What to cook when you’d rather knit

Saturday, Ginni and I went up to La Plata to teach Reading Your Knitting.  It was a wonderful class, but I knew I’d be gone all day and would probably end up getting home late, so I wanted something that would be ready for dinner basically when I walked in the door.  This is typically a crock pot kind of day. 

Most of you already know that in addition to being very particular about my yarn, I’m a foodie and I love to cook.  That being said, I’m a Southern girl at heart, and I love me some good pork.  I like it rich and fatty and cooked till it’s falling of the bone,  Richmond barbecue style, y’know.  I’ve used pork shoulder, but there was always too much fat left in it – even for me!  Switched to boneless pork loin but that was always dry unless I drowned it in barbecue sauce.  My kids liked that, but I want to taste the meat.  My mother, who’s addicted to Food TV, mentioned an episode in which Anne Burrell had made barbecue from a Boston Butt cooked in the oven for 9 hours at 225 degrees.   She said it looked delicious, and she doesn’t even really like pork. 

So I got a big old pork shoulder, rubbed it with the spices and put it in the pan with a beer, just like Anne said.  I asked my darling husband if he would turn it over every two hours, which he agreed to do.  When I got home, the house smelled like heaven (that is what heaven smells like to a pork addicted southern girl) and even the boys were ready.  I made up a little sauce, but the drippings from the pan were really all you needed.  Bought some mini buns and threw together a little coleslaw and we had barbecue sliders.

Honestly, this was the best pork I have ever put in my mouth.  I would eat this all day long.  It was so simple too – the perfect thing to make when  you want your family to think you slaved all day when actually you were just sitting around knitting and waiting for the pork to cook.  Think how knitting you could get done if every dinner was this easy! 

Comfort food

Elizabeth, my DD has quickly found the goodness of French café food in Grenoble.  She sent me a picture of a croque-monsieur she had the other day, and I was jealous – it’s one of my favorites.  Chef Loic at Café des Artistes in Leonardtown makes the best I’ve ever had.  Friday afternoons at the shop, we often order in lunch from the Café, and croque-monsier (avec frites, bien sûr) is a popular pick.  These decadent treats are so huge that two of us often share one – it is only lunch, after all.  I could probably eat one by myself, but then I wouldn’t want dinner and my family would be, um, rather disappointed. 

I haven’t had a croque in quite a while.  I’ve been good, ordering a house salad — sometimes with a salmon fillet on top.  Loic’s perfectly cooked salmon and delicious mustard vinaigrette keep it from feeling like you’re being good, but I digress.  So I want a croque monsier at home – I want to share it with my family.   Tonight, I’m thinking it’s perfect for an early pre-pro-bowl dinner.  Here’s the recipe I’m going to use.  I have gruyère cheese in the fridge and am headed out for some Black Forest Ham.  Do you think fries would be over the top?  Yeah – might as well go for broke. 

Then I’m going to sit and knit my Bedouin Bag, and try not to think about calories and cholesterol.