I grew up in
the south where all meat was fried with gravy on the side.
Since my wife
and I have been together, I do most of the cooking. She makes a good meatloaf, and once a year a
pineapple up-side-down cake for my birthday.
But she lets me think that I am
the better cook.
The famous Cajun cook, Justin Wilson, usually
started his dishes with ‘the trinity’ – onions, celery and garlic. I use ‘the trinity’ as the base for much of
But there is
another combination I like for pork: that is equal parts of sauté onion and
story behind this.
Back when my
wife and I attended college we took a summer course attending a week of living
history at the famous Norlands Farm in Livermore, Maine. The farm was the home of the Washburn family
during the eighteen-hundreds.
The day you
arrived at the farm you attended a lecture about the people living at the farm
during that era; you were given a persona; and then you walked up the hill to
the graveyard and located your grave. During
the following week you lived and worked as that person: Men attended the
livestock, milked the cows and worked in the fields - women did women’s work. We lived by lamplight at night and used the outhouse
in the barn when we had to go – except during the night, there was a chamber pot
under the bed. For one day, during the
stay, men swapped their persona with the women: attending the kitchen garden, washing,
cooking and cleaning, sewing… All the meals were cooked on a wood stove - prepared
from an old 1800’s cook book. One of
the evening meals was liver smothered in onions and apples. After working a day in the fields, it was
At the end
of the week we had to select a subject, do a research and write a paper on some
local historical happening during the 1800’s.
We would not receive our grade until the research paper was turned in
and graded by the Norlands history professor.
During our four years of college, my
wife and I lived in an old 1832 farmhouse, with no electricity, no indoor
facilities and no running water. We grew
a food garden, studied by lamplight at night and heated with firewood. We actually felt like we had come up in time
at the Norlands; because they had a pump in the kitchen for water, and at home
we carried our water for bathing and cooking from the stream behind the house.
Though I do
make onions and apples with a lot of pork meals, for cooking pork chops in the
slow cooker I sauté onions and then add applesauce, season one side of the chops with Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic, and cook them on high for four hours then turn
them to low for the last three hours.
They are tender and delicious.