Tag Archives: food

Co-Opting the Rainbow

Oreos love gay people?  Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Oreo love gay people? Sorry, I’m not buying it.

Yay Oreo, you’ve won gay marketing ploy of the week award!

Seriously, those who think they’ll be boycotting Oreos are stupid bigots.  1. Oreos are so addictive you’ll be begging for one by next week.  Even 1 Million Moms stopped just short of an official boycott.  Why? Not because they’re not bigots (they are asking followers to write stern letters to Kraft), but because they know their little brats will be screaming at the grocery store for them.  Seriously, those cookies are addictive!  2. Love the list here on Upworthy of all some of the Kraft foods you’d have to boycott if you want to truly make a stance.

At first glance, I think it’s great that large corporations have turned around and are “supporting” the LGBTQ community, but then I realize it feels a lot more like co-opting the Pride message.  These companies are unfazed by boycotters not because they’ve truly decided to finally stand on some moral high ground, but because they’ve realized that we’ve reached a tipping point in America in support of LGBTQ equal rights, and/or more likely perhaps someone at their agency showed them statistics on the disposable income of LGBTQ persons.  Am I cynical, yes.  If companies wanted to show their true support of the LGBTQ community, they would run their Pride campaigns and commit to giving a portion of their proceeds back to the community instead of simply exploiting it.  (See Bitch’s Douchebag Decree: American Apparel and Target from earlier this month.)

Speaking of boycotting Kraft products, I can think of some other reasons why you actually should boycott.  Oh how about GMOs, poor labor practices, unfair trade (including the use of child slave harvested cocoa in US Cadbury products). So progressive folks, let’s not let the proverbial rainbow colored wool be pulled over our eyes here. Instead, why not tell Kraft that you appreciate them reaching a hand out to the LGBTQ community (even if it is reaching for your wallet), but even so, you still don’t feel comfortable buying their products until they address these other important issues. The company’s website gives list of Kraft’s largest brands.

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MeggieKate’s Amazing Pulled Pork

I’ve had a delectable little boneless pork shoulder roast sitting in my freezer for the past couple months.  It was taunting me.  See, I’d never cooked this particular cut of meat before, and so was needlessly afraid of ruining my precious little roast.  I read through dozens of recipes online, watched tutorial videos and consulted my cookbooks.

What I arrived at was inspired by three recipes I found:

Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Shredded Pork
Queenbee’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Diana Rattray’s Slow Cooker Pork Barbecue

Here’s my take on pulled pork.  Important note: I highly recommend meat that is raised humanely (ie gets to live outside, not in a cage) and organic.  Yes, it’s more expensive but I balance that with eating vegetarian more often, that way I’m eating less meat and the meat I do eat isn’t full of things I shouldn’t be putting into my body.  As an added bonus, the meat is way tastier!

The only shot I could get before I wanted to shovel it all in my mouth.

MeggieKate’s Amazing Pulled Pork

Ingredients

Boneless pork shoulder roast (mine was somewhere between 1-2 lbs)

Rub/Seasoning:

Juice + zest of one lime

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil (EV)

Ground pepper (about 5-8 twists of the grinder)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon agave

Roasting Ingredients:

2-3 bay leaves

3-4 smashed whole garlic cloves

1/4 of a red onion, in 1 inch slices

1/4 of a lime, sliced into 3 pieces

1/2 cup Black Butte Porter

I started the night before by mixing up the rub and slathering the roast in it.  I wrapped in saran wrap and let that baby soak up all those yummy juices.  The next morning I fired up the cast iron skillet and browned the roast on all sides.  With a boneless roast, you definitely want to keep the strings or netting on the roast.  Browning took no more than 10 minutes to get a nice browning that had spots of dark brown in it.

In the bottom of the crock pot, I set down the bay leaves, garlic and most of the onion (saving a few slices for the top of the roast).  I laid the roast down on top of this and poured the beer in.  I laid the slices of onion and lime on top of the roast and cooked on low for about 10 hours.  During that time, I turned the roast over 3 or 4 times to make sure it was all evenly juicy.

Once it was done, I cut the strings and used two forks to pull the meat apart.  Then to make sure it stayed nice and juicy, I ladled the juices over the plate of shredded meat.

From there, I dished it up onto a bun and topped it with Podnah’s Pit Barbecue Sauce – OMG, amazing!

I also think in the future I’ll want to make my Grandma Drury’s Chow to put on top. (I just need to try making a version of this with a sugar substitute.)

Grandma Drury’s Chow

A complement to burgers, barbecue, etc.

Ingredients:

1 large head cabbage

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cup vinegar

3 medium onions

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 stick margarine

2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

Chop cabbage and onion until very fine (food processor works well). Mix remaining ingredients in saucepan, just until mixture boils.  Pour over chopped cabbage and onion.  Stir until well mixed.  Store in canning jars, etc. and refrigerate.

Midnight Blackberry

It’s that time of year again! I’ll be obsessed with blackberry jam making until further notice.

