I did let the meat rest. Honest engine.
Being a thoroughly symbolic person, I can't resist posting this little rambling about the symbolism I found in the process. I've avoided my blog for almost two weeks, avoided it because I have been dealing with something I never thought possible. More on that later. For now, trust that this little rambling is actually much more: it is my way back, my attempt to fight through a fog that has threatened to consume me, my voice breaking through a lot of really horrific noise. I'm not giving up. No, instead, I'm cooking.
Cooking, cleaning, going to the grocery store, these are the daily tasks that occupy my days. These, and playing with my children. Playing with my children is my primary job responsibility. And it's also my most fun responsibility.
Again, I ramble a little. Forgive my lack of cohesive thought: it's been a tough two weeks. My point? Depression threatened to consume me, but I fought back with the ordinary. I fought back by performing daily, repetitive, normal tasks. And one of those tasks was cooking. Back to the brisket.
Step 1: pick the meat. Raw material is key.
Step 2: prepare the paste, the rub, and the mop sauce. (Hmmm.....mop sauce.) Get your hands dirty.
Step 3: apply the paste. Rest fifteen minutes. Apply the paste, second layer. Rest fifteen more minutes. Rest is required.
Step 4: rub the meat. Make sure you reach into all the crevices, hidden places must be revealed.
Step 5: let meat marinade for 4-6 hours. Patience is mandatory.
Step 6: cook at low temperature 3.5-4 hours, basting with mop sauce once every hour. Constant attention required.
Step 7: cover meat and cook 4 more hours. Like I said, patience in mandatory.
Step 8: after twenty minutes of resting, taste meat. Fall off the fork tender. So juicy it drips down the chin. Success, the brisket is ready.
Cooking this brisket is like my life - my life the way I want it to be. I want to be so raw that I'm worthy of a good, Godly process. I want to be open to a good rub, the kind that uncovers the cracks. I want to rest when it's called for, and begin working again when it's time. I want to be patient for the work to be done. When the work is done, I want to be so tender that I fall apart at the simplest touch, and so juicy that my life overflows into all the lives around me.
Today, I'm linking up with Finding Heaven. Stop by and read the musings of my friend Jen and the many wonderful women who have posted there today.