First off, Kathy...THANK YOU for this concept. Music is a passion of mine (listening mainly, as I have no talent other than a voice that just barely doesn't make people run out of the room screaming), and there are many artists whose work has touched my life. Because of this, this TD has a special meaning to me. Busy work week, but I had my cook all planned for lunch on Saturday before working in the evening...but a few unforeseen events threw a monkey wrench in things. Mainly, I wasn't able to get many pictures and wasn't able to complete my plate the way I would have liked. So, instead I will focus on the backstory in a vain attempt to make up for a less than stellar process. Also, as mentioned earlier, I'm having problems figuring out how to embed video from Youtube. Tried for the last 2 hours but can't get it to work, so I'm giving up. All you get are links.
For my entry, I chose to focus on Aaron Lewis, the front man for Staind and newly converted country artist. Aaron's music...indeed, his life...has always been extremely familiar to me. Like him, I grew up suffering from depression and low self-esteem. He has often said that he used to "feel very alone" when he was younger, which is something I can relate to. My parents weren't abusive, but were very strict, and my dad (like many) was very distant. My dad is a retired police sergeant, and as a counselor once told me, "It seems like your home is run very much like a police academy." Please understand, I'm not complaining; I love my dad and I feel like he did as decent a job as anyone could have. I just provide this as explanation for my connection with Aaron's music:
The more I listened to Staind's music, the stronger a connection I felt with Aaron Lewis and his lyrics. Through the music of Staind, I finally found the words to describe who I was and how I felt inside:
The music of Staind became highly therapeutic for me, and as Mr. Lewis seemed to figure out his feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence, I too began to better understand who I was:
As I said, I've always felt a connection to Aaron's music, and that hasn't stopped now that he's gone solo as a country artist. I love the outdoors, am (for the most part) pretty conservative in my political views, I'm deeply appreciative and supportive of our country's men and women in uniform, and I've never been afraid to speak my mind (even when it gets me in trouble). SO ultimately, my direct inspiration for this cook came from Aaron's single, "Country Boy:"
I'm not really the "star-struck" type, but I've always said that Aaron Lewis is a guy I'd love to hang out and have a few beers or maybe go fishing with. So, I went into this cook with that thought in mind.
I pulled a couple of venison steaks out of the freezer...
Made a simple marinade:
Bagged it all up and tossed it in the fridge overnight:
To go with them, I took some asparagus, drizzled it with soy sauce and added a bit of garlic and just a touch of ginger:
Now, here's where my pics get a bit sketchy. See, I've been shopping for a good used truck, and I'm fairly picky, which means I've been looking for just over 3 months. Saturday morning, in the middle of my prep and cook, I found one and spent an hour talking and negotiating prices over the phone. In fact, I ended up having to leave for work just as the steaks were finishing up; my wife actually pulled them off the grill and photographed. So, here is my money shot; while I didn't get to enjoy them fresh, I did have this waiting for me when I got home from work, and the steaks did turn out very nicely at a near perfect medium rare.
My apologies for the lack of pics and the technical difficulties; not my best entry, but as I said, this was a theme that meant a lot to me and I wanted to make sure I got an entry in, even if I wasn't able to put my best foot forward. Thanks for looking!