The only problem with putting off the inevitable is that the inevitable will invariably come up and bite you in the ass sooner rather than later. That's why its called the inevitable, isn't it, and not "the eventual" or "the perhaps never".
When I put the duck breasts into the salt two days ago swearing that I would cross the bridge of where to hang them when I came to it, there was really never any doubt that I would have to cross that bridge a mere 24 hours later and not, say, ten years from now using my backyard meat hanging shed built specifically for that purpose.
The sick irony of it is that up until this winter I would have had a perfect place to hang curing meat in the desired 50-60 degree range, a place where the winter temperatures rarely if ever varied from what most human beings would consider very cold and most future duck hams would consider spa-like, namely: our apartment.
Every New York City apartment has its foibles. My first apartment was only $250/month and on 102nd and Riverside (and, so, obviously imaginary) and my second place had slanted floors so if you came home drunk at 4 in the morning after bartending (hypothetically) it looked as if the appliances on the far side of the kitchen were lurching towards you. My apartment now, which is otherwise totally perfect, has heating issues.
Up until this winter and beginning in 2006, my landlord was, let's say, "cavalier" about heat supply. The boiler was always being fixed or tweaked or the oil hadn't been delivered or [fill in your most creative excuse here]. I began (through my layers and layers of clothes and anger) to suspect that there wasn't a boiler at all, just a big empty concrete room with, maybe, a child's picture of a boiler and a tape of my landlord's maniacal laughter played on an endless loop. I suggested to Rob on more than one occasion that perhaps we were part of a reality show wherein unsuspecting couples had to test their endurance in Man vs. Wild-like conditions and perhaps if we just stuck it out long enough the walls of our apartment would fly up revealing a well heated studio and some Padma knock-off waiting with hot buttered rum and a check.
Cold does funny things to the brain.
But no. NO! This year had to be the year the landlord got all "noble" and "pro-active" and fixed the stupid thing. Not that we have heat with any regularity - (no no of course not, that would be madness) - but we do have it with enough consistency that chancing the meat would not be wise. Doesn't that just beat all?
And, so, we are doing something I never EVER thought I'd attempt or even consider. We are opening the window in the baby's room and letting our enemy, the cold winter air, into the place where we would normally keep our first born. He isn't there full time yet, so it isn't the biggest deal, but the apartment is pretty cold, again, and if anyone on the building management side sees the cracked window I'm sure I'll get an earful.
What used to hang above his bed:
What hangs there now:
Mother of the year? Yes. I think so.
54 minutes ago