Friday, October 18, 2013

Wisconsin 101: Clear eyes, organic heart can't lose

SH and I have these friends, Bonnie and Gary, who have a vacation lake house about an hour from us - Gary says it's a "cottage," but if you look at dictionary.com, you get this definition of cottage:

1.
a small house, usually of only one story.
2.
a small, modest house at a lake, mountain resort, etc., owned or rented as a vacation home.
3.
one of a group of small, separate houses, as for patients at a hospital, guests at a hotel, or students at a boarding school. 
 
Which their lake house is not. 
 
Regardless of what you call it, it is a lovely place to be and we always have fun visiting them. Bonnie saves all her People magazines for me and puts chocolate on our pillows. Last time, there were organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups and I was thrilled but SH does not like to mix his chocolate with anything but more chocolate, the argument being

Any other material is inferior to chocolate and therefore diminishes the whole.

He also does not like peanut butter, although my Cote d'Ivoire peanut butter soup is fine and peanuts in the shell are fine. Peanut butter, however - nein. Nasty texture, he says, and he will go on to explain in great detail why he does not like peanut butter - or any other food on the Bad List - unless you tell him to shut up, which still doesn't work, so you have to shout, "Squirrel!" and that usually does the trick.

I explained to him that it is Not Polite to criticize a gift so he did not need to mention to Bonnie that he does not like peanut butter. And, to his credit, he did not bring it up, although the topic came up in conversation and I was unable to steer it the other way. Fortunately, Bonnie and Gary have known SH for a long time and know what he is like. 

Last time we were there, Bonnie and Gary had bought a side of beef, which included the tongue and the heart. They had no interest in either item. Nor did I. But my mom likes those things, so I told them I would take them and give them to my mom the next time she visited.

Then my mom had to cancel her trip and I didn't want a heart and a tongue languishing in our freezer for a year - I need that space for pears - so I asked around for someone who might want them.

Our friend Christina - the Nighttime Wife - said her mom would be thrilled.

Senora B. was born in Mexico City. She worked at a sausage factory. She knows meat.

She invited us over for dinner to enjoy the lengua and the heart.

We went.

Appetizers of chicharrones, which were good dipped in the homemade salsa and guacamole. Also Carr Valley cheese, the good cheese that you put out for company and not what you make a meal of with your afternoon bourbon. 

SH, Christina, and I ate chicharrones and cheese while Senora B. cooked the tongue and the heart. She had cut the heart into little pieces - maybe half an inch long. Then she fried them in a pan with some eggs. Scrambled eggs with cut-up heart in them.
 
The tongue was boiling in a kettle. She took it out of the kettle and set it on the cutting board.

It looked like what it was - a giant tongue not attached to anything. 

My stomach is turning a little bit now just thinking about it.

She put on some plastic gloves, then started pulling something off the tongue - perhaps the membrane on the bottom? Definitely not the top part with the taste buds. I'm not sure because I couldn't watch.

Then she cut the tongue up into little pieces as well.

She threw some corn tortillas on the burners - gas stove - to heat them. Put them in a basket. Put everything on the table.

Gestured for us to eat. She didn't have a plate in front of her. "Oh no!" she said. "It is way too late for me to eat! I eat at 5:00!"

She passed the tortillas and the heart/egg mixture to me. I took a tortill and a tiny amount of the heart. Poured on a lot of salsa. Bit. Chewed. 

Heart is very chewy. But I couldn't taste much because of the salsa, which was fine with me. There was a piece of meat that fell out of the taco that I had to eat by itself, as I Do Not Waste Food.

It was chewy and gamey. Very gamey.

SH made his taco and started eating. He liked it.

She offered the tongue to me. "Oh no," I said politely. "I am full."

She insisted. SH said I should at least try it. I said I would try a bite of the meat by itself.

That was a mistake. 

The taste buds had not been removed.

I could feel them on my own tongue.

Which was a gross sensation. A bad joke about French kissing a cooked dead cow comes to mind, but it's not funny once I think about it.

It was gamey. Gamey and gross.

I grabbed a plain tortilla and ate. Anything to get the sensation of the tongue out of my mouth.

SH kept eating. He liked it. He liked the taco de lengua. He had three of them.

But he doesn't want peanut butter.

1 comment:

Gaylin said...

Augh, no tongue.

Heart, no problem, I like it barbequed.

Peanut butter wins over both of them as a tasty form of protein. SH is wrong.