Monday, 16 April 2007

Pirates & Pork Chops

Today, Christopher decided that he wanted to be a pirate - and that meant having a pirate hat, which meant some rather insistent nagging. After I'd given both boys their lunch and got the baby off for his nap, I got down to fashioning some semblance of a pirate hat. I dragged some foam sheets down from the art & craft shelf and cut out a couple of hat-like shapes. Glued together, they were actually quite convincing. I am very proud of the skull-and-crossbones, which I cut out of white A4 printer paper and glued on to the front.

Chris was thrilled and wore his hat all afternoon, most of which was spent dancing around like a loon to 'You Are A Pirate' from the Lazytown CD he got for Christmas. So that's what Karl found when he got home from work.

Flushed with success, I made him an eye patch as well, but beyond suggesting that his baby brother would like to wear it (I think not), Chris was less than overwhelmed. Oh well, it can go in the dressing-up box. When I get around to sorting one out.

Dinner tonight was one of Hubby's favourites - Pork Chops. What do you expect with a name like his? Homer by name, etc... Pork Chops can often be dry, mainly because they are so often sold boneless and trimmed of nearly all fat. Get some good thick chops, with the bone still in and a good slab of fat around the edge. You can always trim it off after cooking, I do - and give it to Hubby, because he doesn't put on weight. Ever.

Cook the chops in a roasting tin with a rack. Season them with pepper and pour some water into the bottom of the roasting tin. I sometimes use wine if I'm feeling fancy, and you can add some herbs to the tin as well if you like. Sage works very well, but also thyme or bay. I wouldn't use rosemary here, as I don't think it works terribly well with pork. Cook the chops in the oven at 190°c for about 20 minutes.
Christopher can't eat a whole pork chop of this size, and neither can I, so we shared one between us. Alongside the chops I served steamed new potatoes with butter and chives, steamed broccoli and some sweetcorn. For James I blitzed some potato, a couple of small broccoli florets into a nubbly sort of purée. He seems to prefer his food to have some texture now, so I whizzed in a spoonful of sweetcorn, too. We all eat loads of sweetcorn, frozen or tinned for most of the year, then we'll go nuts on fresh corn when it comes into the shops later in the year.

This time of year brings a lot of other seasonal favourites to look forward to - and Christopher and I have already been gorging ourselves on early peas, eaten raw, straight from the pod. This is the best way to eat peas and qualifies as something of a family obsession - my Grandad used to grow peas especially for my Nan to eat raw like this. My Mum gets through plenty at this time of year, and I'm going to have to increase supplies to cope with Christopher's voracious passion for them.

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