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Sunday I went by Food Lion to get something I didn’t really need and serendipitously found a good deal on a fresh, not corned, beef brisket. Yee Ha! I can use that killer brisket recipe I found on the BettyCrocker.com website. It is cooked in a slow cooker. The trick is it uses a fantastic brown sugar spice rub to coat the meat.. Take 3 tbs brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, celery salt, garlic powder, any other stuff you think might be yummy together and rub it on the brisket.

The original recipe called for ketchup as the basis for a barbecue sauce. Well, doggone it, I was out of ketchup, so I substituted a can of diced tomatoes, added a chopped onion, 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce and about 3/4 cup water. I put the slow cooker on the low setting and let it cook for 5-6 hours, (Hint: use your meat thermometer to gauge you preferred degree of doneness.) Not using ketchup, I decided to “deep six” the idea of a sauce altogether. I just ladled the tomato/onion/cooking liquid over the sliced meat.

I made a salad with romaine, fresh mandarin orange slices, diced cucumber and alfalfa sprouts. I added some dried dill weed, tarragon, poppy seeds and lavender. I made a salad dressing from lemon juice and canola oil, mixed it well to make an emulsion and poured it over the green and orange stuff. Finally I added toasted slivered almonds and parmesan cheese (from the shaker can, think Kraft). I tossed it real good. The lavender accents in the salad are sublime.

The last part of this meal was roasted corn on the cob. I husk the corn, wrap in parchment and cook at 325°F for about 30-45 min. I use the convection setting on my oven. This method is so much better than cooking the corn in boiling water and the clean-up is much easier.

Tomorrow I will be fixing a black bean & corn salad. I will also fix another black bean salad, but substitute quinoa for corn.

As I said the other day cooking is very erotic. It is life-affirming, in my opinion. There have been so many beautiful moments in my life centered around a dining table. And new meals create new memories. Some meals are focused around recapturing the past, like Thanksgiving dinner, or a Passover Seder. Other meals thrive on their novelty. Sometimes not trying to recapture an old memory opens the space for fresh experiences and enriching deep relationships.

It is good to be alive.