Saucy meat makes romance.

The thing about being flat broke most of the time is you have to plan. And you have to be able to make your own fun, usually on $20 or less.

For Nick, fun is cleaning and purging three garbage bags full of all the awesome clothes I don’t wear but still love and will someday lose enough weight to fit into again. Jerk. My idea of fun is anything but that. So Nick cleaned, and I cried, and then we had dinner, which was fantastic.

By the way, as of this evening, I have called a ban on all sesame oil-soy sauce-delicious-but-played-around-here standbys. I thought I’d done it last night – Other Emily came over to spend the night pre-move to Portland, so I made Jerk chicken and a sweet potato, tomato, and okra curry on rice fried with peas and parsley, and it was delicious and filling and then we had pudding. So, good night, and then I thought tonight I’d really give’r and we’d have something awesome and I’d bake bread, and then Nick turned the afternoon into a suckfest and made me listen to Metric, and the kitchen was disgusting, and we were hungry but too lazy to do dishes, and everything was dirty, so I had to get creative. Kind of. I did the sesame oil soy sauce thing again. But it works, so whatever. This is a variation.

Oh! About planning. We always have a freezer full of things we can use, and a bijillion things we can use for seasoning, marinades, and crap like that. And canned goods, and a few vegetables left over. Today, we had two potatoes, half a yam, and a bag of baby bok choy. And some pork tenderloin. So I barbecued the pork and the bok choy, because everything I could have used to cook either of these inside was dirty.

Grace, who is awesome, and who I’ve mentioned before, said once that anything tastes good when it’s marinated in a bit of soy sauce and ginger: this is correct. I tossed the bok choy in a bit of each, then a bit of sesame oil, and set the veg aside. For the pork, I mixed up:

  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. mirin
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic

I rubbed a bit of this onto the pork tenderloin before I threw it on the barbecue, and reserved the rest for later.

Pork on BBQ

I let it cook for about 12 minutes, because this was a small piece of meat, and I turned it once. The bok choy cooked for about seven minutes on the top rack.

Bok choy on BBQThe pork smelled amazing while it cooked.

Grilled meatToward the end of the pork’s cooking, I painted both sides with the rest of the marinade, because Nick was all, “I want saucy meat.” And I was like, “Of course you do, muffin.”

Here’s dinner:

Tasty!After that, we took our $20 and bought two bottles of terrible wine and biked down to Kits beach because Nick said we’d make out on the beach and be all romantic and shit, which is better than eating the rest of a five-pound bag of Mini Eggs on the couch while he watches another three hours of hockey. It was nice. The whole ride there, the air was fragrant with wood smoke and pink flowers, and I kept exclaiming, “seriously, why doesn’t everyone live here? It’s amazing!”And then when we got there, the beach was lovely and empty, except for the couple of geeks with guitars. We totally made out. Nick and I. Not me and the guitar people.

Now we’re back at home, surrounded once again by dishes, and Nick is trying to make me watch a Mastodon music video while I Internet it up and we finish the last of the wine, the one in with the sweet zebra-print label. So, romance is alive and well, kids. Don’t give up hope.

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