Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 Chip went to the store to hunt and gather our first dinner of the new year. He cornered and captured Shaw's finest Cornish Game Hen, or as he described it to the check-out person, The Pigeon. I think Chip must be hiding Martha Stewart magazines between the mattresses and studying up when I'm not around. He dressed this Pigeon with alarming skill. He buttered in between the skin and the meat. He made a bed of parsnips and onions to cradle our little bird. He filled it's tiny body cavity with herbs and lemon quarters, even remembering to remove the gizzards. He expertly nestled the last section of citrus and a tuft of thyme atop 'Ol Pige before sliding her into the oven.
The Pigeon came out of the oven an hour and fifteen minutes later looking like the money shot for Bon Apetit magazine. Our first dinner of 2008 was a huge success and Chip had roasted his first fowl. We could have been the lovely couple featured in the article along with The Pigeon. That is, until I got one of my "really good ideas".
"Hey, you know how slow-roasted foods taste so much better than when you just cook them the normal way? I wonder what a roasted lemon tastes like?" I asked. There it sat on the cutting board next to the limp thyme. It's lemony edges oh-so-gently browned. It's pulp glistening and smooth. I picked it up, popped the pulpy part into my mouth and scraped some off with my teeth. I immediately gagged the pulpy mass out of my mouth. The most repulsive food ever to pass my lips blopped indelicately onto my plate. Roasting intensified the sour aspect of the lemon's character into a toxin capable of removing tooth enamel. The acidity persisted in my mouth threatening to obliterate any hope of ever tasting again.
"Not so good?" quipped Chip.
I shook my head to indicate the accuracy of his statement. I pressed my lips together tightly to keep the rest of my dinner where it belonged, in my stomach. I had to tell Chip the thought screaming around in my head, but it seemed so wrong, so coarse, so vile! I said nothing for a minute-just sat there letting my teeth and taste buds recover.
"Do you know what that tasted like?" I asked. The way back of my mouth tingled in that oh-no kind of way. I shuddered like I'd taken a slug of bad whiskey. "It tasted like that awful acid burning flavor right after you puke and the pulp felt like a blob of bile in my mouth."
Chip promptly got up from the table. He went to the memo board on our refrigerator, erased some useless 2007 kind of information and wrote, "Don't Eat Roasted Lemons".