New Reality

My hiatus from this blog has been longer than I expected. This is why: Sadie

Sadie, my first child, was born in April, and in the months leading up to her birth, and those since, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with her existence. On the topic of this blog, early pregnancy cravings were quite focused on Taco Bell bean burritos, along with the hearty winter comfort foods of my childhood – like Mom’s meatloaf. By late pregnancy, those cravings had morphed into mostly sweets – breakfast pastries, rich chocolates and anything with maple syrup. Now, I crave anything someone else has cooked for me. Having a newborn, while a miracle and a joyful event, is hard.

Tonight I will join a few of the incredible chefs featured in the book I wrote – Wine Country Chef’s Table – for a signing and panel talk at Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco. Hopefully I will be coherent in my sleep-deprived state and most questions will be directed to the chefs, without whom there would be no book!

When I return home, I will eat this delicious pork leftover from last night. The recipe comes from the “Washington’s Green Grocer blog” – thank you, Internet. My husband and I tag-teamed on its preparation in a rare moment of quiet in our changed household. Buttery sauteed pink lady apples will accompany the dish. And we will dream of the next meal someone else makes for us.

Oven-Roasted Pork Butt with Garlic, Sage (or Rosemary) and Mustard

Adapted from the Washington’s Green Grocer blog

1  (5 to 7 pound) boneless pork shoulder (butt)

4 big garlic cloves or at least 8 smaller ones

about a 1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup nice olive oil

2 heaping tablespoons freshly chopped sage leaves (we used rosemary)

2 big tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

If your roast is not trimmed, cut away the skin, leaving about 1/4 inch layer of fat.

Using a mezzaluna, a mortar and pestle or a knife, mix the garlic and salt together to form a paste. Stir in the olive oil, sage, and mustard. You may either wrap this with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge, or just let the roast come to room temperature while it’s bathing in its mustard, sage and garlic bath.

Put the pork on a roasting rack that fits in your roasting pan, skin side up. Put it in the oven and roast, uncovered for about 3 to 4 hours. The meat will be fork tender and your thermometer should read 180 degrees. If the crust starts getting too brown at any point, lightly lay a piece of foil over the roast to stop its browning. Let the roast rest 10 to 20 minutes before slicing it.  Enjoy!

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