Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pulled Pork anyone?

So I decided this past weekend that I was going to give making pulled pork another go. You see, I never ate pork growing up. This was not due to religious purposes, merely that my mother never bought it and when I was out I never ordered. I believe that was a hidden fear of getting a disease from pork but I have no clue where that came from. As an adult I have tried to expand my palate and that has included pork. I have made a lovely Donna Hay recipe or apple pork chops wrapped in puff pastry. Pretty tasty and east to make. Next, I tried a Robin Miller recipe and hated it. Her recipe for pulled pork was not up my flavor alley. So when the pork bug hit me again this past weekend my sister recommended a recipe from the new show Kelsey's Essentials. I road my bike over the the grocery store, came home, popped the ingredients in the slow cooker and 4-6 hours later a memorable dish was ready to be eaten. So succulent and flavorful. I have tons of meals for the week. I might ever freeze some just for an emergency meal. Man, I need to use the slow cooker more often. I mist say, I altered the recipe only slightly. Here is the recipe I used:

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork (adapted from Kelsey Nixon)

1 (15-ounce) can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 (3-pound) pork shoulder (or butt), trimmed of excess fat

salt & pepper

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 yellow onions, dice

1/4 cup lime juice

Puree diced tomatoes. To puree add chili powder, brown sugar, coriander, and cumin and mix well. Put sauce in the bottom of slow cooker and add meat. Turn meat to coat all sides. Add onions and garlic and toss to coat. The rest can be found HERE.

Any recipes you can recommend?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another day in the got garden

They're alive!! Look at those tomatoes...mmmm, mmm! And there is more where that came from! My sister and I did I quick garden trip to my mother's house this weekend and surveyed the happenings of the garden. All of the tomato plants are kicked into high gear with tons of fruit (or vegetables) on their way to ripening. The second picture is the cucumber seed I planted a few weeks back. Man is it loving the sun out there! Sad to say that only one survived. For some reason so I have planted another seed so I will let you know how that goes. Third picture in the row is the-little-parsley-that-could. We trimmed back the sage that was hogging the sun and most likely soil from this little guy, but he hasn't died so I think he is a fighter and should spring up more soon. The sage and thyme (pronounced "time") are still acting like they are on steroids because they are huge and refuse to die. We have hacked the crap (pardon my French) out of them and they keep coming back which I love and apparently so do the bees. I love that they are getting nectar and that I am part of that reason. I love the little hum they make when gathering nectar. I am thinking of making a t-shirt for our gardening service that says "We feed bees". What do you think?

On man, do you know what this is? It is a Pablano Pepper that is slowing growing!!! Man, just thinking about those suckers is making me salivate. Just me? Can't you smell that smokey flavor that is longing to be turned into a sauce and nice mild Mexican dish? Sad to say for some reason the serrano pepper plants keep dying. It is like the soil knows that is my favorite pepper and just wont acquiesce to my request to spring forth and multiply. Any suggestions out there in the gardening world?

Speaking of peppers... above the a shot looking down through a cut-out soda bottle onto some bell peppers. My mom threw a bunch of seeds in a whole and up sprouted 11 plants! She made me take all but the strongest out of the ground. I couldn't just leave 10 good little sprouts to die so I replanted them elsewhere in hopes that we will have tons of pepper plants and can roast and jar them to be used at a later date. We put the cut-up bottle over them for a few reasons. First, this helps warm the soil and plant which peppers love. Second, it makes a little terrarium which helps with the watering process. Third, and most important, it deters stupid evil grasshoppers from eating the young leave which they love and have been known to do. (Fact: grasshoppers are my least favorite bug of all time.) I really hope these little guys do well and that we are giving them the best chance possible.

Now for something sweet (and something my mom did all on her own)....cantaloupe melons!!! She has three cantaloupe melon plants growing; two she planted and one that was a volunteer. They are taking my advice and going forth and prospering. Look at the little guys! Man, I hope they get huge and that my mom turns them ever so often so that they grow well rounded! (Yes, I love puns.)

Aw, the Japanese eggplants...slowly growing, but doing well. For some reason the American eggplants are stunted. Perhaps this is due to the recent budge crisis? Okay, I will stop now before I spout off a 120-page dissertation on our current politics. But the eggplants are up and coming...

That is all for now folks. Any gardening advice is welcome if you see something I might need to know. Also, political comments are fun to read regardless of if I agree with you or not!!! Happy gardening and here's to a balanced budget!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Think About It Thursday

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them." - Michael Jordan

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aww nature

Nothing like going for a bike ride and on the way back snagging a few free figs from the neighborhood tree. (Community tree, I would never take fruits or vegetables from someones garden.) As I was munching into the fig I couldn't help but have a nerd alert and draw a similarity to the inside of a fig and a sea anemone. Pretty cool.

More in the fun science and nature genre, check out these sprouted cucumbers!
My sisters and I are continuing or hard-labor, I mean DSA (daughter supported agriculture) at my mother's house. Things are progressing and she even has a cool watering system down for her Japanese eggplants, beans, and cantaloupe. What made me really smile though were the cucumbers. Last time we were out there we wanted to plant something in a area we had de-weeded. My middle sister had wanted to plant zucchini but apparently we did not bring that set of seeds. So just for good measure I threw in some cucumber seeds. I was doubtful of them actually sprouting, but low and behold they fought through the heat and the nutrient depleted soil and are alive!

In other miraculous news, we usually take home a basket of lemons each time we leave my mother's house. Her lemon tree produces the best lemons I have ever had. Well I kept joking about planting a lemon tree back at our place. One day I come home and see pot of dirt sitting in the middle of our patio table. I asked my sister if I could put the soil back in the bag when she informed me she had taken one of the seeds from a lemon and planted it. We both started cracking up. That little pot has been sitting there and we water it every time we water out other edible plants, not because we really thought it would grow, but just to keep the joke alive. Again, my doubt was rebutted with the sprouting of our little lemon tree!!! (Lemon tree name still undecided.)Isn't it the cutest thing? Somehow growing a plant from seed is one of the most rewarding things to me.

"Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof." - Julie Moir Messervy