Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday at home

DST has messed me up a little bit; it doesn't feel like 6:30 pm.

But oh well.

After church, I came home and did the dvd workout (I am nothing if not persistent about exercise). Then I went into my sewing room and worked on the blocks for the current (long-stalled) top (called Line Dance - sort of a tilted nine-patch) for a while. I have most of the blocks done and might go back in and try to do the remaining ten before it gets dark out this evening.

(First, I need to finish the hibiscus/rooibos tea - it's Adagio's "Raspberry Patch" and is pretty good - that I'm drinking to try to stay full because I have to fast (except for water or unsweetened steeped beverages) until tomorrow morning because it's Bloodwork Day. I am *slightly* apprehensive though with no really good reason. For the first time in my life I am having a thyroid panel done - not because there's any thought anything's wrong, but my doctor just wants to be sure, and she says it's good to have a baseline reading somewhere before age 50)

It feels good to get back to quilting; I tend to leave it for too long and forget how I miss it when I'm not doing it.

Also, I have a lead on someone the next town over (Mead) who does longarming out of her home and I might call her this week to get some idea of her rates and wait-time and maybe even take a sample top out to her to see what she can do. It would be nice to have someone who I could hire to do longarm quilting again.

I also might pull out the handquilting project and work on it again. (However, there's really nothing worth watching on tv tonight while I quilt; the local PBS channel which normally runs Father Brown on Sunday night is in pledge-drive mode and so is showing programming I consider one step above infomercials - "alternative" medicine programs, and "de-stress your life" programs that presuppose you have unlimited money, time, and spousal support, and programs of old pop music that was old when I was young. And no, I don't mean Lawrence Welk)

I also dug out a few books of knitting and quilting patterns and might just set up in bed with them and flip through and daydream/plan future projects. That's really the most fun part for me: the anticipation, the planning, the putting colors together. Starting the project is fun, finishing the project is fun, but sometimes the long slog in the middle is what gets me down and tends to make me work more slowly. (This is also true of research work).

I also cooked a more complex dinner. I had, on Friday when I decided to avoid the wal-mart, stopped off at the tiny local meat market (I rarely shop there because most of the stuff they sell is BIG roasts) because they advertised "gourmet cheese" and I was hopeful, but - womp womp - all they had were "spicy" or "habanero" varieties of cheddar or a bacon-cheese that was too salty for me. But I did wind up buying a couple of thick butterfly pork chops, thinking it had been a while since I had pork.

The problem with much pork is it's been made so lean that it dries out upon cooking. So I decided to braise these, especially given the minimal amount of fat on them. I modified a "Cider-Braised Pork Pot Roast" recipe from one of my cookbooks - using smaller amounts and different veg/fruits. (The original recipe had carrots and parsnips, neither of which I can eat because of my intolerance/allergy).

So what I did was brown the chops lightly in a little olive oil, and add a teaspoon or so of Penzey's "Bavarian Seasoning." Then I dumped in the two remaining bottles of cider (this is that lightly alcoholic kind, about as alcoholic as beer) that had been hanging around for a couple years (they were still good; I took a sip of the first one after opening it to be sure). I also added a small container (a bit more than a cup) of chicken broth to bring up the liquid level. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes (and anyway, I had to run to the Green Spray: I was out of sweet potatoes) and then I added a cut up and cored Granny Smith apple, a peeled and cut-into-chunks sweet potato, and a quartered onion. I let the whole thing simmer on a slightly higher temperature (so the sweet potatoes would cook through) for about 40 minutes.

It was good. Sweet potatoes braised in cider are particularly delicious. I ate a little horseradish sauce with the pork - I had bought a container of "creamy horseradish spread" thinking it would be eating-ready, but the first bite of it was "WOW THAT'S HOT" and not hot in the good way, so I went and got the bottle of mayonnaise (I use Duke's, which is like THE Southern brand) and glopped a bunch on top of the puddle of horseradish and mixed them. It was still kind of hot but at least it wasn't painfully hot. (I seem to tolerate horseradish-hot better than I do hot-pepper-hot. Different chemicals, I suppose).

I have some leftover so I can make a second meal of it later this week. You could *probably* use apple juice if you don't want to use the alcoholic cider (though I presume nearly all the alcohol cooks out) but I think you'd want to add a little cider vinegar because hard cider is more tart than sweet cider.

I need to figure out more "eintopf" meals like that; it's easy when you're busy and I think some vegetables do get better for being cooked mixed in with things. (But not beets! I don't want a whole red dinner). When I know for sure my body is still dealing okay with blood sugar, I could use white potatoes but I admit I have been slightly avoiding them of late. Perhaps cabbage or bok choy could be prepared in some kind of one-dish meal, maybe with chicken and with different seasonings than what this had....I used to make a dish with kielbasa, potatoes, and sauerkraut but two of those things are now too high in sodium for me.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

kielbasa, potatoes, and sauerkraut is my comfort food. But I understand why you can't have it. Perhaps pork, cabbage, and potatoes with this cider brine would be a close comparison? You could probably steam the cabbage on top of the pot with the cider until green and tender and it would taste good.