What. A. Day.
Where to start. Well, first off I GOT A JOB! And it’s in the food industry, how lucky! I will have my “first day” tomorrow, and then I’ll officially start next week. So today was my last day of unemployment (since Thursday and Friday I will be technically employed, just not at the office). I will explain more about the job later. The only bummer is that I was excited to introduce myself to new people as a “kept woman” and John as a “scholar”. Oh well, the sacrifices we make for insurance.
Being that this is my last “free” day, I made a list of things to do:
- Go grocery shopping (check)
- Go to the gym (check)
- Go for a run (non-check, to busy cooking!)
- Make a big Fall-y meal (check)
- Watch trashy reality television I have DVR’d (check and CHECK)
Well, Meijer had a HUGE sale, and I ended up beating my previous savings in one trip by over $10! I saved over $34 with coupons and sales. I felt like an extreme coupon-er, but not really because I’m not crazy. Since I got a job I decided to celebrate in the best way: buying Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper…with Aloe! I’ll have to smoke a cigar every time I’m in the bathroom now to really live the good life. I also decided to throw caution to the wind and buy a full gallon of apple cider rather than just the half since I needed 1 C for a recipe I made tonight. Fun Fact: the majority of apples that go into cider are grown in China. True story!
But anyhoo, on to the cooking. I decided to make the following items for a Fall feast not to be forgotten:
- Quick Cabbage With Mustard Seeds – Big Girls Small Kitchen
- Olive Oil, Caramelized Onion, and Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Food52
- Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Fennel and Apple – Big Girls Small Kitchen
Yes, one full onion went into each dish. Thank goodness I wear contacts, so I can slice onions all the livelong day. Cider Braised Pork Shoulder. I know right?! This took about 2 hour of simmering’ so I started that first. And the 100% American apples that went into this were the one, the only, Honeycrisp. mmmm
I must add, while I was peeling the apples I was browning the pork, and hey, wouldn’t you know it, the smoke alarm goes off. What do I do? I run around my house, slipping about in my running socks (with left toe sticking out of sock because hey, good running socks are expensive, and I’m not giving them up without a fight) trying to furiously wave a kitchen towel in front of the detector to clear up the air around it. It was…an ordeal.
Once the imminent threat of fire had subsided, I simmered my stew, took in some Real Housewives of New York, and then prepared to finish the rest of the meal armed with a soundtrack of Greensky Bluegrass (again, Kalamazoo favorite). While I was preparing the cabbage, it happend. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now, especially with the amount of cooking I’ve been doing lately. I sliced the hell out of my thumb. I was coring the cabbage and while pulling the knife out of the heart of the head my thumb was right in it’s path. I. Felt. Everything. Luckily I pulled my hand away fast enough so no blood got on the food, but…man did it bleed. My first thought was “Oh my god I’m going to need stitches! I don’t have insurance! I’m going to have to amputate my thumb!” Then I slapped myself in the face, grabbed myself by the shoulders and said “Get a hold of yourself man!” (not really) and ran cold water over it. When it started bleeding less, I wrapped it up tightly, and went right back to a’cooking. I felt like I was in a Top Chef challenge (you know, like when Fabio cut his hand…just like that, except with zero skill and charm). Do you know how hard it is to not use a thumb? Thank you evolution.
With the use of my right thumb out of commission, and the many many tasks I had going on at once (I was using all four burners at once!) I didn’t have time to stop and take more pictures, so for that I apologize.
Once the burners were turned off, and a proper bandage was affixed to my thumb, I was able to take a breath, and a taste of what I had created. Boom. Diggety. Wow, so great! And each dish goes so well with the others!
Now let’s let everyone have their moment in the sun:
Alright, let’s get a close up of that delicious stew:
I am extremely uncomfortable based on how much of this meal is inside of me right now, but I’m so glad I was able to make this today. It was the prefect last “I have no job and therefore have all the time in the world…someone please give me something to do!” meal. I am very excited to see how this blog transforms now that I will be working, because I have no intention of stopping the culinary genius that is inside of me. Too dramatic? I thought so.
And the last piece of amazing news: I received my canning equipment today! I’m hoping to have some pasta sauces and salsas ready to be canned before the weekend!