Thursday, September 16, 2010

so that's where they come from! or birthday dinner part 1

Yesterday was Idle Husband's birthday.

He did not want a cake this year.

I always make a cake. That's my thing. That's my special gift. Any cake! Any kind, any icing, any flavour! Made to your birthday specifications!

But this year, the request was for no cake.

It kind of bummed me out, I'm not gonna lie. What on earth was I going to do if I couldn't make a cake?

Dinner. I focused on making an amazing dinner. And that focus quickly turned to filet mignon. Why filet mignon? Well, recently, IH has been obsessed about it. He heard about it from Gordon Ramsay; he had it at the steakhouse; there's not a week that goes by where he won't fondly tip his head up and say, ahhh filet mignon. And just that, too. Not remember when I had it? and it was good? No. Just ahhhh filet. mignon.

So I made it my mission to find some butcher and find filet mignon.

I kind of hated this plan, because this plan required me to drive somewhere unfamiliar, and I do not like to do so by myself. I really wanted to have the GPS, but it was in IH's car and I thought it would seem really suspicious if I had asked him to bring it in for me, just cuz. We both know I hate that machine. I don't trust it. It's gotten us everywhere we didn't know how to get to, but I'm still nervous to use it by myself. So I thought I'd have to do it the old way. Google, print, and cross my fingers I don't get stuck on a one-way coming home.

But then guess what happened? Luck of all luck, one of my favourite blogs in the whole blogiverse, The Art of Doing Stuff, made a video about cutting your own steaks.

I'm really surprised I watched it since it's my own personal rule not to watch anything that goes over one minute -- well, maybe not a rule per se, more like if I see a video over a minute, I generally don't want to bother myself with it -- and this video was over 8 minutes long. I really like Karen, though, and I pretty much read everything she writes whether I think it relates to me or not. Besides, I'm already cutting up my own chicken, why shouldn't I be cutting my own steaks? This seemed like information that might come in handy in the saving money department eventually.

So I'm watching along and chuckling at her commentary and video editing skills when all of a sudden, this pops up:
Tenderloin Steaks are also known as...Filet Mignon
Say what now? Rewind that! Filet mignon comes from tenderloin? And you bought your tenderloin at Costco? That means that there is some shred of possibility, some glimmer of hope, that I might be able to find a Superstore?! Seriously?

Major. Breakthrough.

So trimming and cutting my own filet mignons quickly rose to the top of my list. I have no idea how much an actual filet mignon costs from a butcher, but I know it's expensive in a restaurant, and if I could get a tenderloin and do it myself for less money, well, how could I not entertain that idea? I'd be left with the perfect birthday surprise plus filet mignons for many dinners to come.

My plan was solid. I had to get groceries yesterday anyway, so I'd look, frantically if I had to, all over the meat department at Superstore. I'd ask the butcher there if I had to. I'd find it. If it meant cheap + avoiding a harrowing trip to some place new, I'd pester everyone at Superstore until I found a tenderloin.

As it turned out, I wandered into the meat aisle and immediately found a tiny hunk of tenderloin. I was pretty elated. I was a little miffed it wasn't like Karen's. Small, already half trimmed, on the expensive side for maybe four steaks.

I turned around, and right there, in their feature bin, were three -- three! -- tenderloins exactly like Karen's! Shut up. And cheaper. Cheaper than Karen's! I had no idea which to choose. I had no idea which looked best. So I opted for the middle priced roast and discarded the first tenderloin nub I'd found.

To say I was even more excited now would be an understatement. If anyone noticed me, I was grinning ear to ear and talking to myself about how friggin' genius I am and how perfect everything was gonna be.

You can watch Karen's video about trimming the tenderloin and I'll spare you my details, but let's just say mine didn't look as pretty as her's. Maybe I cut too much off? Maybe I dislocated something that should have stayed attached? I don't know. I was just happy to have been left with at least 10 pretty good looking steaks. I don't know if they're the proper thickness or size. And I don't care. All I know is that they each cost about $5, and I learned a life skill that I'll use forever and ever. I don't know if I'll be able to buy two good steaks for over $20 ever again. Scrap that. I do know. I won't. It's tenderloin forever now.

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