Smackdown: Yes, I Chopped Down the Cherry Tree


Warning: I really hope you like pictures of meat. Really.


See? Meat. To be precise, $65 worth of prime, dry-aged New York strip steak. Probably I should have only bought one of them, because there are only two of us and one of us doesn’t even like steak that much (not me), but the butcher was wrapping them up before I could stop him and I had visions of leftover steak with poached eggs on a leisurely Saturday morning and who cares about budget anyway?


Luckily, the rest of the meal was relatively inexpensive, in that the bottle of single malt scotch I had to buy to marinate the steak was a measly $45.

That’s right: steak soaked in scotch*. Because I’ve been thinking, you know, I really don’t have enough hair on my chest.

*From the The Essential New York Times Cookbook.


I put the marinade – scotch, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire, mustard and onion – together last night so the steaks could take a nice long bath. Then when I got home from work tonight, I took them out to take the chill off before grilling.


To accompany the steak, the book suggests, among other things, fried corn. If you’re eating scotch-soaked red meat, you might as well accompany it with something fried in bacon fat. Plus, it gives me an excuse for yet more pictures of meat.


At least the side dish was somewhat seasonal, as it is The Time for corn in the tri-state area. For once, I managed to cut all the kernels off the cobs without having them shoot hither and yon across the kitchen. I also managed not to be overly grumpy at having to shuck corn, a much-hated task.


The corn fries in the bacon fat with some onion, before getting hit with heavy cream and the crumbled bacon. I tasted it to check for seasoning, and then I died, because my body was preemptively rejecting the idea of scotch-soaked red meat and lard corn.

While I was finishing up the corn and dressing some baby spinach with lemon juice in a futile effort to have something to cut through the fat, Brian started a fire and took care of the meat.


Aw, yeah.


Here’s the thing. This steak? Was awesome. The corn? Sweet and delicious. And I? didn’t really enjoy it.

Because – I cannot tell a lie, and you know I can’t keep anything from you – I am depressed. I thought I was overmedicated, I thought I would snap out of it, I thought anything BUT depression, but it’s time to face facts. I’m tired all the time, I’m not interested in anything, nothing makes me happy. I can’t remember the last time I got wrapped up in a book or sang along with the radio. I have no spunk. TNS feels like a job, and I’m ignoring you guys in the comments.

This situation? NOT GOOD. Back to the shrink I go on Monday morning to figure out how to put a stop to this bullshit.

So I feel a little bad for this steak, because it was underappreciated. YOU should soak a steak in scotch and brown sugar, grill it and give it some love.

22 thoughts on “Smackdown: Yes, I Chopped Down the Cherry Tree

  1. Being depressed sucks. 4 years ago I thought I was out of the woods, but I wasn’t, and it wasn’t till 2 years ago that I really did get back to normal. It sucks to be depressed and then get kind of better but not as much better as you should be. Keep fighting. You’re in my thoughts. As is your scotch-soaked steak.

  2. Man, fuck brain chemistry. I will have a steak for you this weekend. Whether I will bathe it in fantastically expensive scotch remains to be seen, but steak there shall be. Here’s to hoping that you and your shrink come up with New Battle Plan Awesome.

  3. First of all, I’m drooling now and lunch is another hour away. Second, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way right now. I hope you get back to loving the things you do again soon. My own mom hit me in the face with her depression a couple of weeks ago and we’re slowly working through it. (I knew she was depressed but not as deeply as she explained it to me one night…) It never hurts to take some time away from Blogger-ville and focus on you…Now, I must find a nice steak for this weekend!

  4. Good luck with the brain stuff, Michelle. Here’s hoping for no more neckshitting. I agree with the other commenters, keep fighting and we’re all rooting for your cuss-filled self. Do what you gotta and we’ll be here when you’re ready.

