Archive | September, 2011

So Good to be Back!

29 Sep

Aaaaaand, we’re back. I can’t believe it has been over a month since the last post…..and that wasn’t even a pork recipe. I’m ashamed of myself.

Well, the long pause in pork shoulder recipes comes after a much needed 15-day vacation to Nantucket. This summer has been crazy. Christian was laid off in March and the past few months have been full of highs and lows, a real rollercoaster. There were a few jobs that were right at the tips of his fingers, but then they were snatched away. Right before our trip we were both at our breaking points. My stress was two-fold: I am working a job that is completely frustrating on so many levels, and I was constantly worrying about what we were going to do if Christian didn’t get a job.

The break was absurdly helpful, mostly because I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, I played a few hands of bridge during Hurricane Irene, read some books and attempted to fish, but that was about it. The bulk of the vacation involved laying on a beach, some socializing with family and friends, and lots of eating. For the most part, I decided that I would shut off most sections of my brain in an attempt to achieve total relaxation. I am pretty sure I succeeded, considering when I returned to work I sort of forgot what I did. What a great feeling.

Now, the one part of the brain I didn’t shut off was the part that is associated with pork, of course. I guess the most mentally exhaustive thing I did while away was try to brainstorm new recipes for this site. Thanks to not only the vast amount of free time I had, but also to my Mother-In-Law who had a great magazine that happened to have a few delicious looking pork shoulder recipes in it, as well as the restaurant American Seasons. My first night in town, and what do I do? Order the most fabulous pork dish: Grilled Berkshire Loin of Pork with Crispy Pork Shoulder, creamy grits, red eye gravy and Mission Figs. Ummm, not only was the pork about 6″ thick, but the crispy pork nugget was unreal. Seriously, any place with a pig on it’s logo/sign is definitely going to be amazing. If you are ever on the island, you must go here.

Courtesy of the Boston Globe

So, I’m ready to take Fall on with a vengeance. Christian has an exciting consulting opportunity. I’m refreshed and, while still not excited about my job, definitely less stressed than I’ve been in years. Some sort of clarity fell over me out on the Gray Lady, which may be a result of still not having activated all areas of my brain. But that is okay – I don’t need it all anyway.

Tonight I’m cooking a new recipe that I’m very excited about, and will be testing it on our usual guinea pigs, John and Lynn. The menu: Roast Pork Shoulder Stuffed with Figs and Caramelized Onions; Grilled Carrots with Brown Butter Vinaigrette; Rosemary Roasted & Mashed Potatoes; Mixed Greens with Toasted Walnut and Thyme Vinaigrette. The pork was definitely inspired, in part, by the meal at American Seasons. We’ll see how it goes. When we got back, Christian and I realized that since I hadn’t cooked in so long, I somewhat lost my touch. Have no fear, all I need is a little pork shoulder to get it all back.

Stay tuned!

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