12.113 A Real Good Dinner


28 (Wed) April 2021

A Real Good Dinner


by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with DJ and IZ

Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (45) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)

While reading the 100 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922, I will also attempt to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book.  Food plays a strong role in many of the stories; not surprising as the characters in most of the books are faced with adversity of some sort, including poverty, so they’re often very hungry and thus grateful whenever they get a bite to eat – as we all should be at every meal (i.e., give us this day our daily bread).  The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.

It’s Like This, Cat (1964) by Emily Cheney Neville.  The book is about 14-year-old Dave Mitchell, growing up in New York City, who adopts a stray cat and names it Cat, which kinda catalyzes Dave’s various encounters with people in the city, including Mary, who ends up as his kinda girlfriend.

I enjoyed the book.  Not a whole lot to it, just 172 pages that fly by, featuring experiences that provide glimpses of the real world that Dave is soon to enter.  Told in the first person in the present tense by the likable protagonist, the tone is bright and earnest.  I couldn’t help but wish him the best, especially with Mary.

1.5 kg of ribeye.
That’s what searing should look like.
Fall-apart tender after braising in beef stock for 3 hours at 150C.

Out of the blue one day, Mary calls Dave from a payphone at Macy’s with her last dime and asks for help when she suddenly realizes that she’s separated from her mom and doesn’t have enough money to get home on her own.  Dave, who lives nearby, picks her up and brings her to his home, just in time for dinner.

[paraphrased in part]

We must have hit a lucky day because we have a real good dinner: slices of good whole meat, not mushed up stuff, and potatoes cooked with cheese in them, and salad, and a lemon meringue pie from the bakery, even.    

I interpreted “good whole meat” as a reference to a roast of some sort.  So, I made a pot roast, which I haven’t tried in nearly a decade (see most recently 2.354 Brisket Pot Roast in Red Wine Gravy).

Good Whole Meat (3.0): turned out super tender, but the beef didn’t have much flavor.
Potatoes Cooked with Cheese in Them (3.0): first air-fried, then sliced open and topped with butter and shredded cheese, broiled for another 10 minutes – coulda used way more cheese.
Salad (3.0): drizzled with Kewpie Roasted Sesame dressing, our default salad dressing.
Meringue (3.0): the chef at Hemlagat yesterday had given us a few meringue kisses on the side of our dessert (see 12.112 Köttbullar med Potatismos & Sås); I had taken one home, not realizing the sorta connection that it would have with tonight’s meal.

This experience taught me that ribeye, which is already tender and fatty, is not a good cut for pot roast.  After 3 hours, so much fat had been rendered that it seemed drier and tougher than at the start – essentially destroying the essence of what makes ribeye so good.  Better to cook it quick as a steak.

Next time, I will try pot roast as its meant to be, with a cheap, tough cut (e.g., chuck) that breaks down and transforms and improves through the braise.

The pot roast was served with pan gravy.

In any case, the boys agreed that it was a really good dinner.

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

Leave a Reply