Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You're Always Too Hot for Somebody

For Easter, I fixed a pork shoulder (also called a butt, but for the life of me I don't know why the anatomy isn't consistent since the name involves opposite ends of the pig). The recipe was new. Shredded Dr. Pepper Pork. Imagine onions, a can of chipotle chilies in sauce, Dr Pepper and brown sugar. Sounds marvelous, right? It was, except for one thing.

It had a kick.

Now, the people in my household have no problem with food that makes you sniffle or sweat as you chew them. While this wasn't enough to make my eyes bulge, it did open up my nose - maybe because I chopped up the chilies.

"Is it too hot?" I asked the crew.
"Not at all," they said, chowing down.

But it was kinda like Chinese mustard. You had to eat it right and breath strategically or the spice set your sinuses afire.

So my household was happy with Easter dinner. They ate leftovers with relish (figuratively, not real relish). "That's a keeper," said one family member. "Remember how you made that. I liked it."

That's always good to hear. You hit the target with someone enough to earn a compliment. They want more of what you created. They'll tell other people about it, even ask when you'll make it again.

But someone else might consider spicy pork a once-a-year item that's easily forgotten and a far cry from his favorite dish. He might not care if he ever eats it again.

Your options? Make the recipe again and please those who love it. If you don't make it, you disappoint them - the ones happily in your corner. You can't cook a dish that pleases all palates; you cook one that caters to the right people.

Writing works the exact same way. You click with one readership and not another. You're remiss if you attempt to alter your writing to capture that faction that isn't enamored with you. They don't do hot, remember?

Embrace the ones who love what you wrote. You can always hope that the others come around, but accept the fact that most of them won't. When you discover a family who loves you, the best choice you can make is to keep feeding them what they like to eat. They like hot? Do it hot. Do hot better than anyone else does hot. Constantly refine your heat.

Because regardless of how hard you try, you're pork will be too hot for somebody.

1 comment:

Cheryl Ann Wills said...

perfect analogy. of life. thanks. and, happy easter!