Monday, December 29, 2014

And I might have nicked my knuckles a few times too

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
The steadfast love of the Lord is
    from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.
Bless the Lord, all His works,
    in all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 103

So the night before last Yucheng cooked this masterpiece meal of pork belly. And it was really quite amazing to see the ingredients slide into the pot after our extended visit to the Oriental market at Prince and Stone. He started with a half a pound of butter and a cup of canola oil in which he sautéed star anise, cinnamon sticks and dried chile peppers. Then he swirled in a pound of brown sugar until it melted into one smoothness. Then five pounds of pork belly that I helped chop into one-inch slabs. And the whole thing stewed for several hours until it was time to add three bottles of beer and simmer it once again until the very last hour, when he added a pound of mushroom and half a pound of fried tofu and added both the soy sauce for flavor and the soy sauce for color and white pepper which is quite different than black pepper and just enough salt.  All this was served over white rice from Alan’s Korean rice bowls, and the whole thing was pretty amazing although probably not something to eat every day.

But man, all of this savoryness left a mess of a pot. There was a solid three inches of crud stuck on the bottom. And I scraped and dug and chopped for what seemed like forever. And simmered it again with water trying to soften some of the gunk. And then John suggested alcohol or acetone to eat away some of the sugar, so I figured if fingernail polish remover could work on it a bit in some inexplicable chemical way.

But really it came down steadfastness. I really wanted to just ditch the pan into the green dumpster and go pick up something else at Goodwill. But I finally got down to the where the metal scrubber pad and Ajax sorta did some good and I went around and around and around, and now, well it is good to go, with just a few more dents and scratches than before, but perfectly serviceable and even shiny.

And my God is steadfast. Even through my stuck-on gunk. And Psalm 103 reminds me over and over again of how this steadfast love never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.

Bless the LORD, oh my soul.