” Watch out for the stone, ” the short order cook says, as he slides my meal across the counter to me. ” It is very hot. ”

I look at the dark stone, look at my ordered meat on the plate which looks too rare. The hot stone, it appears, is used to finish cooking the little slices of steak, as customers desire them. By placing each slice on the hot stone, I can cook my steak rare, medium, done, or well done. I am not just a consumer of a product, but a participant in it’s production.

I’m sure this cooking technique has been around for thousands of years in Japan, but it is new to a New Mexico cowpoke.

The whole process makes it twice as long to finish my dinner,as it usually does ,but I enjoy my food more.

Hearing meat sizzle on the stone reminds me of backyard barbecues and my Dad’s famous barbecue ribs.

Memories are with us, but it just takes the right trigger to bring them to the stage.

Hot stones solve a chef’s most troubling question – is their medium the same as my medium?

When I ordered my steak well done, how is the person cooking it to know precisely where to stop to make my steak as well done as I ordered it? 

In the end, I am happy with my well done steak, and, if I have to blame anyone, it has to be me.

That, I figure, is the point of this entire exercise.


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