LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, TX
WEATHER: Cool (38) in AM warming to 68
CLASSES: Chair yoga and 2 water aerobics
I had to put on an extra jacket to do my early AM walk. The dog I mentioned yesterday was again sitting in the exact same place he was yesterday, at full alert. I looked at him more closely and saw that he didn’t have a collar on. I got a little teary thinking that he is a stray (as there are a lot around here). He just sat there sitting straight up with a longing gaze in his eyes. He wasn’t interested in me at all. Just then, a car pulled up. It was the man who farms the land there. The dog went ecstatic with excitement. The farmer opened the gate and the two happily reunited. I think the farmer must leave the dog at the farm overnight to keep watch, and then comes in the mornings to work in his fields and to feed and play with the dog. Happy ending!
The swimming pool water was VERY cold, as the nights have been in the 30s. Only one other person braved the cool air temp and the COLD water for water aerobics classes with me. Would’t you know….we are both from Minnesota!
The neighbors across the street from us are adding a shed, like we have. The builder has a home-made barrel system to use to pour the concrete, rather than using one of the commercial, larger kind. The builder is a local Mexican-American guy who has sort of a monopoly on building these sheds in our community. He has two adopted mentally-challenged sons who help him out. They had Christmas music blaring while they worked. It is kind of incongrous to hear “Frosty the Snowman” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” in the bright, warm sunshine.
The excitement of the day was selling two of the 6 BBQ grills that George has acquired. He didn’t get any interest from the Retama Village Buy and Sell Facebook group, so placed the ad locally. He immediately started getting responses. The most serious potential buyer texted him with the question….”Hablas espanol?” So, I continued the text conversation with him. It was fun! He did end up buying it and picking it up.
We are now down to 3 grills plus a firepit. George grilled our porkchop tonight on the firepit as it was full of papers and wood that needed to be used.
DINNER: Another Jacques Pepin entree:
PORK CHOPS WITH ZESTY SAUCE
1/4 cup water
3 T chili sauce (I used harissa)
1 tsp Tabasco
2 tsp soy sauce
1 teaspn A1 steak sauce
4 lean boneless pork chops
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c chopped onion
1/3 minced scallions
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
For the sauce – just mix everything together in a bowl
For the chops – Heat the oven to 180 degrees (for warming once cooked)
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet until hot. Spinkle the meat with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Arrange meat on an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven.
Add the vinegar to the drippings in the skillet and cook over high heat for about 1 minute. Add onions, scallions, garlic, and tomato and cook for about 2 minutes over high heat. Add the sauce and boil for another 2 minutes over high heat. Stir in the olives and any juices the meat has rendered, and bring back to a boil. Coat the chops with the sauce and serve immediately. (Serves 4).
We really liked this. I modified it a bit…..First I cooked the meat only about 2 minutes per side in the butter and oil. Then, we moved the meat to the firepit and finished cooking the chops over an open fire – gave it a bit more smoky flavor and grill marks. Then, I proceeded with the recipe.
Sides were salads and a baked sweet potato.