F 1 D 0 -- 02 09 06 at 16 45 Just meat and potatoes. The first time it was simply laziness. The second time, I realized what a good idea it was. And the third time, I consider it entirely repeatable. For those times you just want meat and potatoes, you can recreate this too. I started with a thick pork butt chop. It was frozen, and treated with soy before freezing, in case that makes a difference. Nuked it for two minutes, so I could break it into two pieces. Now it fits neatly into the bottom of my rice maker. Oh, when I say "simmer" it is just the ricemaker "keep warm" setting. This is plenty for me. I seasoned it with salt. No, I coated it with salt. The salt I'm using is half salt, half potassium salt. I coated it next with pepper; the kind that has been diluted with wheatlets so even children can just pour it on. Covered it with enough water, and started quartering potatoes. I don't like peeling if the potatoes are clean enough. I put in six small potatoes, surrounding the still frozen pork steak. I tasted the juice for saltiness. It needed more, so I added a small teaspoon. I peeled four garlic cloves, halved them, and threw them in as well. I just let it boil for a little while. After 10 minutes, I turned it to simmer, removed the meat, and cut it into fingers, then returned it to the pot. After another 10 minutes of boiling, I reduced the heat again, and sliced the potatoes smaller. And after yet another 10 minutes of boiling, I cubed the fingers of meat into smaller bits. This was ready, but I let it stay on "keep" all night long. The finished result has a thick stock, but not a gravy. It has a taste and smell of something of northern europe. When I had some last night, it reminded me of something that happened at Comspec years ago. We were the representatives for Acorn, the people who manufacture the British educational computers, also called BBC computers. Since they're sort of governmental computers, they are found in all classrooms in England, at least, they were when I was working at Comspec. Once a year, we would host the Acorn sales administrative people. This was a mixed blessing, really. To those on the outside, it was a chance to show off some international stature to the boards of education we were selling to. For us, their visit was really a small slice of Hell. They were visiting to see if we could be removed from the sales chain, and to see if they could convince the boards to deal directly with them (Acorn) or our importers (Olivetti Canada). Joe, our fearless leader, had a policy of always making the best of difficult circumstances, and so we did. We held mini conferences at the schools which loved the Archimedes (Acorn) computers the most. We brought together as many of the users, teachers, experts, sales people, consultants as we possibly could. Their job was to show that they  loved Acorn systems, but  loved them because they loved Comspec best. We might have been successful at this, but big companies are about dollars and sense. If they can do their own retailing to schools, they will make the 20-40% profits on each sale. These figures are wrong, of course. Schools buy things by Tender. So everyone has to bid. If you put down a number which lets you make a few dollars, you'll probably lose the sale. I'm not a numbers expert on our old sales, but I think we worked with less than 5% margin in those days. But the way the computer manufacture guys see it, they counted around 100 computers. They sell for 2500.00 each. So 100*2500*.4 is 100,000.00 that they think should be THEIRS, not ours. Acorn wasn't the only one who would change the deal as they saw fit. Commodore Business Machines was the very WORST. But I digress; I was thinking about Acorn. It was at such yearly meetings we'd get the food together as well as the people. My brother was called in to cater for our event. He'd make Chicken Brochettes with a Mango Thai sauce, his specialty cheesecake, and many other wonderful things. We heard from Trusted Sources that if we wanted to impress our delegates, we'd need to offer them food that was plainer, simpler. Like what? They suggested we prepare Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. We didn't have to cancel the catering. But we were advised to ensure that wherever we chose to eat or cater, that there should also be food for simpler palates. "They'll eat the gourmet choices if that's all there is, but if you want to impress them, make sure there are simple comfortable food choices." She knew. Dorothy had worked with them before in Europe, and so we made plans. The deal was this: I ran the nonstick frying pan! I had a loaf of white, and a loaf of brown bread. People could choose processed cheese or cheddar. We had ketchup, as well as hot sauces. True to form, our visitors ran to the Grilled Cheese bar I stood at. But then the unexpected happened: fresh grilled cheese seems to advertise. The auditorium was filled with a smell of fresh toast and butter. By the time I got through the first five, everyone present wanted one. There was room. I started a second fry pan to handle the load. And so if you can picture this with me: a long line of people, some students, some teachers, some computer staff, all lined up waiting for a custom grilled cheese. It was *this* image that filled me as I had my meat and potatoes last night. I was able to smell the toast crumbs, the thoughts were so pure. That's all I know.