… is cold!! Brrr!! It didn’t even break 30º today. I couldn’t even fathom weather like this when we lived in Washington — and I am loving every minute!!
I dressed for the weather, though. Kurt bought me a leather and faux fur coat last year as a “for the hell of it” present. I was so shocked when I got a random box in the mail (he was on deployment, you see) and opened it up to find a gorgeous denim-blue long leather coat with a faux fur trim. (It’s a Dennis Basso, for you QVC folks out there.) I didn’t get much of a chance to wear it last year, except the day we took Grace ice skating. I was so surprised that they made ice skates for such little kids! They had an infant size 7, and the skates were just too cute.
I could barely stand the cuteness.
I could also barely stand in my skates, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I am not much of a skater, though I think I only fell once that day.
Today Kurt looked at me and asked me what I wanted to do. His first thought was to go to the Y to swim, but I forgot he said that and got all gussied up with hair and makeup. So instead we went to this local restaurant that is quickly becoming a favorite. Once we were finished eating, Kurt and I looked at each other like, “Ummm. What’s next??”
So we did what I always want to do — we went ‘sploring!
See, when I was a kid, my dad used to pile us kids in the car and take off. It wasn’t that he was mad or anything; he just loved to get himself lost wherever it was that we lived at the time, and then find his way home again. It let us see lots of little out-of-the-way places, things that you wouldn’t see if you stuck to the main drag all the time. When we lived in Nebraska, Dad would take us down all kinds of dirt roads among all the corn fields. It was really a lot of fun.
Imagine the photos I could have taken, if only I had thought of it!!!
Well, Dad probably wouldn’t have stopped long enough for me to take a photo, but that’s neither here nor there.
So this afternoon, we got ourselves slightly lost. It’s hard to get truly lost, since I live on an island. You always end up coming out somewhere familiar within about ten minutes.
But it was still fun. We ended up going off the northern part of the island and arrived in Bristol. We noticed a lot of cops out, and signs saying you couldn’t park on the side of the street today. Come to find out, Bristol was holding its holiday illumination tonight. We knew there was something going on, but couldn’t figure it out.
It was a cute little town, though. I love old houses, and I especially love that most houses carry an informational plaque on the front. It tells you when the house was built (or thereabouts), and sometimes even who built the house! The earliest one I found was 1738. Amazing, really. That house is older than this country!!!
I’m used to old things, being from Virginia (Jamestown just celebrated its 400th anniversary this year), and having graduated from the College of William and Mary, which received its royal charter in 1693. But I kind of got unused to old things living in Washington. There, if it’s more than a hundred years old, it’s old. That’s almost brand-new here on the East Coast!
Finally it was time to head home, where dinner was waiting for us in the crockpot. I absolutely love using the crockpot. A little bit of work in the morning, and then you come home to dinner at night. How could it be any easier?
This recipe I made was so good that I just have to share it with you. It came from the October 2007 issue of Cooking Light. If you choose to make it, let me know how you like it. I don’t like pork, but I love how the meat turns out in this recipe.
Slow-Cooked Tuscan Pork with White Beans
2 cups dried navy beans
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
8 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2½ pounds boneless pork shoulder [I used a boneless pork top loin this time]
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1. Sort and wash navy beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand for 8 hours. Drain the beans.
2. Preheat the oven to 275º.
3. Combine 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds, and 3 minced garlic cloves. Rub sage mixture over pork. Place pork, navy beans, remaining 1 teaspoon sage, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 5 minced garlic cloves, 4 cups water, and bay leaves in Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. COver and bake at 275º for 4 hours or until pork is very tender. Discard bay leaves. Pull pork apart into chunks, and serve with bean mixture.
You can also make this in the slow cooker. Rub pork with sage mixture, then add water, beans, and remaining ingredients to slow cooker and place pork on top. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours.
*Title stolen from The Purple Chai — ha ha!!