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The Cross and the Cleaver: One-Up

This is going to be a bit of a “rant” write-up. Please, forgive me. There will be a recipe in the end though.
I have found myself annoyed with language lately. Language around food and language around faith. The misleading advertising, the confusing ingredients, the attempts at shocking the audience (the faith seeker and the hungry alike). The statements of ultimate authority what is and isn’t “real” … recipe, faith, understanding of ingredients, understanding of faith, how to serve it, how to live it.

How much weirder is it going to get?” is the question I asked myself while looking at several food-themed posts on FB (and faith themed posts as well). There is a picture of a “Polish burger” whereby a patty’s garnish was a mound of delicious looking perogies, followed by “Ukrainian-style sushi roll” made of large sausage slices with cream-cheese wrapped around a dill-pickle.

I remember food ideas of Calgary Stampede©. Grilled crickets and cheese sandwich, accompanied by deep fried Cool-Aid© (because drinking it is sooooo last year). Deep fried butter topped it all, so to speak.

Then there is dining out. I am attracted to places offering “unpretentious (…) prairie cooking” or “not stuffy.” Until I read the menu. Cured egg yolks, grilled radicchio, unpronounceable cheese and meat, charred carrots, exotic spices. and smoked beets. Don’t get me wrong. It sounds and tastes delicious (yes, I tried most of it). I love for my eyes and tastebuds to be enticed and treated to such creations. I just don’t like it being downplayed.

I am thinking here of a quote from a British chef, Marco Pierre White: “we live in the age of refinement, not invention.” Which means various ingredients and recipes are being worked with, to be made better, tastier, maybe newer. Frequently though, in my opinion, they are not. They are not made simpler (not to be confused with simplistic), they are made weirder.

I confess to no longer being able to tell for sure the difference between which is the serious food exploration, and which is taking the proverbial “mickey” simply in hope of attracting customers. Same goes for the realm of faith. I keep wondering about the line between curiosity, unwavering certainty and doing things for sake of doing things. Both food and faith satisfy the hunger within us. The way we think about them and approach them matters.

All right, enough philosophy. I am getting hungry. So here is something easy, simple, and unpretentious … I hope.

RECIPE FOR TWO (double everything if/when needed):

Dust two sizeable, med-thick, pork chops with flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

Bring a frying pan to med-high heat, add a little oil, and fry the chops until golden brown (approx.3 min each side). Set them aside.

Throw into the pan a med-size onion, cut in half and then into slices. Use red onion if you want more colour. Sautee for about 5 min, then add one large apple (Gala or Ambrosia), cored, and cut into 8 wedges. Toss together for another 5 minutes.

Add the pork chops nestling them into onions and apples. Pour in ¼ cup of water or apple juice or white wine. Thow in a knob of butter. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. You can add few sprigs of rosemary and/or few leaves of sage if you like.

When porkchops are ready (145°F internal temp.) serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

You can deglaze the pan with splash of apple juice or wine or apricot brandy then thicken it with bit of butter and pour the sauce over the chops… or don’t bother.

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