Thursday, October 10, 2013

Did she make that for US?!" :) (Revised - added original pulled pork recipe)

bacon

I had planned to put a couple of pork roasts in the crock pot at 2am this past Sunday morning so that I could have the pulled pork ready for son's 25th birthday party being celebrated later that afternoon, but got a bit sidetracked when I decided that adding a certain salad to the menu would be nice too.  And this salad required crumbled cooked bacon.  Son also called to ask if he could bring two friends home to sleep over that he felt shouldn't be driving and I said it sounded like a good idea and I'll set up for them.

The bacon had been simmering on low for awhile when they walked in. I was in another room when I heard one of his friends exclaim, "BACON!  Did she make that for US?!"   Ha ha!  Sure ...I always make bacon when company walks in at 2:45 am.  Especially when I'm in the middle of cooking for a party. :) 

I also had been burning my breakfast candle because I haven't bought my fall candles yet and this candle smells like the best breakfast with everything cooking but the bacon ...except I happened to have been cooking that too.  Ha ha.  No wonder they were congregating at the stove.  Ha!  Even in the morning when older son drops the kids off ...if I have that candle burning ...he always looks over at the stove to see what I'm cooking.   It reminds me of cinnamon french toast, pancakes, and eggs.  (It's a really nice candle, that I buy from my friend Marlene's store - Marlene's Country Closet in West Milford, NJ. :)

So ...I walked into the kitchen in time to see him lifting 2 pieces right out of the HOT bacon grease and into his mouth and was going to stop him - but too late.  I don't know how he did not get burned ...I mean HOT GREASE and not even drained on a paper towel.  But he was alright.

Seeing how they were all standing around the cooked bacon ...I asked if they'd like me to make them breakfast.  They all said no, but their eyes said yes and so I said, "You know what?  I'm making breakfast for you.  Go and I'll call you when it's ready."
 
Honestly, I was so tired at that point and knees hurting because I had been shopping and up and about all day.  And if I hadn't sidetracked with making that involved salad, the pork would've been in the crock pot and I'd be in bed. That being said, I decided to surprise them with a full breakfast.

They were so surprised when they sat down to pretty table settings, with a full platter of cooked bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs along with sliced, buttered hard rolls that had also been toasted in the oven (jelly and apple butter on the table) and fruit cups, using the bowl of fresh fruit I had bought earlier.  The only thing missing was the juice and that was only because we didn't have any.   It warmed my heart when they each gave a hearty, "THANK YOU!", as they sat down.  I told them  they all seemed so hungry.  One of the friends said, "Yeah but nobody's ever done THIS before!"  I thought, Awww mission accomplished!   And one of son's friends wants to reciprocate with a surprise dessert and was asking me what we liked.  That was so sweet of him, no pun intended.  I had never met him before, but  he's obviously a thoughtful guy.

I think the best part was the gleam and surprise in son's eyes when I first offered to cook for them.  When he was still in high school, he told me his friends thought I was a cool mom.  Ha ha.  We just always opened our house up to their friends and fed them.  There were rules but it wasn't a Gestapo environment either.  I actually miss those days and so I suppose a little of that inspired me to want to feed them too.  Plus ...I just like doing those kinds of things for people.  But ..it meant a lot to me to do this for son ...and his friends ...in the moment too.

So ...while they were talking and eagerly eating up their breakfast, I finished preparing the food.  Needless to say ...I went to bed when the birds were rising.  The guys in the house woke up to the wonderful aroma of pork roasting.  Oh and son and his friends were so funny when they heard their would be pulled pork for the party.  The all exclaimed, "OHHH ... pulled PORK!", with manly excitement.  Even Mr SeaSpray looked like his eyes were glazing over with love once the carnivore in him saw the roasts on the platter. 

I also made a ziti and some other vegetable dishes.  And we had a fun afternoon celebrating our youngest son's 25 birthday.  Wow ...how did a quarter of a century go by so quickly?  Seriously?  Seems like yesterday that I was holding him in my arms in the maternity unit while looking outside the window at the spectacular fall view.  So many flowers surrounding me, the pediatrician thought it looked like a wedding in there and visitors all wishing us a happy life filled with blessings.  So many blessings ...so many milestones passed ...such joy raising him ...and now it's been 25 years.  Wow.

Thank you God.  :)
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We loved this pork recipe - so easy and a keeper.

I have an oval crock pot and so I used 2 pork roasts since I couldn't find the size I wanted and because I wanted to be sure to have enough for company. Also added an extra onion and clove of garlic.  I didn't have cumin or kosher salt and so substituted sea salt.  It was so tender and delicious that the guys all kept coming by to take some wile I was separating it to put back in the pot. 

The following is the original recipe:

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
  3. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.

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