WoW…..this doesn’t happen too often, when the weather actually cooperates with something you want to do. Well at least something I want to do. Today is “National Step In A Puddle And Splash A Friend Day,” and here in Michigan in it’s raining outside. How perfect is this? Ok guys, family and friends, who’s going out with me today? Let’s not be chicken about this, the temperature is going to be in the 50’s so it won’t be that cold. I know, I know, you’re gonna throw that whole flu and cold season thing at me, how you’ll get sick if you get wet and get a chill. Well 50% of doctors say that’s not true so let’s go with that 50% and pretend we’re eight years old again!
I have to admit that even though it is raining here in Michigan and yes the temperatures are supposed to reach almost 50 degrees today, it is still just a wee bit too cold to go out and have a little fun jumping in puddles. What this day has done however is make me long for and anticipate the summer rain that will be here in a few months (ok so it’s at least 6 months away, this is my dream please let me have it for a few minutes). A warm sunny day, a storm moves in bringing that sweet rain of summer, the one that doesn’t last very long, the rain that you can smell before you see it, the rain that is warm when it touches your skin. I love that rain and yes, I do go out in it and Walt will always laugh and say “You’re crazy.” But I’m not crazy, sometimes you have to act like a kid and stand in the rain, let it wash all over you to remind you that the simple things in life are truly what’s priceless.
I guess I’ll just have to be content and watch the rain from our window, perhaps today would be a good day to do a little baking. Not sure what yet, I’ll have to see what I can muster up in the cupboards. Rainy days are always good for whipping up something sweet in the oven I just have to decide if I want to make brownies, cookies or cupcakes? The determining factor may be just how much work I’m willing to put into baking on this rainy Friday, brownies is probably the easiest and quickest, cupcakes the one that’s a little more time-consuming with decorating and such. We’ll see, I could just decide to be absolutely lazy today and take a nap.
Tonight I am making Walt Chip Beef on Toast….it’s going to be a surprise. Walt has been talking about it for the last few weeks, memories of his mom making it for him when he was a kid, I’m not sure why these memories came to him out of nowhere or perhaps I do. It started around New Year’s Eve when Lil E, out of the clear blue, for no apparent reason walked up to Walt and said “Papa, your momma isn’t here anymore is she?” Walt replied “No, she’s not.” Eric said “Your momma is no longer on this earth is she?” Walt replied “No, no she’s not.” Eric walked away and went back to playing on the floor with his firemen, nothing else said.
Walt and I looked at each other just a little puzzled. None of our grandchildren ever met Walt’s mom, her name was Shirley. Shirley passed away the year before Joshua was born, it will be 10 years this April. Her death is actually how Walt and I started seeing each other again after being apart for a few years. I loved Shirley, I had a lot of respect for her so when Nikki found out she had passed away my parents, Nikki and I went to pay our respects. It really is a great little love story but I’ll save that for another time. My point right now is simply there is no way Eric could have known that Shirley wasn’t here. The conversation was so sweet, so innocent. You would have had to be here to understand exactly what I mean, it came so out of the blue, so out of no where. There was nothing going on that would have prompted that conversation and it’s been since then that Walt has, at least once a week, talked about his mom’s chipped beef and toast, how it was one of his favorite things to eat growing up.
I do remember chipped beef on toast, my mom made it as well, my memory of it is strips of meat in a heavy white cream sauce with a really salty taste. I remember that we ate it, I don’t remember if I liked it. It could very well have been one of those meals that, as a kid, you kind of choked down, like liver and onions, but I really don’t remember if I liked it. You know how it went, kids born prior to 1965 when mom’s mostly stayed home and cooked, not a lot of fast food restaurants around. When you were a kid you ate and tried just about anything and grew up loving some or most of it until, as an adult, you found out what it really was. Kind of like the meat pierogi I ate as a kid, a story I’ll share with you one day….ewww. Today chip beef does not sound appealing to me at all, I purchased the dried beef enough said. It does bring back memories for my sweet papa Walt so I looked up a few recipes and bought the stuff to make it, I’m going to surprise him at dinner tonight. I’m going to eat something else.
We had heart attack pork chops this week and Walt was a happy man. I call them heart attack pork chops because they are simmered in Crisco, then breaded and fried again in even more Crisco. They are Walt’s favorite pork chop (my dad’s too), Walt eats them down to the bone (so does dad) which now I wish I would have taken a photo of…there was not one speck of meat left on those bones. I like them, I grew up on them, the recipe is my mom’s. Personally they give me heartburn and they did, I was up until 2:00 a.m. sucking down tum’s.
So you guessed it, today I”ll leave you with the recipe for Mom’s Breaded Pork Chops. They are really easy to make and what I like about this recipe is that I can make them up to the point that I can bread them and return them to the refrigerator until later when I am ready for them, then I simply brown them up quickly and serve. These pork chops are great with a vegetable and either mashed or scalloped potatoes. If you try them let us know how they turned out, we like hearing feedback!
MOM’S BREADED PORK CHOPS
What You’ll Need:
4 Bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops
1 Cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Egg whisked with a little water
Salt and Pepper
Crisco (in the can)
- Salt and pepper pork chops to taste
- Melt a good amount of Crisco in a heavy pan (about a 1/4 cup)
- Add pork chops to skillet – cover
- Cook on medium for 40 – 45 minutes turning chops frequently
- Remove chops from pan onto a plate lined with paper towel – let cool
- When cool, dredge chops in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, coating them well
- Add additional Crisco to pan – melt
- Return chops to pan and brown on each side (about 5 minutes per side)
Source: Leona P. (Mom)