Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This post may not be suitable for vegetarians....

My absolute favorite slow-cooker recipe is Pork and Sauerkraut. I know, it sounded really icky to me too, when I first heard of it last December from Charley's aunt Pat. But since I trust Pat implicitly, especially when it comes to recipes, I decided to give it a try. Since then I have become the world's most ridiculously fervent pork-kraut cheerleader. And unless it conflicts with your religious or moral beliefs, you too should be eating pork and kraut. My favorite recipe is one that I've adapted from Carol Whaling's recipe in The Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. I skip the potatoes and onion and get right down to the porky-krauty goodness. The original recipe calls for a 2.5 lb. boneless pork loin roast, but one of my greatest joys in life is finding the cheapest, gnarliest piece of meat possible, and slow-cooking it into something magical. Therefore, I recommend going with a 3lb. pork butt. Not only is it delicious and fabulously cheap ($1.39/lb this week!):
But it also gives you an appropriate occasion for saying "Butt" at the supermarket. My inner eight-year-old giggles every time I approach the meat counter.

3lb. pork butt (tee hee!)
32 oz. bagged sauerkraut, drained
2 medium sized tart apples, chopped
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic, pressed
A few liberal shakes of salt and pepper.

Mix all of the ingredients, except pork, in a large bowl. Place half of the mixture into the slow cooker. Add the pork. Top with remaining sauerkraut mixture. Cover, and cook on low for 7–10 hours.
The result looks a bit like gruel, but it tastes like pure awesome.

Imagine that this sentence is a smooth segue moving you fluidly through an otherwise jarring topic change.

Yesterday some advice from the very wise Cat B. saved me from myself. I arrived at the studio determined to restart the illustration below. I thought it was too intense, too gloomy for my book. I wanted to alter the scale to make the image less confrontational, and change the palette to make the colors more appealing.
What Cat said (in kinder, more diplomatic terms) was, "Stop dithering! It's good! It's what the publisher asked for! Send it out already!" And she's right. I get a little OCD when it's time to clear ye olde finish line. So I made up my mind to keep the image as it was. O.K., so I did end up tweaking the colors a bit...aha!..sort of like I tweaked the apple-kraut ratio in my Pork and Sauerkraut recipe! I may not be able to deliver a segue, but will you accept this back-referencing metaphor!?
Anyway, I DID finish this pair of images after all. My plan is to storyboard the rest of the book, photograph the 8 pages I've completed so far, and send it out!

1 comment:

Cat B said...

Hilarious post! You are an AWESOME writer too! Will definitely try the porky thing—Allan will be THRILLED! Meat man that he is!

AND, for the record, what I said about your painting was that it was GREAT!