It’s there, waiting for me in the freezer. Five pounds of chuck roast from the grass-fed beef CSA. It’s an expensive enough cut of meat that I can’t mess it up. No Uncle F$#k-Up this time, no dirt soup, no learning from my mistakes. This has got to be prepared the right way, with a tender pink interior and crackly brown crust. I will not drop it on the floor, or trip and dump it in the compost bin, or cut my finger while slicing paper-thin sheets into white porcelain plates. I won’t under-season it, or dry it out, won’t use too much red pepper, won’t char the edges and be forced to microwave the still-raw interior. It’s a weekend challenge, to make the roast beef Just So. But since it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, maybe that will be the mantle of manhood I drape on myself, a ritual that dates to the first proto-human chucking a mammoth leg into the fire because he is The One Who Cooks Meat.
Behold! The bonfire is lit! My responsibility weighs heavy, yet I will carry it out with utmost solemnity and decorum. The cooking of the meat awaits!