Down to the Last Bite: A Simple Marinade

The definition of a good marinade is a seasoned liquid with spices and oils to which we soak meat, fish or poultry. Then again, there are thoughts we have which we allow our mind to step in, like a marinade, and one that alters our flavor and the way we taste life on a daily basis.
To be clear, I don’t say that anyone and everyone can cook. I don’t say that everything is easy. For some people, cooking or baking might not be their strong point.
To be blunt and to the point, there are people who overcook or over think their recipients. There are some people who could burn salad, if that’s a thing.
But me, I’d rather enter this in a way that provides a basic exchange between people and express the meaning of what it’s like to break bread with people who you love and care for. Or to add color, I’d like to address the elephant in the room and discuss the people who we don’t love or care for and are no longer involved with our life.

There’s something to be said about breaking bread with friends. There’s also something to be said about the experience of sharing a fine meal which will later be defined as a memory that we’ll never forget.

There are times when friendships end and there are times when friendships begin. There are people who are only meant to be in our life as a temporary station. Then again, whether our stay in each other’s lives is long-term or only brief, there is a reason for our moments together. There is a lesson in all of our connections and a process of fate in which we learn and we grow. Hopefully, we can find a way to heal from the scars of our past.

I can remember an evening with friends when the sky was brightened with stars and a big full moon. I can remember the discussion of satellites and the cell phone application that can allow us to track satellites in the sky. I can remember the fullness of my stomach and the comfort after a good meal. But I can also recall the moments of endearment which ended shortly after due to an unfortunate disagreement. 

I can say that this happens. I can say that not everyone is intended to be friends or intended to be in our lives on a long-term basis. However, I am a person who chooses to honor the anonymity of a conversation even after the friendships end.
I chose to grow to the point where slander is not the tool of the loser nor will I allow myself to tarnish who I am because of the stains from my past or past relationships.

I do not allow this to tarnish memories nor do I allow this to change a moment with a sense of bias. Additionally, I do not allow emotion to degrade a time when people laughed together or enjoyed a moment under the stars. My choice to grow has allowed me the chance to be honest about what’s taken place.

As I write this to you, I find myself laughing about a marinade because (and here’s the silly immature part of this) what I am about to share with you is a marinade that is both simple and good as well as something that links me to a memory of regret. This is something that links me to someone who I’ve truly disliked for a very long time and that’s okay. For the record, my path of healing and recovery is ongoing; as such, I’ve reached a better level of awareness whereas I can write about this now. I can discuss this in a healthy way and laugh about my previous versions of personal loyalty. Put simply, I can separate the regret in my voice and report to you about a great marinade that leads to a great dish.

Now, I warn you that the sound of this will be enough to make you shake your head and say, “What?” But trust me, the sauce is worth it.

One cup of Coke, one cup of ketchup and add garlic powder to your taste. Whisk these simple ingredients in a bowl.
I can promise this is a tasty marinade (enough that I fully pardon my past resentments) and when used, we can place some skirt steaks in this. Or, we can use this with chicken. We can use this with some pork chops, which is an idea that I’d like to try at some point. 

My take away with this stems from the realization that although times change and relationships change, there are times when we can heal enough to recognize that our old surroundings are allowed to be good even when the company wasn’t.

In fact, some of the best dishes in my life were dishes I’ve tasted in the company of the worst people in my life yet the people were only part of the experience.
I suppose my report to you is about the growth it takes to realize the different degrees of separation. I suppose my moment of growth and realization came when I was able to acknowledge something good or sweet without associating this with something sour, resentful or angry.

Up at the top of the list of my greatest dishes is lobster lasagna; yet at the time of my tasting, I was sitting at a table with a life which I was about to divorce. Everything about this dish was amazing. There was nothing like the flavor from this and I can clearly remember enjoying the sauce. Meanwhile, I was thinking about how bad it was to sit with people who I never wanted to see again.

There was another meal that was equally as good and I understand that not everyone will approve of this menu option; however, in this case, I had medallions of rabbit in a brown sauce with wide noodles.
To be clear – the dish was perfect. The flavor was amazing and enough to pardon the company and my surroundings.

I used to live on behalf of my resentments. I would steep in them or “marinade” if you will.
I suppose my method was chosen to protect myself at all times. I suppose that my idea was to ensure that certain injustices and personal violations would never happen again which, by the way, nothing can ever happen again the exact same way.
The problem is the math and the calculations in our head. What I mean is, we spend so much time working to guarantee that something will never hurt us again that in our haste to rid ourselves from the pain or future threat, we live in regard to this threat. Therefore, we live in regard to our resentments or regrettable pasts which makes them inescapable. 

Someone once told me the best revenge is good living.
There are times when I can relate and agree with this.
However, the best revenge is living without regarding or remembering or rekindling the flame of something that has long-since vanished or gone away.
The best revenge is the feeling of being free from our past, to enjoy each day as it comes, to allow ourselves to be new, and to live on behalf of our best possible interests instead of our worst possible debts.

Years back, I would have never shared the marinade because this would have honored someone who, to me, is a person who’s done dishonorable things. 
Yet now, I share this openly without hesitation or regret because my placement and association with personal honor is different.
Then again, I suppose healing is a process. Furthermore, I suppose recognizing how far we’ve gone takes a moment of looking back; as if to say, “Oh yeah, I remember that” and not having the taste of contempt on my tongue.

Like millions of others, I have had fallen relationships and, in true definition, some of them had fallen due to my mistakes. In other occasions, some of my relationships degraded because this is what was meant to happen. Either way, we live, we love and we learn. If we are lucky, we can grow to the point that allows us to move forward without always regarding the life behind us. 

I just want to heal, but healing is a journey.
I don’t want to hurt or waste time wishing that someone else will hurt or feel regret or find trouble at their door. No, the type of healing I’m looking to find is that I can go, live, be and certainly taste a good meal and all the while, I can be truly agnostic about the old associations from my past that acted as a disservice. 

It’s a good feeling to say goodbye to something
(and mean it).

By the way, that marinade is a good one,
guaranteed to make you eat everything down to the last bite. 

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