  5. You know that scene in “Moonstruck” where Cher smacks Nicolas Cage across the face as tells him to “SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!!”? I’d do that for you if it would help ;} just kidding… depression is serious stuff and my thoughts are with you. I’m glad that you feel safe enough in this forum to disclose how you are feeling…and I hope that it helps you…now, pamper yourself over the weekend, then get your ass to that doctor to at least get your brain chemistry on the right track. BTW, the steak and corn…looks delish, but the combo of red meat, corn, and bacon and booze would sent my digestive track into the “reject” mode almost immediately…sorry TMI. I guess I’m at that age of when you play you pay! Anyway, sending you good thoughts and “sunshine, lollypops and rainbows everywhere”…..i hope that sounded SO stupid it made you smile… ;) that was in a song when i was a kid… like when dinosaurs walked the Earth.

  6. Next time, add a diced up chipotle in adobo and a little sauteed onion to the corn. I promise.

    Re: Depression. All I can say is bless you. Here’s to hoping the doctor adjusts the meds and it’s off to better livign through chemistry. We’ll be here when you get back. Promise.

  7. Sincerely hope you feel better very, very soon…… a dinner like that really wants to please….. and you deserve it.

  8. Michelle,
    we are with you through the great food, and through the truly crappy depression. I wish I could give you a solution on the depression front, but I haven’t found one for myself, YET. So far, forcing myself to sing anything loudly is a short term cure (a few hours, sometimes a day or 2). I know, it isn’t much, but it is a plan of action for the worst times.

  9. take care of yourself, m! one job is enough for anybody, and nobody should make a meal like that and not enjoy it, so i hope you recapture that joie de vivre soon.

  10. I’m sorry that you are struggling. Hope you can find joy again. Thanks for telling us how you feel. I imagine it’s not easy. I wish there was something I could do for you.

  11. I’m game. Does it have to be a *good* bottle of Scotch, or is this my opportunity to use up a blend that’s hidden in the back of the cupboard?

    Good luck turning it back around with the depression. It always means a lot to me that you’re “out” and showing people what it looks like to wrestle with mental illness, and to get cool shit done in spite of it.

    I remember the day my very first round of anti-depressants actually kicked in. The difference was literally unbelievable to me. I turned to my husband and said, “Are you telling me most people feel like this every day? And, if so, why aren’t they getting more done?”

  12. Michelle,

    you just described the last few weeks for me. No, really. I nearly said out loud “Did I leave my webcam on?” I’m with you, girl, let me just say it. I’m depressed. I’m miserable. I’m desperately looking for where the fun went in my life. I finally went for help recently, and it’s gonna get better, I can feel it.

    Come back when you can, we’ll all still be here. Seriously. We’re like those bad hotel commercials…..leaving lights on :) XOX

  13. Really sorry to hear you are down. I hate that having my bipolar “under control” seems to mean killing off the fun and creative (albeit destructive) part yet getting to keep the depressive part. I went through a short yet really shitty episode of it a few months ago and it was so draining. Also everyone kept telling me I looked tired/ill/terrible. Yeah, thanks guys. Hope you get some mighty fine chemicals into you soon, my friend.

  14. Science says scotch soaked meat cures almost everything.

    But seriously, good luck with the depression. I suffered from it from age 11 til I was 20, at which point I decided to go to the gym and exercise. For some reason, that was all it took for me to feel alright. I hope you find your elliptical.

  15. Michelle, we’ll be right here, waiting for your return. You need to take care of you right now so that the next time you soak a slab of gorgeous beef in booze, and fry up a batch of corn in bacon fat (I am soooo making that this weekend), you can truly enjoy it. Good Luck, my friend.

  16. Gorgeous pictures — this is what you do when you are depressed? Please be well soon — I can’t wait to see what you can do then!

  17. Hang in there Michelle. This is hard stuff to deal with (I know this from personal experience) and it takes time. I’m rooting for you ’cause you’re brilliant, funny and talented. I’ll be thinking of you.

  18. Pingback: thursday night smackdown » Chimi! Churri!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s