As we prepare for a wonderful week of faith and fellowship at this year’s AGM of the CCYMN (Canadian Catholic Youth Ministry Network) here in Montreal, we’ve been doing a fair bit of preparing and quite a bit of eating. On Saturday night, I enjoyed a wonderful meal with Warren and Laurie at a classy restaurant on Crescent Avenue. With some really nice live jazz music providing the pleasant background noise, I consumed a tasty prime rib dinner. As usual, I asked for my steak cooked on the rarer side of medium rare and the chef didn’t disappoint. In fact, the reddish centre reminded me of beef sashimi. Sort of.
So Sunday night we hit another nice bistro, this time with a bigger group. It was another wonderful night of catching up with youth ministry colleagues from throughout the country…similar to a family reunion. We shared, we laughed, and we compared notes, much like any good youth ministers would do.
This time, I went even rarer than the night before, and I ordered the beef tartar. I wasn’t sure what to expect, though I knew that I could handle if. After all, I love beef sashimi (especially the Matsuyama version, and even more especially when it’s after 9pm and a few bucks cheaper).
When my dinner came, it looked like something else, with equal emphasis on the “something” and “else.” Words can’t really do it justice…you can judge for yourself.
As an aside, Wikipedia states that “The basis of the name is the legend that nomadic Tatar people of the Central Asian steppes did not have time to cook and thus placed meat underneath their horses’ saddles. The meat would be tenderized by the end of the journey.” Mmmmmm…great. But I digress.
The first few bites were rather tasty, and I didn’t have too much trouble adjusting to the unique texture and taste. Once I reached the half way point, I noticed that it wasn’t slipping down my throat as easily, so I started combining my bites with my fries, my pepsi, or sometimes both.
By the 3/4 mark, I wasn’t sure if I would finish it.
By the 7/8 mark, I kept picturing the cow.
By the last bite, I was thankful that Ted, Sarah and Andrew were there for moral support. And to drag me to the washroom if necessary.
As I stared down at the empty plate, I realized how much the sauce makes a difference to its taste and feel. I was thankful for the opportunity to try something that was new to me, and even more grateful that I kept everything inside.
I think I’ve had enough physical nourishment for a while. Now it’s time to look forward to some spiritual nourishment!