"That's it. Oh yeah, baby!"
This winter won't end. It's 40 degrees outside, rain's failing in sheets, the wind's howling, a teenage girl just flew past my window...and her little dog too.
"Turn to the right. Oooooh, slowly now. OK, now spin back."
I'm getting distracted. I'm looking for diversions. I'm giving in to my baser instincts.
"God, look at the size of those!!! Those two are huuuuuge!"
Raindrops tap out "Florida" in Morse code; a keening wind moans "Arizona". I close my office door, I lean back in my chair and I let my mouse take me away. Click! 2 bed/2 bath Bonita Bay oceanview condo. Click! 3 bed/3 bath home with Sonoran views.
I'm human. The flesh is weak. I try to stay away, but it's the internet, the stuff is everywhere. It doesn't hurt to just look a little, does it? I mean, I'm a guy, guys like to look.
I'm talking about real estate porn. Since the middle of February I find myself taking breaks during the day and loading up real estate web sites. Not just any sites, this time of year my fetish runs to warm weather. Endless virtual tours of desert vistas encircling lush golf courses and beachfront condos with Gulf of Mexico sunsets.
I want to be outside! I need to be outside without having to spend 10 minutes putting on extra clothes. I'm tired of looking like a Sherpa. But it's too soon.
One more indoor recipe. I can't get outside to grill, so I'll give you a simple sauce that can be whipped up while the meat is resting. This recipe could be prepared with chicken breast, though today I'm going to ask you to enjoy...
Pork Chops with Dijon & Dried Cherries
base recipe from SimplyRecipes.com with some tweaks by Crabby
4 center cut or pork loin chops about 1 1/4" inches thick
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions or shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 TBSP dried cherries or raisins
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
Season the chops with salt and pepper.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and nearly stopped foaming, add the chops and brown 2 - 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the chops to a plate and drain the pan of any excess cooking fat. Add the green onions/shallots to the pan and saute for 1 minute.
Add the wine and bring to a boil. Scrape up any brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, (about 1 minute).
Add the chicken stock and return the chops to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Bring the liquid to a simmer, partially cover the pan and cook the chops for 15 minutes, turning once.
Transfer chops to a platter and lightly cover with aluminum foil. Add the dried cherries to the pan juices and bring to a boil, reduce by half, about 2-4 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and boil for an additional two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard. Check the sauce for seasoning, adjust if necessary.
Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.
Mustard sauce reminds me of autumn, so this will have to get us through another patch of rough weather. It's a very easy sauce crablings; just have everything ready to go into the pan before you start. Until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.
"Oh, mama! Check out the bay windows on that one!"