The Pot Roast Cycle

           I vividly remember my childhood friend cleaning a glass top table fervently, her mother standing nearby making sure the smudges were gone.  I couldn’t have been any older than nine, but I must have been there staring and slack jawed because I can still hear her mom saying, “When I was a kid, my mom never made me clean anything and when I grew up, I didn’t know what I was doing. I want my kids to know how to clean a house.”
            And that they do.
            There’s something to be said for turning the tables on your own childhood, funneling out the positives of your life to recreate in your own adulthood and completely ignoring the parts of your young life that you didn’t like. Or had too much of.
            My friend’s mom never had to clean, so her kids did. This cyclic behavior is something I completely understand now that I’m a so-called grownup. The phenomenon has reared its ugly head for me in the form of a pot roast.
            I swear we must have eaten a pot roast every week of my entire childhood. It came out on the table in a big dish and was surrounded by cooked carrots, potatoes, and onions that fell apart when the whole dinner was cooked together. I was given ample amounts of each food, and would mash my carrots and potatoes together so it was a yellow and orange speckled side dish. The whole thing was covered in gravy.
            The next day, we would take it out of the refrigerator, scrape off the white fat that had hardened on the top, and eat it again. That meant that 2/7 or 29% of my dinner meals as a child were tender beef in gravy with root vegetables.
            It was delicious.
            But then I grew up and in my 17 years of being on my own and feeding my family, I think I have made a total of two roasts. Not because I don’t like them, not because they aren’t new age whole food raw vegetable health foods, but because just like my friend’s mom forcing cleaning on her kids, the last thing I want to make and eat is another pot roast.
            I’m completely beef-ed out.
            My family hadn't realized this and it never became apparent until recently when we were eating out and were served, you guessed it, a pot roast. My daughter who is normally a picky meat eater took seconds. “This is the best meat I’ve ever had in my entire life! Mom, you’ve got to get the recipe! You’ve got to make this for us at home!”
            And so the cycle will continue. My childhood friend? I bet her kids don’t clean much of anything. I will continue to not make pot roasts at home.
            And my daughter will someday serve them every week to her family.

Originally written 4.3.16



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