Thursday, August 25, 2011


I moved from Pea Ridge, Florida, to Rota, Spain in January 1981. It was my first bout of jet lag. It took nearly a month to acclimate to the eight hour time shift. When I finally started school, I was asked more than anything else to, "say that again." I was horrified. I was a genuine southerner to their ears. You wouldn't know it now, but back then I had to work hard to loose my drawl- I had to learn to enunciate.

Tonight for our reality show digest I couldn't resist watching the Food Network's show Restaurant: Impossible. Some old tired wild west restaurant in Pennsylvania was redesigned. The chef, Robert Irvine, goes in and takes a look and says what no one has said for over thirty years to the owner and then throws everything out and poof, out with the old and in with the new. Change is tough, and the owners took it hard, but accepted it when delivered via the TV platform. Seriously, the power of TV is in that it creates change by reflecting a picture back like nothing else. I wonder what could be accomplished if the TV showed up at an office nearby? TV adds an element to lives that would not be there otherwise. Watching that man let go of parts of his restaurant and his micromanagement of the kitchen said a lot about the power of being watched. Maybe that's why we change so much in high school- we begin to realize that we are being watched. I had never considered my accent until I was asked to repeat things again and again. Awareness of my accent made me want to change it. We can only change what we notice.

We had a boom of thunder today which wiped out thoughts of going to the pool so we watched a movie, Secretariat. Part of the lore of this horse story was that the horse knew when people were looking at it, that it knew who its competition was, and that it knew who its owner was. The horse also had an oversized heart for a horse which might account for it's winning the Belmont Stakes by thirty-one lengths in 1973, a standing record. Apparently, the big heart was a genetic gift from the female bloodline, an amazing athlete that horse. Perhaps being watched made him run faster too.

Do we change when we are noticed? Brenda, a character, in the now defunct HBO series, Six Feet Under, contended that too much observation in childhood had caused her ruin. Perhaps a reminder not to pay too much attention to the developement of children, but to give them space to be so we don't change them by our observation (meaning the stories we tell them about themselves versus what they learn from their own experiences and feelings). Fresh eyes to see ourselves, however, and space for the new could be interesting.

This is from the Food Network site and is the recipe Robert Irvine demonstrated to the Dodge City restaurant, it looked like a good idea for grilling:

Hanger Steak
Recipe courtesy Robert Irvine's eat! All rights reserved 2010.

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time:30 minCook Time:20 min
3 to 9 servings
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic puree
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 teaspoon salt and pepper blend (60 percent to 40 percent mixture)
Juice of 1 lemon
1, 2 or 3 pounds hanger steak
Potatoes, for serving
In a bowl, start the marinade for the hangar steak by blending the oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper blend and lemon juice and whisk together well. Place the steak in an 8 by 12-inch casserole pan and generously coat with the marinade. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour under refrigeration.

For cooking, preheat a grill or chargrill over high heat.

Remove the steak from the marinade, straining any excess marinade. Removal of the excess marinade will prevent flaming or charring of the steak during cooking. Place the steak on the grill and cook over high heat, 8 to 9 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove from the grill and allow the steak to rest before slicing. Slice the steak on the bias, top to bottom, against the grain, 1/4 inches thick. Place the sliced steak over potatoes and serve.

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