Sunday, April 29, 2007

Prepping for a Remarkable Encounter with Churchhill

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
- Sir Winston Churchill -

Despite all the earnestness of last Summer's determination to raise a pig this Spring (and my hopes to name him Churchill and feed him whey), we don't have a pig. The project, alas, has lost momentum.

Fortunately the enthusiasm is still alive and well. Ok, that may be a bit of a stretch too. But the resource library for the project is doing well.

Therefore, I'm glad to report to my Walk-the-Pig Committee (which, if you allow me my soapbox, I must sadly exclaim became simply too far stretched out across the State of Alaska this Winter and you are sorely missed 'round these here parts), the arrival of its most recent addition. I should also report that I expect the imminent arrival of the next addition - Jane Grigson's book on charcuterie and French pork cookery.

Do we get credit, dear The Magistrate's Wife, for this purposeful collection in anticipation of the day that our project actually gets underway? Would it help to show our Churchillian progress if I finally got around to posting about that slab of Oregon bacon (seriously, an honest to goodness slab of it - what fun to be surprised at the A.C.!) that was braised in boxed wine and the vinegars you gifted (with a few dried cherries and bay leaves from my pantry and, of course, the requisite lemon zest) and that turned out so delicious - so surprisingly so - that I'll probably be guilty of telling my future grandchildren that it was this 8 hour braised slab of bacon (an Oregon slab of bacon, by the by) that prompted...........? Oh goodness, for the sake of propriety, I can't finish that sentence. I'm trying to avoid the post-modern conundrum of mass-generated announcements, at least until I find a way to relay the excitement in a more one-on-one way to a few more people.

(Just to stir up some extra inducement, I'll preview with the confession that I did actually cartwheel of glee myself right into the mud of the Kuskokwim River. Muddy, giddy, and pork blessed. Oh the glee of it all!)


Team Wilco said...

Your Dedication to Pork:

Yes, you get some nice extra credit points from your fellow member of the Walk-The-Pig Committee. And thanks for capitalizing my title, although my full name is The New Magistrates Wife. But TMW will do, too. All these cartwheels over the braised slab o' bacon really make a girl want to slip one in the oven, but alas I don't believe I have ever laid eyes on a "slab" at the local grocery store (or any other grocery store for that matter). I believe you're going to need to take the proverbial leap, get the pig, grow up some nice slabs and send one down here. Get to can do it!! How's that for encouragement? In all seriousness, with your dedication to pork, and it's potential magical powers, it seems a pet pig should be in your near future.

In your honor, we've been cooking up some pig ourselves. Here's a tasty recipe courtesy of the trusty Junior League Centennial Cookbook for a Cinnamon pork tenderloin (delicious the first night and also very tasty as sandwiches the next day):

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt (I left that out)
2 tablespoons sherry (you'd think that living on a "wet" island I'd have some sherry in the cupboard, but alas I used the very last 2 tablespoons of some Franzia boxed wine...albeit without actually resorting to cutting open the box)
1 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp lemon juice (and I suppose lemon zest if you so desire and I imagine you do)

Place pork in roasting pan, mix up the juice, stir well and pour over meat. Bake for 45 minutes at 325, basting frequently.


And congratulations once again on your bacon slabbed giddiness.

Aileen said...

Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin! What an honour indeed! I've been casing the stores to give it a try but so far have found no tenderloins, at one, and Oregon raised but sadly universally expired tenderloins, at the other. Sigh. But fear not, dear TNMW, I'll find a tenderloin one way or other. Or it will be the most gracefully aromatized pork shoulder EVER! As for cooking with the 'Franz whilst living on a wet island, I have to chuckle and will probably add it to my informal list of habits and traits that this damp island may permanantly influence. In Fairbanks, as another example, we went to a reception for the Alaska Innocence Project. It was a beautiful evening. An inspirational speaker standing outside a log cabin next to freshly Spring-thawed river bank. There was a lively breeze rushing through trees, just a smidgen too weak to be actual wind but strong enough to feel like the Fates were playing with your hair. A grill. Good people. A whole gaggle of them! And while I eventually wrestled my mind away from ruminations over the perpetually-flushing broken toilet in the cabin (seriously - it just kept flushing in one big, never-ending roar of flushes), it was hard. The thought of so many gallons of water being wasted was so distressing. I confess. My first instict was to call 9-1-1! I didn't call 9-1-1 because a broken toilet was unconscionably wasting gallons of water. But that's when I started working on my informal list of habits and traits that this damp island may permanantly influence.

Will you post your recipe for Aleutian Bonanza Fish Chowder?

p.s. Many thanks for the congratulations. And I think I will most definitely toss in some lemon zest.