Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Killing Kind

I read in terminals and on planes, magazines preferably, and for their own reasons, ESPN Magazine, Rolling Stone and Esquire. ESPN because though I don't follow sports, I love sports writing. Rolling Stone because off and on, I've had a subscription to the magazine more years than I care to mention. Okay, since the "classic" rock RockRichard reveres didn't have a qualifier in front of it.

But my heart belongs to Esquire. I don't care who knows. The glossy pages of rat packish sartorial hedonism remind me of sitting cross-legged on the toilet watching the mysterious ritual of my dad shaving, with my chin thrust out, or mouth twisted to the east, or cheeks bellowed in mimicry and assistance. Jesus. Girls need their dads.

The September issue has a 17 page spread on steak, complete with you're-too-much-of-a-punk-to-try-it recipes (seriously...poaching steak in 3 pounds of clarified butter!?) and essays ranging from the effects of a slaughterhouse visit to an article by Tom Chiarella on his experiment working as a butcher at Kincaids in Indianapolis, appropriately entitled "Butcher."
You can ask butchers anything and they will deconstruct your need. Ask for a porterhouse and trust that they will pick through the T-bones to get you a good one. Or ask what a porterhouse is and they will take out a T-bone to explain that if the short-loin portion is a good bit thicker than an inch, it's a porterhouse. Or ask if a porterhouse is what you want in the first place. They'll ask how you're cooking it, what you're serving with it, how much room you have on your cooking surface. They'll find the answer. And whether it's the apron or the smudges of blood or the enormous weight of the counter or the sheer mass of the product, you believe a butcher. He knows.
Yeah, I know. If you think about it, it can be heartbreaking eating murdered beings with a parent and a face. But swear to God, sometimes absolutely nothing will do but a medium rare hunk of flesh and I'll believe that until I die, most likely hastened by the effects of that medium rare hunk of flesh.

Esquire reminded me of that, too.

Cross posted at Attackerman.

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