Monday, July 23, 2012


The seller of the house we bought included a very nice perk:  all appliances except dishwasher.  (And microwave, but I hate microwaves and haven't had one since 2009.)  The washer and dryer are old but reliable, and the fridge and stove were brand-new, stainless, and beautiful. 

Isn't my pup so cute?  I'm biased I know.

After we did some initial work running new electrical wiring, we installed a new plug for the stove and moved it.  This took about two weeks, during which I was entirely oven- and stove-less.  So, all meals were either cold or grilled.  I was so ready to have my oven back. 

Finally, we got the stove plugged in, and I cooked my morning eggs for the first time in weeks.  That night, I wanted to roast a chicken.  I turned the oven on to preheat.  Twenty minutes later, it still hadn't indicated that it was hot.  I opened the door, expecting that hot cloud of air that puffs into your face.  Nothing.  It was cold inside.  Seriously?

Turns out the bottom heating coil is broken.  It's not hard or expensive, but we are in the midst of so many other renovations and such around the house that it just hasn't been done yet.  So now my options are:  cold food, stovetop food, or grilled food.

Considering this is the hottest summer in a long time across the whole nation, it's not such a bad thing.  I don't love the idea of a hot box competing with my AC on a broiling evening. 

We have begun an amazing new program with local farmers where we receive eggs, cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables every week.  I will post more about this at a later date, because it deserve a whole discussion of its own.  We received a 2-pound pork roast last week, and I decided to make pulled pork out of it.  Here's what I did:

Pulled Pork
2-3 pound pork roast
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
2 T honey
2 T cider vinegar
1 C chicken stock, plus more as needed

Put all ingredients into a Dutch oven and bring to a boil.  Drop heat to a bare simmer.  You want the temp to stay around 200 degrees.  Let it cook for about six hours.  If the liquid level gets low, add more stock.  After six hours, test the meat - does it shred easily with a fork?  It's ready.  If not, leave it for another hour.  When it's done, remove the meat onto a cutting board.  Pull it apart with your hands or two forks.  Drop the meat back into the cooking liquid and serve as is or on rolls.

I served the pulled pork with a vinegar slaw (1/2 head shredded green cabbage, 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C vinegar, 1 T salt - toss and let it sit for awhile) and a warm potato salad:

1 lb small potatoes, boiled until tender and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 t honey
1 t dry mustard
2 T cider vinegar
1/3 C olive oil
1 t salt
dill, if you have it

Whisk together honey, mustard, vinegar, salt and dill.  Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking to create an emulsified dressing.  Toss the potatoes with half the dressing while they're warm.  Let them sit for half an hour or so, until ready to serve.  Toss with the remaining dressing. 

Yum.  The pork, cabbage, potatoes, garlic and honey all came from Middle Tennessee farmers.  That makes everything taste extra-delicious to me.

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