Literary Grief. This is the term I use for the moment you finish a great book and realize that it’s gone. This sort of anchor to those free moments in your life is now spent and the characters that ran behind your consciousness during the busy moments of your day, beckoning you back to the pages have run their course. You miss having more left to discover, but all mysteries have been unearthed and the plot has crescendoed. Most recently for me, that has been Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.
Inspired writing and an intriguing story peppered with mentions of thought provoking recipes that I couldn’t help but mark for later reference.
One of those recipes was a reference to a Jerk marinade that Gabrielle still makes on a regular basis. Her only notes about it were just that it contained Stout, Scotch Bonnet Peppers and Honey as well as the fact that the recipes ingredients totaled an upwards of 25.
The Stout Jerk marinade that I have created falls very short of the 25 ingredient threshold, but the inspiration to use stout, scotch bonnet and honey is from the above book. As fascinated as I am with Gabrielle, and grateful that I was able to eat at Prune years ago, I would bet all of my recipes on the hunch that she may have less than favorable opinions about lowly Food Bloggers.
After all, I’ve never slept on a pile of chefs coats between 12 hour shifts. I’ve never scraped mold out of a walk in. I’ve never reached calloused fingers into a deep fryer or worked one handed with a blood soaked bandage covered with a finger cot slowing my progress. I worked as a waitress in the front of the house, but I always knew my place. I begged to be allowed do deep prep when we where slow, took the fall for wasted produce when the owner would hassle the over-worked line cooks, and made sure the cooks “water” cups were full when we were slammed. But I know my place even now, in the world of food and I am still, in so many ways, “front of the house” hopping one day to be in the kitchen doing more than just deep prep.
Here is a jerk marinade, inspired by Blood Bones & Butter and using Stout Beer for it’s flavor and its meat tenderizing properties.