Midnight Blackberry Jam

4 cups blackberries (picked down the road)
3 1/3 cups sugar
juice of 1 lemon
about 1 T of lavender (picked from front porch)
a secret ingredient that shall not be named

Put all ingredients in a pot, turn burner on low and let the sugar dissolve, making sure to stir. Then turn up the heat and let the pot boil away. I love watching the vibrant color of the pot of boiling blackberries! Stir often to keep the jam from scorching.

I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess Her Blackberry Jam recipe was the first jam I ever made, because she was the first person who made jam-making sound easy peasy. Why? Because she didn’t use a thermometer, which for some reason totally puts me off making anything that requires the tool. I’d rather use my own senses to tell if something’s done. Nigella taught me the “saucer method” wherein you stick a saucer in the freezer as you begin your preparation. To test the jam, “splodge teaspoons of jam onto it.” I stick my plate (or saucer if you will) back in the freezer for about a minute, then push it with my finger and when it wrinkles it’s done. This is usually about 20 minutes from when it starts boiling.

It took me a few summers before I started canning, because it all seemed way too intimidating. But last summer our fridge reached maximum jam capacity and I knew I’d either have to stop making it or learn to can. I also had some people far away who had to hear me keep talking about all this jam but weren’t able to taste it unless they took a trip to Portland. I read a few different online canning tutorials and enlisted the help of my aunt to watch over me as I processed jars for the first time since she’d at least seen older relatives do it when she was young. The second I heard my first “ping” as the jars sealed after their hot water bath, I was ecstatic. I’m still amazed at how thrilling that sound can be. Ping! Success!

I also learned that I didn’t need a bazillion canning tools to get started. I got a jar lifter (essential, trust me you do not want to drop a hot jar of jam) and a magic wand (not quite as essential but cheap and I liked the sound of it, but basically you just need a magnet long enough to grab your lids without burning yourself on hot water). The rest, you can improvise with a well equipped kitchen. Don’t be a slave to overconsumption corporate culture!

Information about canning is abundant online these days. The National Center for Home Food Preservation has detailed guidelines and instructions.

I also recently checked out Ashley English’s Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving from my public library which includes great step by step instructions for both hot water bath and pressure canner (which are needed for low-acid preservation). Her book also has some great looking new recipes I’m excited about checking out, like Peach & Lavender Butter…mmmm. Check out Ashley’s HomeGrown.org page too!

Strawberry Fields Forever

I made this strawberry balsamic jam last week as a test, but was lazy and didn’t go to the trouble of canning until tonight. My poor strawberries have had to endure some vicious heat this week and as much as I can attest to my own tender loving care of them, I’m afraid they are waning.

I spent much of the late part of last summer perfecting variations of my blackberry jam. This year, as I wait for the blackberries down the road to ripen, I’ve had the pleasure of being in charge of our strawberry patch, so this new jam is near and dear to my hands and heart. I know the strawberries won’t last forever, but I’m determined to keep them going as long as possible.

When I actually can a batch of jam, I also like to set aside a wee bit for a personal taste or two as a sort of “quality control”. I found the perfect tiny jar for it too (this I just put straight into the fridge). I call this one, Bals In My Strawberry.

Won’t You Be My Puddin Pie?

What’s for dessert?  Well, puddin pie of course!  Butterscotch Puddin Pie to be precise.  Now, I didn’t have a recipe for this, I just made it up tonight.  Apparently that was somewhat impressive to my house-mates.  Lucky for them, puddin was on sale at Safeway tonight and I love me some butterscotch puddin.  Then I saw graham cracker crusts on sale, and thus dessert was born!

Butterscotch Puddin Pie sounds pretty good but I wanted to take it a step further, and I’ll admit it I’m almost always looking for an excuse to add more chocolate to my diet and had some 100% dark Ghirardelli leftover from cupcake making last week.  So I melted that in our fancy new microwave with a “chocolate melting” function, poured into the bottom of the crust and spread it around.

Next came the puddin.  (I should add here that I threw the chocolate coated crust into the fridge to cool while whisking up the puddin, because I didn’t want to pour the cool puddin onto still warm chocolate.)  Following the box instructions for pie making, I only added 1 & 3/4 cups milk for slightly thicker pie filling.  Next, I took out the cooled off crust and poured in the delicious butterscotch goodness.


Let the pie set in the fridge for at least an hour, mine was in for 2 because I have amazing self-restraint.

Slice it up and add a dollop (I love that word) of Cool Whip or whatever preferred brand of whipped cream you choose.  Yummmola!

Just a Dollop by Nouar

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We’ve had a few good days of warm weather and sunshine around here, making me want to get outside and help things grow!

I’ve enjoyed watching things bloom, like the Irises:

and Lilies outside my window:

and these sweet little Columbines:

What really gets me excited about gardening though are things like this:

The strawberries are coming!  I know these berries have been on sale in the grocery stores for over a month now, but seriously, nothing compares to eating your own homegrown strawberries.  I’ve already been fantasizing about things to make, including strawberry jam.  Mmmm, can’t wait!

I’ve also started this year’s parsley (named Rooty Huxtable for obvious reasons):

Soon we’ll also be planting tomatoes, basil and squash!

I also re-started the compost pile over the weekend, so I think my inner farmer has officially been released for the season!