For a long time – a looooong time – I never got the whole brining-meat thing. My mom never brined the roasts she served on Sundays, so I never learned to. Her top rounds and rump roasts and roasted slowly in the oven, and presumably, if it was a little dry occasionally, the gravy she made to go with the mashed potatoes compensated nicely. But we live in a different time. Cooking shows have taken the place of soap operas and sitcoms. So after watching enough TV food instruction and inspiration, most recently it was Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, I caved and decided it was worth an experiment with a lean pork loin. And I totally get it now – it was tender and juicy, infused with rosemary, and perfectly seasoned without adding extra salt. Magical! Brining is the way to go!
Each summer flocks of sooty shearwaters fly low over the Monterey Bay, diving and squawking as they feed on masses of bait fish – anchovies, sardines, squid, and krill – that school just below the water’s glistening surface. You see them coming in the distance, an impressive mass a mile or more in length; thousands of birds flying low over the water forming a cacophony of feathered missiles plunging headfirst for food.