NaPoWriMo: Where’s the Beef?

This one is going to have to be quick; I just took a Tylenol 3 with codeine before I remembered I hadn’t written an entry yet, and in fact, hadn’t even thought about it.
In this TMI age I’ll try and not overshare, but hey, it’s a quirky story that leads to both the painkillers and the poem so I’m just throwing it all out there.
I went for a muscle biopsy today, which at first set up doesn’t sound like a big deal–15-20 minute procedure, local anaesthetic, needle takes a tissue sample, poof you’re done and off you go.
But, there’s something they don’t tell you (at least, not if they want you to show up, I’m assuming) and that is if you’re getting this biopsy to identify an inflammation, then the skin will be frozen for the incision (incision? thought it was a needle? yeah me too!) but no freezing of the muscle tissue itself cause that skews the results. Bastards. By the time the doctor delivered that tasty tidbit I was committed.
Both the doctor and nurse who oversaw this evil bit of medieval torture procedure were delightful, and despite the news of impending pain I was relaxed. The doctor had spent time on the east coast and we chatted about the Newfoundland budget (bring back Danny Williams!), Chinatown in Halifax (the ceiling is still brass!). He learned I was a food writer and we chatted about flavour balance in meals, the current gluten-free trends (his daughter, apparently, insisted he does not understand celiac disease despite, as he told her, he’s “in the business”).
He lets me know he’s getting to the tissue sample part and it may sting.


It wasn’t all that bad, fine, but as he’s doing that part he says something along the lines of “so, will this end up in one of your cookbooks?”
And that led to a conversation about how best to prepare muscle from a leg (braised).
Really, it was very organic and not as strange and Silence of the Lambsy as it sounds. Really.
See? Big slice!
See? Big slice!

Oddly enough, we ended up with beef stew for dinner, to which I contributed exactly zero.

Braising beef with onions and red wine
Simmering slowly, fragrance fills home
Roast vegetables, add to broth
Thickened and seasoned well
With heart and soul and
p’raps a special
piece of the
cook, or


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