Props and Probs: Food Funk

Dateline end of June, early July 2012:  Somewhere outside Cheney, WA

After the busiest two weeks of the year at my job were finally over, I thought I would be free to create some awesome dinners.  Instead, I thought most were pretty dud-y.  So, as part of my self-flagellation, I thought I’d review the last five dinners with commentaries about what went wrong (or right in a few cases).  I can see that part of my problem is that I have two freezers filled with pork products, and I’m not digging far enough to unearth the other yummy things in there.  Time to re-organize the freezers!  The other big problem is that I put off doing dinner until too late and still trying to experiment with kohlrabi fries at 8 pm.  Quel dommage!

FRIDAY:  collards with bacon, chicken and dumplings.

  • Props:  incredibly delicious, no fuss meal was easy to make, home grown collards, made lots of leftovers.
  • Probs:  store bought bacon and chicken not as good as home grown, made lots of leftovers.
  • Reasons:  ran out of home-cured bacon, lack of planning to defrost whole home grown chicken in advance.

SATURDAY:  tossed salad with kohlrabi and other veggie goodies, parmesan toast, BBQ pork ribs, cherry/rhubarb cobbler.

  • Props:  balanced, home raised pork, tried something new from the garden (kohlrabi), awesome cobbler used my farmer supplied cherries and homegrown rhubarb.
  • Probs:  off-taste to pork, ribs not juicy, forgot to serve the cobbler (but ate it for breakfast the next day).
  • Reasons:  should have completely brined the ribs the day before; I just used an apple cider brine for about an hour, which was not enough; poor planning—started dinner tooooo late and I got impatient waiting for the ribs to cook, so I cranked up the oven; spent most of the day making furikaki chex mix and cherry jam, both of which were yummy.

SUNDAY:  chorizo and red bean chili, big salad with toms, onions, and avocado.

  • Props:   balanced, home raised pork, lots of greens, red beans (from dried) were perfectly cooked, made good lunch leftovers.
  • Probs:  off-taste to chorizo (I was the only one who thought this), tomatoes in the chili did not break down.
  • Reasons:  underspiced, canned tomatoes should have been pureed in food processor prior.

MONDAY:  ham and cheese sandwiches (tomatoes, onions and lettuce) on Kaiser rolls with kohlrabi oven fries and chili/yogurt dipping sauce.

  • Props:  very easy, tried something new, yogurt dressing was tasty.
  • Probs:  boooring, kohlrabi fries were soggy even if tasty.
  • Reasons:  too many carbs, used too much oil in the pan with kohlrabi, oven not hot enough.

TUESDAY:  pork steaks in teriyaki marinade with red peppers, white rice, steamed artichokes with homemade lemon mayonnaise.

  • Props: home raised pork, used up leftover peppers, meat cooked to medium-rare/medium just right and tender, rice nice and fluffy, mayo was excellent and plenty for leftovers.
  • Probs:  bland rice, bland chokes, not enough sauce on the meat, served too late in the evening.
  • Reasons: lack of planning; spent most of the evening walking around outside and enjoying the weather; had a piece of fresh picnic ham that would have taken too long to roast, so I cut it into steaks; chokes were just not quality—note to self to stop buying stuff that has been picked 2 weeks ago and grown 2 states away;  rice would have been fine with more sauce.  OMG, are we having pork again!?

There are no pictures with this post.  The ingredients wanted to remain anonymous to protect their reputation.

(I know, the feature image has food dated 2013!  You caught me!  Artistic license.  You can see I have the same problem one year later:  lots of pork products at the front of the freezer.  I’m doomed.)

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