When Life Hands You a Lemon

“When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”   What about when life hands you rotten meat?   Or rather, what happens when you buy meat and then leave it in the fridge so long that when you take it out to use it, the juices in the sealed plastic package appear rather more green than red?     What’s the adage for rotted meat?

There was nothing we could add to those sad-looking, expensive beef short-ribs that would have made them palatable.    Angrily, Marc threw them away and thus the whining began.   Both of us whining about what to make for dinner on Saturday night when we had planned all week to enjoy beef rendang, when we had made a special trip via bus and walked 10 blocks to the Asian grocery to find the pandan leaves for the accompanying nasi lemak and the kaffir lime leaves to flavour the beef.    A breath away from suggesting we order pizza, Marc found a recipe online that saved us from ourselves, a recipe that called for kumquats, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric and shallots, all of were laying about unfulfilled without the star of their show.   We had randomly purchased chicken thighs that afternoon because we were at the butcher’s, and Marc ran down the street for one chili pepper while I prepped the rest for Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Kumquat-Lemongrass Dressing.   Really, what are the odds that we would have purchased a 1 lb. bag of kumquats because they were on sale?   How often do we have lemongrass poking their scratchy ends out of the vegetable crisper?

And so, an evening that started out by throwing away twelve dollars-worth of meat ended with spicy, citrusy, crispy-skinned chicken on a bed of coconut rice. So far, the Year of the Ox brings us luck!


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