Sunday, March 21, 2010

The never-ending pork chop

This week I bought two pork chops. This is kind of a big deal, because Jeff and I buy meat about once a month. But Wednesday I took the plunge and got two of the $1.99/lb chops from McKinnon's, home of the surliest cashier in Davis Square.

Friday night I cooked the larger chop. I had never done this before, and even though I knew each person was supposed to get their own chop I figured we could share one. I made gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was delicious. I ate about a third of the chop and Jeff, after cutting his portion into smithereens, ate about a quarter. (If you salt it a lot, he explained, it goes farther.)

Tonight I made biscuits to eat with the leftovers. I cut up the bits of pork and put them in the gravy. We got through less than half the food. Jeff ate one, maybe two bits of meat spread out over two biscuits. I was hoping he would finish the rest for lunch, but he explained that biscuits and meat were too flavorful. He would be happy to use either to flavor his pasta, but he didn't want to waste them by eating them all at once. At this rate we'll be eating it all week, and there's still another chop in the freezer.

So now he's making pasta and I'm wondering where I went wrong. I know he hoards food he enjoys, and I know this is part of why we spend so little on groceries. I know he liked dinner, but I would kind of like him to eat it.

Sometimes it's jarring to realize how much I've absorbed messages like "wives make tasty meals and husbands eat them." Especially meat.
Wives take notice
Beef soup for men only
New wives kitchen
Meat is for boys, vegetables are for girls

Monday, March 01, 2010

Jeff and I were reading a list of the Jewish mitzvot, which are 613 things that you're supposed to do. They range from the very sensible:
472. Not to move a boundary marker to steal someone's property
565. Judges must not accept bribes
592. Not to curse your father and mother
605. Prepare latrines outside the camps

To the outdated:
49. Not to pass your children through the fire to Molech
165. Not to refrain from marrying a third generation Edomite convert

To the bizarre:
185. Not to eat non-kosher maggots
309. Not to anoint with anointing oil
448. The metzora must not shave signs of impurity in his hair

To the distressing:
33. To burn a city that has turned to idol worship
38. Not to cease hating the idolater
514. Canaanite slaves must work forever unless injured in one of their limbs
596. Destroy the seven Canaanite nations
597. Not to let any of them remain alive (unless they're your slave forever, I guess?)
598. Wipe out the descendants of Amalek

I was curious about this Amalek. Here's God speaking in 1 Sam. 15:3: "Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."

If there's anybody who has a chip on their shoulders about genocide, it's the Jews. Rightly so. How does anybody deal with an Old Testament God? How do you reconcile "Kill both man and woman, and infant" with "Never again"?

How do you condemn "Drive the Jews into the sea" but not "Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea, and those at the rear into the Mediterranean. The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land"? (Joel 2:20)