Saturday, August 30, 2008

Faux Fred's Steak Marinade Escapade

About 13 years ago we fell hard for Fred's Steak from Scwaub Meats in Palo Alto. Anyone who has ever seen Fred's will understand why my daughter calls it black meat. Anyway, at the time at maybe $10 a pound Fred's was an affordable luxury and worth every penny.

That was a time before the dot.bomb hit our lucrative consulting businesses ... before our two income family became a no-income family. Maybe it's a Feng Shui problem, but we've never really recovered the go-go '90s lifestyle. Although I keep hanging wind chimes in the Northwest Sector but the veil of middle class debt barely lifts above my credit limit for long. But enough about that. We've got health insurance and we're covering the mortgage. The kids are getting a better than average education and I can afford enough gas to get them to soccer meets.

So as Joni Mitchell wrote: "My dreams have lost some grandeur coming true." Now that I look at clouds from both sides now, what more can I ask?

Fred's Steak ... that's what I ask. Today Fred's costs something like $20 per pound at Schwab.
At this price, like gasoline, it's been reclassified from affordable luxury to rare luxury. Probably better for the environment anyway. (And without sounding like sour grapes, at this juncture it does occur to me to ask: "who are they selling to?" And maybe more importantly: "how do I get on that meal plan too? And the ever popular: "Maybe I should have gone to Stanford when I had the chance rather than pursuing a love of archaeology."

Luckily enough this week, apropos to nothing, I've been inspired by that all-american pioneering can-do spirit...maybe it was my week at girl scout camp this summer, the unusual heat yesterday, or the sale on Tri-tip at Piazza's Market. Whatever the inspiration I'm trying my hand at that great Silicon Valley hobby: reverse engineering. If it works for integrated circuit boards, it should work for recipes, n'est pas? As I write, my sale tri-tip is marinating in a salty primordial goo made from a recipe I found on the internet and a few other things. It includes the following:

red wine
olive oil
balsamic vinagar*
soy sauce*
miso paste*
worcestershire sauce
chili sauce
garlic cloves

*this seems like a red herring I think for a recipe that was purportedly devised by a Los Gatos butcher in 1950..... when did basalmic vinagar, soy sauce and miso make it to mainstream america anyway?

Stay tuned for the results...

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