Scenes from the Abattoir

by | Oct 30, 2009 | Food, Lay of the land, Talent, THE NEXT 4 YEARS

Approximately 47 seconds after I got the back porch painted — giving it a brand new start in life, a chance to reinvent itself from impenetrable junk repository into organized junk repository — The Beloved Husband stepped in.

“I’ll reorganize it,” TBH selflessly offered, sidestepping the long Honey-Do List I’d generously worked up for him. (We give and we give and we give. That’s what makes our marriage work.)

“Okay,” I said, “but don’t throw away any of my crap without telling me.”

Poet-Butcher and TBH at work

Poet-Butcher and TBH at work

Freshening up the porch is one of several recent efforts to repair and refurbish the 103-year-old behemoth we call home. These undertakings are certainly in response to the global economic crisis: If we fall off the grid and have to convert our house into an urban homestead/fortress that we can’t venture out of except to harvest root vegetables from what was once a lawn, I want it to look nice. But also, it turns out that many of my dad’s adages are true…in this case: With assets come responsibility. The porch was beat, and I’d grown sick of looking at it every time I walked through from the back door to the kitchen.

End Result

End Result

Several days after the tarps came up and the VOC’s had dissipated, I was picking adorable turkey figurines out of the trash bin and TBH had reconfigured the porch into a curing room.

Once he set up the metal hanging rods (repurposed trashpicked closetware courtesy of moi), TBH had no choice but to call in the Poet-Butcher, his partner in meat-curing crime. Off they went to Restaurant Depot, where they purchased 80 pounds of pork shoulder. Or was it butt?

Much bleaching of kitchen surfaces and soaking of intestinal casings later, here is the result. Every day, the perfume of butifarra, chorizo and garlic sausages grows stronger.

“What if they drip, the way they did in the guest room?” I asked. The porch was so shiny, so bright, so grease-free.

I know I smell something.

I know I smell something.

“I’ll put pans under them.”

I stifled a whimper.

Meanwhile, the beagle assumed a new command post, forsaking her cushy bed for a fragrant promise, a savory dream.