Last night, I introduced the boy to an iconic meal in my alma mater--Garlic Steak. Nobody in my school and batch did not know or love this meal. And I was just beyond myself to see that the boy loved it just as much. Of course I'm not sure if I did it quite the same way as the concessionaire did but if memory served me right, I think it was pretty spot on. However, the boy expressed a little anxiety over it being his lunch the next day knowing that it would turn cold in his lunch box. I replied that that was exactly how I ate it many school years ago.
Let me just tell you off-hand before you begin imagining thick, juicy, well-marbled expensive cuts of meat: this steak was no wagyu. It was this thin and dry cut of beef from an unidentified and undeclared anatomy of the cow (though I suspect it was sirloin) that wasn't a Ribeye or a Porterhouse or a New York strip. It was served in room temperature, not freshly grilled or off the pan, on a military type (not the shiny kind) mess hall plate--the one with compartments with a side of rice and gravy on which they dribbled some kind of garlic oil and some toasty garlic bits. Okay, so cold steak doesn't sound so very appetizing but this has got to be the only exception to that rule. It was cold, dry and served without special accoutrements but it was really good. Really good. Did I mention it was good? In fact, I think my school mates would defend this steak and beat up in the "field" (where most fist fights occur) whoever dares say anything ill of this steak. What can I say? We were a crazy bunch. And those were pretty d*mn, crazy, good times.
High school was this great roller coaster ride for most of us where the highs were really high and the lows, super low. Of course the cause of both highs and lows were as inane as ones crush having a crush right back on you or whether they had recently acquired a new girlfriend. Yes, we were a whole shallow bunch. And sometimes I have to remind myself that the boy is going through that very same roller coaster ride right now. I have to make this conscious effort to remember how silly, shallow and carefree I was when I was his age. And I know I have to do this because I think sometimes, I could be quite unrealistic and unfair with my expectations of a 13 year old.
How I wish he would enjoy high school as much as I did. I wish that he be able to look forward to each day no matter how shallow the reason be (crush, shortened periods, movie day, whatever). I wish that he nurtures his inner comic that he will much need to help survive some of the more difficult moments in his grown up life. I think that this ability to laugh at the world and at oneself is a life skill that people should truly learn no? But most of all, I hope that he be able to develop the friendships I was able to when I was his age. After all, my girlfriends, the ones who I know without a doubt has my back at ALL times, the ones I know will not sell me out even for a million bucks, I found them all in high school. Of course I met a couple of treasures later on in life, but the ones from high school share a common history and for that alone, the bond can never be duplicated.
Here's to my girlfriends, my high school and Garlic Steak. Possibly the best steak in the whole, wide, world. :-)
Today's Lunch Box: Garlic Steak, Pan drippings with Toasted Garlic, Buttered Vegetables, Leche Flan made of Carabao's Milk