Post #663 What To Do, What To Do?

August 4, 2019 at 2:42 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tomatoes are coming in fast and furious.  I’ve eaten a handful of cherry tomatoes just this weekend, and the plum tomatoes are turning more and more red with each passing minute.  I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be knee deep in them soon, so I’ve devised a plan to whiz the ripe fruit through the blender and freeze it with some garlic and basil to make a fresh sauce.  And the tomatillos are coming in too.  We’ve got a lot of the paper balls and waiting for the fruit to fill them.  So that’s the update on the farming front.

A few days ago Partner/Spouse brought home a huge pork roast that was on sale.  The price was too good not to buy it.  We wanted to cut it into pieces since we’d only be cooking it for two people, but there was a large bone running down the center of it making cutting it problematic.  So, what to do?

I cooked the whole thing, low and slow on Saturday.  Today, I will be shredding the meat off the bone.  The plan is to then separate into three or four equal portions large enough for the two of us.  Then we’ll have three or four different meals out of it.

Meal 1:  Pulled pork sandwiches.  We both love barbecue.  And we’ve had a lot of different varieties.  One time in North Carolina, I made pulled pork with the traditional North Carolina barbecue sauce.  We’d never had it before so I mixed some of the pan juices with the jar of sauce and dumped it over the pork and tossed it all around.  We fixed our standard meal and all took a big bite.  Totally inedible.  We didn’t know that North Carolina barbecue sauce is a vinegar based sauce.  Using a whole bottle wasn’t the right thing to do.  And we should have tried it before using it.  Rule one in cooking, right?  Another time, we made one from scratch and misread the amount of red pepper flakes was supposed to go in.  Blazingly hot, it was, but it was so good.  What we use now, when we can find it, is a sauce called Bone Sucking Sauce.  It’s so good you’ll suck the leftover barbecue sauce off the bones of the meat, and off your fingers, and even your plate.  When we can’t find that, we use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original.  Part of the reason we tend to use “Original” in anything is so we can add to it any flavors we want in any combination or strength.

Meal 2:  Pork Risotto.  We love rice here, in all its forms.  Risotto is one of our favorites, but it takes planning and work.  Planning because adding the ingredients at the right time and the right order is key to success; work because you have to stand at the stove stirring that pot for 30-40 minutes to get it right.  For this meal, I’m thinking of garlic and onion sautéed with the rice, and asparagus added at the end so it’s crisp-cooked.  Lemon and parmesan at the very end.  The whole meal in one pot and plenty to have for lunch the next day.  I recently made risotto with chicken and leeks.  The leeks we got at a farm stand and I thought I’d cleaned them well enough.  I didn’t.  There wasn’t a lot of sand, but there was some and it gritted in our teeth at the most awkward times.  But it was yummy.

Meal 3:  Pork Tacos.  So, the best way to do this is to take some of the shredded pork and cut it into bite sized pieces.  I mean, really small.  Then crisp it up in the oven with some lime juice to get that wonderful citrusy flavor all over it.  I’m a sucker for tacos Americanos (as it was called where I grew up) which is basically a cheeseburger in a corn tortilla.  I fry up the tortillas (four for me one way; four for him another way.  Only takes a few minutes) then for mine I put down shredded cheese on the hot tortilla so it melts a little, then meat on top of that, then dices tomatoes, then shredded lettuce, then salsa or pico de gallo to top it all off.  We love tacos at our house, and we like seeing all the variations.  We don’t DO the variations, but we like seeing them.

Meal 4:  So if the roast stretches this far, and I’m sure it will, the last meal I’m planning for this roast is pork and gravy over mashed potatoes.  There’s not too much more satisfying than hot meat and gravy over mash.  I grew up with it, and have been eating it my whole life.  Sometimes I throw corn niblets or peas into it too.  Another one pot meal.

Meal 4 (Alternate):  So if the roast stretches this far, and I’m sure it will, and if I don’t want mashed potatoes another meal I like to make is rice and roast.  One of my favorite rice mixes is Near Eastern Rice Pilaf.  I like the flavor and the ease of preparation.  On my own, I found that if I throw in leftover roast of any kind, and cook it per normal cooking directions, the meat comes out as tender as a marshmallow.  With a salad on the side, or frozen veggies cooked with the rice and meat, it’s another one of those one-pot meals that are amazingly easy to do.

So that’s “what to do” with our roast.

And we’re considering our diet options again.  We recently investigated the keto diet, but opted out of it because with our current health issues, the keto diet was too stringent.  But we do want to get into a lower carb higher protein diet.  We want to lose some weight and eat more nutritiously.  So now we’re considering the Atkins diet.  It’s an established plan that’s been around for decades; there are tons of online tools to track our progress; and it’s been modified several times to keep up with new findings and popular foods.  Plus, we like their snack bars.  So you’ll be hearing a little more about that in upcoming weeks.

So, that’s this weekend wrapped up.  Right now, we’re sitting on the front porch in the mid-afternoon enjoying the cool breeze and warm sun.  The dog is asleep at our feet (actually a squirrel wandered by so he’s now investigating it) and the neighborhood is quiet and relaxing.  Music is filtering out the front door from the TV/Stereo, some Irish/Celtic mix, and it all adds up to a relaxing and wonderful day.

Hope yours is shaping up the same.

Feel free to share the post far and wide.

As always,

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