Steak and Oh My Gravy

I’ve mentioned a time or two, or twenty, that I have a reality television affliction.  I blame it on cable and Tivo because before they came into my life, I happily turned the boob tube off and read books or called people.  Or got off my couch and actually left my house.  Ok, maybe not so much that last one.  I know I need to take responsibility for my actions, and make healthier choices, so I have quietly started to break up with some of my mental junk food, deleting season passes out of Tivo.

Like falling in with the “wrong” crowd, getting hooked on reality television programming is a slippery slope.  It started innocently enough for me. Wonderous treasures on Antiques Roadshow. Stir fry on Yan Can Cook. Homesteading drama on Frontier House. Power tools with The New Yankee Workshop. And happy little trees and clouds with Bob Ross.  PBS was my commercial-free gateway drug into reality television. Continue reading “Steak and Oh My Gravy”

Like A Virgin

image from istockphoto.com

For reasons that I don’t quite understand, this blog is feeling more and more like a confessional.  Sure, I’m resting on a cushy Aeron chair instead of a hard wooden kneeler.  And I’m staring at a computer screen into the digital abyss instead of through a confessional screen into the face of absolution.  The sounds of NPR or Pandora  Quick Mix, not the church organ, float about the room.  The room, which is bigger than a rest room stall, is not shrouded in darkness.  Instead, it is bathed in bright sunlight.  So if blogging is my confessional, does that mean cooking has become my religion?

Forgive me my sins, for I have been touched for the very first time…by rhubarb.

Continue reading “Like A Virgin”

Thank You For Being A Friend

Cooking can be a metaphor for so many different aspects of life – success, failure, love, loss, just to name a few.  Today I’d like to consider cooking as a metaphor for friendship.  I’ve been “friending” longer than I’ve been cooking.  And by “friending”, I don’t mean the passive Facebook friendships where you amass a posse of people, your virtual friends, who you may or may not interact with in the real world.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have been “friended” by people I’ve known for ages and managed to lose touch with over the years.  But to me, reading a status update about somebody’s Farkle score or latest additions to Farmville doesn’t feel like a true friendship. Continue reading “Thank You For Being A Friend”

Flashback Friday – Where I’ve Been

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 5/7/08 at Exit 51

Where I’ve Been

Silly me. I thought that after Scotland and once SFC was home I’d have all kinds of time right off the bat to sit down and share stories. That so has not happened.

I’ve only just today put the finishing touches on my Scotland pictures. As much as I think Flickr and Picnik are my new bff’s, they are needy and take a lot of time. So I think we need a break from each other for a while. But I don’t want them to feel unloved so please do mosey on over to Flickr and check out the pictures. There’s a direct link in the sidebar or you can use this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmf1852 Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Where I’ve Been”

Relationship Issues

I’m not sure what’s going on with the relationship between me and Heavy D.  We’re having a bit of a rough patch right now.  On the surface, everything seems fine.  Heck, I just recently outfitted him with a one of a kind, made lovingly with my own two hands, camera strap cover.  If four hours of my time on a freaking accessory doesn’t say I’m committed to our relationship, then I don’t know what does. Continue reading “Relationship Issues”

Melissa’s Braised Pork

image from istockphoto.com

I’m sure my high school English teacher would disapprove of the title of this post since it could be interpreted that I am braising Melissa’s pork.  Let me just go on the record to say that to the best of my knowledge, I do not know if any of the pork I’ve ever fixed had a connection to someone named Melissa.  So technically, I have never braised Melissa’s pork.  But I have (mostly, sorta, kinda) followed Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe for braised pork a time or two (or three).  The grammar police can come knocking on my door for all I care.  Once they get a taste of this tender, flavorful dish, they won’t care if I split an infinitive or two, dangled a participle, or misplaced a modifier.  I hope you won’t either.

Braised Pork

Inspired by Melissa d’Arabian

BAH Note: For a more robust flavor, use red wine and beef broth instead of white wine and chicken broth.  Take it from me, you really can’t break this recipe.

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder (butt), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Trim any large pieces of fat off the pork and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Divide the pork into two batches and brown the pork until nicely browned on all sides.  Remove the pork to a plate.

Add the onion and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until nicely browned.  Sprinkle mixture with the flour and cook for a minute or two.  Whisk in the wine and let it cook down by half.

Place the pork slices back in the dutch oven, add in the broth and bay leaves.  The liquid should come just to the top of the pork.  If it doesn’t, add water but do not  completely cover the pork with liquid.

Cover the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.  Carefully remove the meat to a large cutting board and shred with two forks (removing any additional fat).  Before returning the meat to the liquid, skim as much of the fat off the top of the liquid as you like or ladle it into a fat separator.

Return the pork to the liquid and enjoy.

{printable recipe}

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Food Memories – Uncle Lorne’s Buckeyes

Chocolate Coated

Jamie Oliver Is Not My Boyfriend, according to Melanie, who runs the site.  She says, “I have a little bit of an unhealthy obsession with Jamie Oliver.  Namely his accent, his easy-peasy recipes and the fact that he is pretty darned cute to look at.  But don’t let that fool you…Jamie Oliver is Not My Boyfriend. In fact, I don’t even know Jamie aside from his books and specials!  But let me preface this blog by saying that if Jamie Oliver WAS my boyfriend, well, I wouldn’t have to do any of the cooking..but I’d bake for him instead and look cute in an apron.”

How can you not love this woman? Especially when she pairs up Lemon Cookies and Led Zeppelin? And when she’s not expressing her inner foodie, Melanie is talking about this, that, and the other thing over at Feminine Wiles & Urban Survival 101.  Lord, she’s a busy woman.  Fortunately, when I asked if she would be interested in participating in the Food Memories project, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.  Because she has the most beautiful example of how we weave people, places, and food into the landscape of our memories.  Here, I’ll let her tell you about it. Continue reading “Food Memories – Uncle Lorne’s Buckeyes”

Flashback Friday – Road Trippin’

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 4/4/08 at Exit 51

Road Trippin’

The camera is already packed away, otherwise I’d have a photo to post showing that’s the playlist on my iPod for the trip. Just a few more days and I’ll be headed out on holiday. The question has been asked how it is that I’ve come to be going on vacation just now. More than the question, is the reaction I get when people realize that I’m going away while my husband is still overseas. I swear that I can see the wheels turning in their heads…it goes something like this: Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Road Trippin’”