“Everybody’s Got Problems”. This is one of those little quotations that remains as true today as when it was first uttered. Haven’t we all searched for that thing – you know, that one thing that makes everything better? Well I have found it.
“When the going gets tough the tough get going.” That’s another one. This one is less of a truism, because sometimes even the tough get overwhelmed.
There are those who turn to alcohol or drugs or other kinds of destructive behavior. There are those who dive into their hobbies. Others who pack up and leave, moving to some new place where there are (as yet) no problems and where they can start over. Or try to.
But I have come up with an entirely different approach. I tried it out last week and I am happy to report that it worked wonders. What is it you ask?
Yes, pot roast. Mrs. JPC had pulled a piece of meat out of the freezer and we discussed how we could put it to use. OK, eating it was a given, so the topic was restricted to how it should be cooked.
The winning entry was pot roast. We had everything on hand: carrots, potatoes, onions, and the all important Crock Pot.
We commenced on a team effort. The Mrs. peeled the vegetables the night before. Me being the early riser, I put everything into the big pot and turned it on before leaving for work.
It was a long day. There were many stresses incurred and deadlines to meet. I am engaged in a death struggle with one of my software providers which is going to end with me having to learn a new system and spend time on a changeover. Do those ever go well?
I did not leave until later than normal and made the short drive home in the cold, blustery weather. I parked in the driveway and walked up to the front door, unlocking it. And then . . .
Pot roast. Yup, the moment I got the door open I got a blast in the face of the wonderful aroma of, well, home. Suddenly everything was right with the world and I had not one single problem.
There is something therapeutic about a steamy kitchen on a cold day, one filled with the aroma of cooking beef and root vegetables. It did not hurt at all that I was hungry and ready for my stressful day to be over.
Food goes through cycles and I have lived through many of them. Fads, really. There was fondue in the 1960s and stir fry in the 80s. And then there are the many take-out options. From old standbys like pizza and fried chicken to Thai, sushi and who knows what else. OK, I am kidding about the sushi because I have enough trouble with cooked fish that raw fish is a complete no-go.
None of these other kinds of vittles satisfies me the way a good old fashioned simple American dish can. Pot roast.
The sense of serenity and security that comes from a simple but well prepared hot meal on a cold day is difficult to beat.
In addition to the food itself, it signified other things. A home to go to, and someone there to greet me and share the evening with, in a sort of fortress against the stresses of the outside world. Two of us sharing a hot, home-prepared meal and each other’s company was a wonderful way for the day to end.
I make no warranty as to how long this method of solving all problems lasts. It pretty well handled things for that evening, and things returned to a pre-pot roast condition the next morning. Oh well, I didn’t expect it to be a permanent fix. Drugs and alcohol are temporary too and leave you so much worse off the next day. At least from what I have been told.
So . . . pot roast. I think I’m ready for another hit.
Photo credit: Because I was too hungry and impatient to start dinner, I had to resort to a picture of somebody else’s pot roast. The choice was this one, found at the Jason Lam Flickr page, under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. It looks like it was delicious too.