I hate bedtime.
Wait, let me clarify. I love my bedtime. But I dread Libby’s.
Up until a few months ago, we had a solid routine. A little Peppa Pig, Charlie and Lola, or Yo Gabba Gabba!, dinner, play, pajamas, books and cuddles, then lights out. Libby would even tap on her crib to let me know that yes, it’s time for night night. There might be a few tears after I put her down, but usually nothing more than 5 or 10 minutes, and the rest of the evening was available for other things like chores, projects, and catching up on Tivo because the Libster was down for the night.
God I miss those days.
Now our routine is more like cartoons, dinner, play, bath, books, and lights out followed by tossing and turning, crocodile tears, fingers in my eyes, fingers in her eyes, and any other delay tactic she can come up with to avoid closing her eyes and going to sleep. For a while she was milking the “my mouth hurts” ploy to get extra cuddles. Now she just straight up melts down when I try and leave her room. Even when I think she’s asleep, as soon as I take a step towards the door her little head whips around off the pillow and the drama commences. Lather, rinse, and repeat at intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours…All. Night. Long.
On a good night, if the stars have aligned and I managed to appease the gods, it can take as little as one hour to go from bath to sleep. I’d say very few nights in the last few months have been “good” nights. Sometimes I fall asleep waiting for her to give up the fight. Other times I’ve given up after multiple trips back into her room to calm my tiny tyrant and either crawled in bed with her or brought her in bed with me.
I’ve gotten a LOT of well meaning advice and I’ve done my own researching. Yes, I tried letting her cry…90 minutes of sustained rage didn’t do any of us a damn bit of good. Yes, I ruled out ear infections and teething. Yes, I offered loveys and turned on white noise. And she’s having none of it. What she wants is to fall asleep being held and to not wake up alone.
You know, I can’t say that I blame her because those are pretty nice things no matter how old you are…this life lessons courtesy of my 2 year old.
My point is that there’s a lot of tired going around my house. And not a whole lot of anything else. Which is to say that sometimes I make some food. And occasionally I get a pretty picture before shoving it in my face. This is not one of those times. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one that the end result is worthwhile.
And if you’re chronically sleep deprived, don’t you dare feel bad about putting on whatever cartoon it takes to occupy your tiny tyrant so you can rest your eyes while the chops do their thing in the brine.
Foolproof Broiled Pork Chops
Adapted from Cook’s Country
BAH Note: If you follow a few easy steps you will be rewarded with the perfect chop. This is really just the method for achieving the perfect chop. You can dress them up with a compound butter (see below) after they come out of the oven. Or not. I think they are absolute perfection in their naked state.
The folks at CC advise that your oven rack should be about 5 inches from your broiler element. If you can’t get it this close, or if using the broiler scares the bejeebus out of you, go for more distance between the rack and the broiler. You’ll need to cook the chops a little longer but you’ll also give yourself a little buffer with that fine line between broiled and charred.
If you are inclined to spice things up, rub the chops with your spice mixture of choice before they go in the oven. Reserve some of the spices and stir them into 2 tablespoons of softened butter. When the chops come out of the oven, slather them with the compound butter before tucking them in to rest.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 center cut, bone in chops, about 1.5 inches thick
- 6 cups cold water
Combine the sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir until completely dissolved. Add the chops, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Turn the oven to broil. Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry, and place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on the oven rack and carefully pour 1.5 cups warm water into the bottom of the baking sheet.
Broil for approximately 20 minutes, turning the chops over after about 10 minutes, until they register 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the chops to a platter and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Let the water and baking sheet cool down in the oven while you enjoy your succulent chops.