Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Free Range from a Friend

When you give yourself the luxury of a few minutes of quiet time to just think, you realize just how cool this life is. We all meander in and out of each other's lives; sometimes only once in a blue moon, sometimes daily. But, regardless of frequency, these relationships are truly what life on this planet are all about.

Neil and I live in an awesome neighborhood with neighbors that we've known for many years. Yeah, it's that kind of place. We move here, get to know each other and we never leave. We are Rosewood lifers.  One such neighbor is Sharon.  She and her sig-other James decided a few years ago to become farmers.  They still live around the corner but they operate Carolina Bay Farms over in the Hopkins area. As I remember, it started with fresh eggs.  But, just a few days ago, Neil ran into her and became aware that they are now raising heritage meats. He came home with a bag full o' pork chops!

Tonight we cooked those little babies. Neil is big on really tasting the flavor of meat, so all we did was salt & pepper them. I seared them in my grill pan for about 2 minutes/side on high heat then transferred them to a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, I made a mushroom/white wine sauce to serve alongside.

In a word...perfect.  The pork is so flavorful without a lot of "flavoring."  No need to marinate, is what I'm saying.  The time and method of my cooking resulted in a perfectly cooked yet moist pork chop, which you all know can be quite a challenge at times. I toasted some good Italian bread and served our chops with mushroom sauce over the bread and green peas on the side.  As Wayne & Garth would say, SCHWIIING!

So, if you have not heard about Carolina Bay Farms, please check them out.  Thankfully, Columbia is hot and heavy (finally) on the farm-to-table and eat local movement. Sharon and James are doing good things just 20 minutes from town. Seek them out, support them and eat good pork chops!  

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