When I pictured this post as I was making dinner and tweeting about how AMAZING it was going to be, I saw brilliantly framed photos of perfectly golden brown pork surrounded by the orange of baby carrots which glistened in butter and the juices from the pork.
I saw a pot of lentils that looked as good as they ended up tasting.
I pictured the whole meal, perfectly plated and being voraciously consumed by my two kids – and both of them demanding more.
As you can already see, those pictures never happened.
For one, Tucker has moved my camera’s memory stick and he’s driving to Memphis for Navy Drill as I type this so I can’t kick his ass for putting things where they go moving my shit.
For a second, I’m lousy at taking pictures of food and I would have wasted too much time in Photoshop attempting to make the crummy pictures look like what you might find in Southern Living or whatever.
It all started when we made a grocery run at the Army base [side note: military bases have awesome deals on meat] and I picked up, what I had thought had been, some boneless pork rib things. They were beautifully thick and meaty and though I had no clue as to what I was going to do with them, I knew I would figure out something.
On to tonight.
I unhappily discovered that my pork did in fact contain bones and I had to remove the bone and by the time I had extracted the skinny bones…well…I was left with thick pork chunks.
Now what the hell was I supposed to do?
Being a good Southern girl, I seasoned them with salt and tossed them into a hot pan with some olive oil. Southern people love them some fried stuff.
There wasn’t enough oil to really fry the pork, just enough to give it some beautiful golden color and once I had browned all the sides, I discovered a bag of baby carrots in the fridge so I figured, “Why not?”.
I added a couple of tablespoons of butter, tossed some carrots around the pork, gave the pan a good shake and tossed the whole thing into the oven.
While I was congratulating myself on this brilliant move, I remembered that I had lentils in the cupboard and though I had never made lentils, I KNEW that I would be their master.
I filled a pot with water, basil, chives, a smooshed clove of garlic and some salt along with the bones that I had removed from the pork. I brought all of that up to a good simmer and after the meat that was left on the bone had become a bit grey, I tossed in the lentils, lowered the heat and added a lid – but made sure that the lid wasn’t completely covering the pot.
By the time the pork and carrots were done, I figured that the lentils should be done. And while they SHOULD have been done, they weren’t and I found some mushrooms in the fridge and decided to toss some of them on top of the pork and carrots, gave the [Dante’s Inferno hot] pan a shake and then placed it back in the oven.
When I rechecked the lentils and found them happy and ready to be eaten, I plated the pork and carrots and lentils and frozen corn [for the kids since they love frozen corn still frozen] and the pork and carrots and mushrooms [because I’m the only one in this house who understands the amazingness that is mushrooms] and lentils and we sat down to dinner.
Oliver ate all of his dinner with aplomb and Cara ate three helpings of pork and no telling how much frozen corn but refused to touch the lentils.
And you know, I was so pleased with my dinner that I didn’t care if Cara ignored the [amazing] lentils like they weren’t taking up a quarter of her plate.
She ate her dinner. She asked for more pork. She told me that I had “made a very yummy dinner” for her. I was cool with that.
Lord knows, three helpings of pork is a vast improvement over her decrying that she “NO LIKES DINNER!!!” while Tucker, Ollie and I eat and ignore her.
So, I write this post with both kids in bed. Actually, one kid is on the couch – since that’s where she sleeps now. And one asleep in his crib with no clue that on this very night, one year ago, his mother was bouncing on her yoga ball in front of Twitter and hoping against hope that she wouldn’t be forced into a c-section that she didn’t want.
Little did that mother know that just as she was drifting off to sleep, this night one year ago, she would go into spontaneous labor and by 9 am the next day, she would meet her son…though she still ended up with that c-section because of her son’s large head.
Who knew that a post about a rockin’ dinner would turn into a birthday post of sorts?
Image|Robert S. Donovan