Sunday, February 28, 2010

These aren’t your Dad’s porkchops! (Darn it, they aren’t my old man’s either…)

My Saturday pork chops  

Recently I was glancing through Reminisce, one of the few magazines I enjoy.  It's a nostalgic publication consisting of various essays and photos from other readers of "days gone by", along with vintage advertisements and old recipes.  Stuff like "Hearty Ham Loaf", "Grandma's Molasses Balls", and "Amelia Earhart's Keep 'Em Flying Shoofly Pie", to name a few.

One recipe caught my attention though, when it started out with "My dad only cooked one dish when we were growing up, these tangy tomato porkchops".  What?  My dad had one specialty dish too--tomato pork chops!  (I've been attempting to duplicate these for years, without much success).   Every few months, he'd load up the big roaster with a dozen or so chops, pour on some tomato concoction & several hours later we'd be enjoying one of my favorite meals.  They literally melted in your mouth. 

Dad chopping up salad


Dad's nightly dinner ritual was chopping up stuff for salad; I still feel 'like a barbarian' every time I sit down to dinner without a salad on the table... 


I know, I know; I'm writing about pork chops?  This is what happens when a) you have yet ANOTHER big winter storm that just socked you in  b) enjoy talking about food and c) enjoy waxing nostalgic about the past.  Especially if it's about past food.  So after realizing I had all the ingredients to make this dish, I decided I'd give it a try.

"Not My Dad's Tomato Pork Chops"

Brown 1 inch-thick boneless chops in a tablespoon of oil.  Drain, set aside chops.  In a separate bowl, mix 8 oz tomato sauce, one tablespoon of Worchestire, 1/4 teaspoon celery salt, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, a dash of nutmeg (what?), pinch of red pepper.  Blend thoroughly, bring to a boil, reduce heat & add the chops, cover & simmer for around 30 minutes. 

I knew right away this wasn't my dads recipe, but it still sounded tasty.  And as you can see from the photo above, they turned out okay, but I think this sauce would've been much better for meatballs.  (I was surprised how much I enjoyed it on the potatoes though.)

Ru Paul's Drag Race


And as long as we're on the subject, this isn't exactly your Dad’s TV either...

So I'm sitting here eating my porkchops in front of the tv, and I can faintly hear laughter from the apartment next door.  My neighbor has his tv on & I wonder what's so funny.  I begin switching the channels, trying to match the same sound coming from his--I'm successful, and it's something called "Ru Paul's Drag Race" on the Logo Channel.   What the heck is this, and what the heck is Logo?  Am I the last person to discover there's a gay cable channel devoted to marathon episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", drag queen competitions & coming out stories? 

I watched 2 episodes of  "Coming Out", where closeted gays prepare to tell their families and loved ones their big secret.  In theory it sounds like a good premise, but for some reason I felt oddly uncomfortable watching the parents reactions. 

Karen is gay"I know this will kill my mother, but she has a terminal illness & I'll be so happy if she knows I'm a lesbian before she goes!" 


Thankfully, her mom took it okay.  (Unlike the Jamaican man who watched his dad cry when he told him, and later said "I'm not happy, this didn't exactly turn out as I'd hoped."   I felt sorry for the guy, but appreciated them showing that every "coming out" was not going to be a cause for celebration.)

And on that happy note, I'd better close this up & do some coming out of my own; my car's been half buried in the snow for a couple weeks now & I need to get out of this apartment, do some grocery shopping & visit my own family!

   Music by the Syd Dale Orchestra, "Swingin' Supper Sounds"

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