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  • Writer's pictureMarty Jalove

Tasting, Basting, or Wasting

On rare summer holidays, my dad would bring home steaks from the butcher. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it was a special occasion.


Tasting, Basting, or Wasting - Master Happiness with Marty Jalove

Growing up, my mom did most of the cooking but my dad, like many before him, was in charge of the grill. To watch him was like witnessing a cross between a classical concert conductor and a caveman. It all started with frying up some fatty bacon in a hot cast-iron pan. That smell still brings me back. He’d throw in a concoction of herbs, onions, spices, and seasonings. He then removed the bacon via my belly and lay the steaks into this pool of greasy goodness. He added a stick of butter and constantly basted that meat with that flavor-filled juice. He explained that this was the first step in locking in the savor before bringing them to the grill.


Every step seemed to be timed by a clock in his head and the number of growls from my belly. He continued to brush his magical mixture over the steaks as they grilled. When they were done, he removed them and reminded me to wait and let the steaks sit for just a few minutes. Patience makes for the perfect steak.


Pig Grill - Master Happiness with Marty Jalove

He cut off two small pieces and each of us had a taste. He was right, they were perfect and worth the wait. So much better than the leathery pork chops that my mom loved overcooking.


As we sat and ate, he told me that at any time in our lives, we are either tasting, basting, or wasting.


There are many things that we want in life. A delicious steak, more of that bacon, a wonderful family, great friends, a rewarding career, and so much more. The question is, how much basting are we willing to do to taste success? How much time and energy are we willing to put towards the process of learning, growing, and evolving to get to where we want to go? And how much time do we waste because we are too impatient, lazy, or procrastinating instead of working towards our dreams.


As I stand by the grill cooking steaks and burgers for my kids, I often think of my dad’s lesson. I ask myself how much of my time am I wasting on distractions like social media, streaming, or so-called friends that bring me down? Instead, I want to make a conscious effort to gain more knowledge, do wonderful things with my family and friends, and help those in need. I want to keep working on my future and enjoy every bite. I want to savor every moment and take time to be grateful and in awe of what I’ve done and what I’ve become.


Ask yourself - are you wasting precious moments or spending more time basting, tasting, building, and enjoying each day?


Master Happiness with Marty Jalove

As seen in Stroll, Hawthorn Woods CC Magazine. Follow “Bacon Bits with Master Happiness” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, Audible, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.



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