Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Community Gardens, Pulled Pork

Chris has been helping to get the Community Gardens in Franklin up and running, and the project made it to the news today.

I've been watching Gabe while he's off at the meetings, or staying late to put together snazzy 3D images to show people what's possible. Ironically, he dug up some 3D models of garden plants out of mothballs to populate the virtual beds - 3D models that I made probably eight years ago! So, in a remote sort of way, I'm helping, too. . .

Progress on the cookbook continues. I decided that I need to learn more about cooking meat, so that I can have a reasonably comprehensive meat section. I cooked ribs a couple of weeks ago, but they turned out a bit tough, so I'll have to refine that recipe. More recently, I made pulled pork. Huzzah! It was glorious. Pork shoulder is a wonderfully economical cut of meat. Brine it all day, cook it all night, and viola, delicious, perfect sammich makins.

I used this awesome recipe for the pulled pork, and shortly I'll be writing up my own revised version.

With these long-cooking meats, I am looking for recipes that not only freeze well, but can be done without a slow cooker. As it turns out, when searching for recipes for chunks of meat that require extended cooking times, it's actually tough to find non-slow-cooker recipes online, because everybody and their mother wants to share their fabulous shortcuts. Not that I have any beef with slow cookers, mind you, but the pantry cookbook is for those who can't afford one and likely don't already have one.

I have also so far avoided recipes that call for disposables, such as plastic bags and aluminum foil. This is to save my audience a bit of money, but also because my ulterior motive is to keep that single-use garbage out of the landfill.

However, I still see no good alternative to my addiction to semi-disposable plastic boxes. They're just so darn useful. And so long as you prevent them from falling out of the freezer (which causes them to shatter) they do last a while. Are there any good alternatives that aren't single-use or painfully expensive??

It also seems that my microwave is conspiring to teach me how to cook foods without its sleek convenience. The old geezer went kaput yesterday, just in time for me to learn how convenient the broiler is for reheating pulled pork.

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