3.13.2016

What's for Supper?

 It was just one of "those" days yesterday.  Torrential rain was coming down from morning 'til night, so Peggy occupied herself inside by catching up on sewing projects and such, so I said I'd cook supper. Pretty nice of me to say I would...but then I wondered: "what to cook?"
  So I stood there in front of the fridge with the door hanging open, just looking around in there, when I spied the pack of pork chops I'd already thawed out for the next day. I figured 'what the heck' I'll cook 'em now.
They were pretty chops I had scored on sale awhile back, so still not sure what I was really gonna do with them, I took 'em out, rinsed them off and plopped them on the cutting board, ("meat side" up to avoid getting lectured at again...I've learned...I've learned). 
    So, then, there they sat while I ruminated about what to do with 'em. I remembered that the last chops with this particular cut had come out a li'l dry and kinda tough on the bbq pit, so I decided I'd whack these ones into pieces and cook them in the ol' black iron pot to keep them tender.
First I trimmed off the fat and bones, then cut them up. I saved the trimmings and bones for doggy broth.
Peggy boils the scraps down then takes most of the fat off, leaving a broth that she puts on the dogs' dry food. They love the extra flavor and it's better than just chunking it all into the trash, since, heck, we paid good money for it.  
    In the old days, my Mama would fry a piece of that fat and use it to season her pot, but now we try to be a li'l healthier so we just use a spoon of veggie oil instead.
    Those of you who know me, pretty much know what's coming next: to the pork I added our own blend of Cajun spices, Crystal Hot Sauce and Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce . This combination is what Peg calls the "usual suspects", all gluten free, of course.  
While the pork sizzled away in the black iron pot, it started smelling like "home" around here, so to complete the mood, I  'fired up da jukebox' with some good ol' Friday night music. Now we're talkin'!
Back at task, I rough cut a couple of big yellow onions.
As I was rakin' them into the pot, Peggy sashayed out into the kitchen, grabbed me around the waist and started swaying to the beat of the song that was playing.  Giving the pot a quick stir  and joinin' Peg in the middle of the kitchen, we slow danced while the wonderful Cajun smells and music swirled all around us. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! 
 After a few songs, Peg went back to her sewing project and I went back to tending the pot.
    The pork and onions cooked down and began to brown, but I still hadn't decided what in I the heck was cooking.
    From this point, I could go in a lot of different directions, including to just let it cook down a li'l more and serve it over rice. Then, one of my favorite childhood dishes came to mind! I decided to make 'pork and beans'.  No, not what you normally think of, like the beans in a can in a red catsup sauce, but the old Cajun version of pork...and...beans.
    I ferreted a pound of dried great northern white beans out of the cupboard (no Cajun pantry should ever be without an assortment of dried beans) sorted and washed them, dumped them into the pot and covered them with water, turned the music up a li'l and opened me a beer, relieved that now I knew what I was cookin' for sure.
  The beans simmered for almost two hours while I cleaned up my cutting board and knife and such, checked on Peggy, piddled with my laptop in the kitchen, writing some more on our second book, "Space Freighter: Exigent, Oer", caught up on different forums and Face Book, and all the while enjoying the music, the whir of the sewing machine in the background and the aroma of memories long ago from my grandmother's kitchen wafting throughout the house. 
 Peg came by occasionally for a hug and a bit of barefoot kitchen cuddling and swaying some more to the music.
  A couple of hours later, I added some chopped bell pepper and green onions, then put on a pot of rice to cookin'.
The greens "cooked in" while the rice steamed. When everything was cooked, I turned off the stove; let the pots 'settle', while I relaxed with a beer or two before supper, then had Peg plate it up.
This is Cajun pork and beans, along with one of the coleslaws that Peg makes. I was probably about 12  years old before I discovered  that this wasn't what the rest of the world meant when they said, "pork and beans". If you give this "recipe" a try, I promise you you will never look at a can of pork and beans the same way again.
A lot of 'ingredients' went into turning one of "those" days into a wonderful meal. So...that's what was for supper!
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