Thursday, April 12, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1518 The Fall of the House of Gristle (almost Chapter 2) by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 13, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1518 The Fall of the House of Gristle  (almost Chapter 2) by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 13, 2018                                               
For those wanting a monologue for Friday the 13th, please click here
otherwise, below, more .....gristle.

                     The Fall of the House of Gristle
                                                         by Janet S. Tiger
                                                © 2018 all rights reserved

(for the beginning of  THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF GRISTLE, please click Day #1516 and #1517 )

First, some notes about gristle.

Before we begin the courtship of Mr. Gristle and the eventual Mrs.Priscilla Gristle  nee Pudgewind, a bit of completely useless background information about gristle.

Gristle – for those who care to know (and for those who don’t but can’t skip these paragraphs quickly) – is cartilage, especially when found as tough, inedible tissue in meat.

This definition is found if you click here

cartilagebroadly tough cartilaginous, tendinous, or fibrous matter especially in table meats 

And now I quote from another source -

A few too many encounters with gristle, and even the most avid omnivore might be tempted to turn vegetarian. It's chewy, rubbery, flavorless, and altogether unpleasant, but what exactly is gristle? Read on...
Your average cut of raw meat is made up of four components: muscle tissue, fat, collagen, and elastin. The muscle tissue is what we actually end up eating. The fat melts as the meat is cooked, giving this muscle tissue flavor and texture.
Collagen is a type of connective tissue, meaning it holds together or connects muscle tissue together. Initially very tough, collagen breaks down under heat, giving meat a tender, silky mouthfeel.
And finally we have elastin. This is another type of connective tissue and is primarily found in an animal's ligaments and surrounding muscle groups. It's stretchy and incredibly tough. Unlike collagen, elastin does not break down when the meat is cooked, and this is where we get gristle.
You get a lot of gristle in cuts of meat that come from the shoulders, legs, and haunches of an animal, like top round and chuck. It's easy to cut away because it's usually visible in clumps near where the muscle connected to a bone or as a silvery film across the surface of meat. If you don't manage to cut it away before cooking, it won't harm the flavor or texture of your cooked dish - it's just unpleasant for the person who gets that chewy mouthful!

Unpleasant.  How true!  And yet, so incomplete an evaluation
Because what all the definitions do not tell you is that…..gristle can taste…delicious.  

If the fat is still on the cartilage, the flavor of the meat is infused into what is left – and that is enough to get a person through a meal – even if the rest of the meal is watery soup or weevily bread that was dipped into the soup to soften.

Chewing on the gristle can replace the need for something more substantial – like real food.  But for those with nothing, gristle means flavor.  A flavor that reminds one that there is always a possibility that one day, that one could actually be eating….real meat.  It gives a hope, and feeds the soul in a strange, almost immeasurable way.

Like the family that made it famous, gristle has its place at the table, even if at fancy ones it is thrown below to the dogs.  Because at the not so fancy homes, the gristle assuages the stomach and soothes the aching need for something better, giving a light to eyes that dull with hunger, and at moments, even a smile.

And now that you have learned much more than you ever cared to know about gristle, on to the eagerly awaited Chapter 2 – The Long Awaited Marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Gristle.


Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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