Jul 14, 2009

hello from the land of working less and doing more. i've been working part time for a few weeks now, but i am not quite sure where my extra time is going. i'm still staying up late to do homework, forgetting to send birthday cards, and missing out on lots of get-togethers. i have, however, received my first sunburn of the season (i don't think i ever had a single one last year so that's an improvement in time spent relaxing), and i've had a beer at a liesurely lunch on a weekday a total of two times. it is nice being out in the daytime, and scooting around town is making me very very happy. (aside from the drunk assholes who holler at me for rides as i scoot past bars on milwaukee ave. )

school is off to a good start this quarter. i'm taking a catering class where we prepare surprise dishes (we learn what we are each making on the night of class) for other classes, a dining room class where i'm learning the difference between a fish fork, dinner fork, and entremet fork, and a nutritional cooking class where i'm learning low sodium, fat, sugar and vegetarian cooking. i'm most excited about that one.

my brother moved here last weekend (his apartment is about a block away from my house) so i've been spending a lot of time with my family. his lovely girlfriend is staying with him for the next few weeks as he gets adjusted, and i couldn't be happier to have them around for a while. my mom lost her job a few weeks ago so she's been around a lot, and i'm working with her to find a new job and a cheaper place to live. it's stressful, but i'm grateful that i have the free time to help out. on my day off tomorrow we look at studio apartments. yay! wish us luck.

being home a little bit more also allows me to cook more, which is wonderful. the other night i made a boneless pork roast, which was "the best pork i have ever eaten in my entire life" according to my mom. she is probably a bit biased, but it was really good. here's the recipe:

"the best pork i have ever eaten in my entire life"
bonless pork roast with apple cider gastrique

for the pork:
one 2-3 pound boneless pork roast (mine was from trader joe's)
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
2-3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
(you could add a little chopped garlic, but i didn't. but do whatever you want. this isn't a science)

preheat oven to 500 degrees. (don't be scared) rub pork with oil, thyme, sage and s+p. place it on a roasting rack and pop it in the oven. after 10 minutes turn the oven down to 250, and roast until the center registers 150 degrees, about 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr and a half. pull out and cover with foil to let rest 10 minutes before carving. your pork will be moist and tender and delicious.

for the gastrique:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup white wine vineger
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary

combine sugar and water and bring to a simmer. reduce by half and then add herbs, cider and vinegar. reduce by half again, a little more or less to your most desired consistency. it should be syrupy but not too thick. not caramely, but more like a thin maple syrup. unless you want it thicker, but then it's like candy, so i don't recommend it. remove herbs. drizzle over sliced pork. enjoy!