Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's Pork Got to Do With It?

Lately (as in once every three or six months) I have been attempting to cook. I will be the first to admit that I am not a good cook...yet. Of course, I do not cook very often either. Practice makes perfect, or at least edible I am sure. Somehow I am more comfortable with baking, although not yet completely from scratch which is a goal. So, the attempts at cooking have been interesting to say the least.

My very first attempt to cook us dinner was years ago when B and I first moved in together. I made some honey mustard chicken something. The first problem is that B does not like mustard. The second problem is that I completely forgot. When I retell the story I like to say that I had made it just for myself, after all he was not home at the time. The truth is, I forgot he didn't like mustard in my excitement to cook something and it sounded good to me. It was not good. Not. Good. It had too much of a mustard taste. I know, ironic?

Fast forward a couple of years (yes, except for a one time taco fiesta, it took me years to get over that awful meal and probably took B that same amount of time to be willing to try anything else I cooked). The next dish was lasagna. How can you mess that up, right? Ha! I did. Looking back at the recipe, I now realize what I had done. Even then I had an idea, but was too scared to stray from the recipe. I am not a cook after all, what do I know? The result - lasagna soup basically. That lasagna had so much liquid in it, it took me forever to figure out where to find the noodles! B's response? "It tastes okay." Yes, he ate it. What a trooper!

Disheartened by the lasagna debacle, it took me a while to try something else. Next up? Some baked chicken with cheese. How hard could THAT be, right? You cannot mess up baked chicken. Here's a fact - you cannot mess up baked chicken, however, you can make it look ugly. That chicken dish was good. B said so. What he also said was, "you sure aren't into aesthetics when you cook, are you?" Listen here bub! This isn't a four star restaurant! As a matter of fact, this is a no star place! I am trying to make edible meals, presentation be damned at this point!

Finally, I decided to branch out, make things a bit easier. How can anything be easier than baked chicken you ask? A crockpot!! And now, my friends, we get to the point of this post. I found a super easy recipe for pork loin which was coincidentally on sale at the grocery store. Eureka! Wait...does B like pork? You know I cannot remember his likes/dislikes at any given time (see above). Let me ask:

Me: Hey! Do you like pork?
B: What do you mean?
B: What kind of pork?
Me: What do you mean what kind of pork? Pork pork.
B: I like ham.
Me: Okay, I am not talking about ham. I am talking about pork. Like pork chops, pork loin...
B: I like ham.

That was the extent of the conversation because I gave up. Instead, I made pot roast which B declared was "good." See? I am getting closer to being a one star cook. So much closer. The pork talk passed. Time passed. But the pork was always on my mind. It was brought up again yesterday while at Chipotle (yum giant burritos - I LOVE you). After I had ordered, I looked back to find B ordering his usual - a CARNITAS burrito. That is right my friends, pork. As I watched them put the pork in his burrito, I remarked how gross it looked (it did look gross) and then it hit me:

Me: Wait! You like pork.
B: What?
Me: Pork! You like pork. Your burrito is pork.
B: And?
Me: Remember I asked you if you liked pork and you did not know?
B: No, I told you I didn't like ham.
Me: I didn't ask you if you liked ham.
B: Well I like spiral ham, like you know honeyed ham?
B: Ham and pork come from the same place.

Yep, and milk and beef come from the same place too, but when I ask you if you like beef, it is not acceptable to answer "I like milk."*

So, it is back to the drawing board for me and dinners. I think I will just avoid the whole pork discussion until I run out of other things to cook in the crockpot. That could take years, or at least 365 days if I follow A Year of Crockpotting. (A great blog, by the way. You should check it out).

*I do realize that comparing milk/beef to pork/ham is like comparing apples to oranges, but I like all fruit.

**Have you ever googled the question "what is the difference between pork and ham"? I just did. About a million results. Who knew everyone pondered this question?

4 important things being said:

annette said...

Danielle, (I was told that is your name, not DANI, Jon hates when people call you Dani, and he has only called you Dani once or twice your whole life!) And my name is Annette, even though my whole family calls me Annie!! :) I love him...)
Anyway.. your blog made me laugh out loud AGAIN!!! You are hilarious. I wish you luck on your cooking adventure. I love to cook. Not sure how or why cause my mom hates to cook and for good reason (we joke that the smoke alarm is the dinner bell when she is cooking:). But I love it. Jon and I have cooked some pretty mean meals together. Hey maybe Brian would help you cook? It really is fun to cook together. Ok sorry I am rambling. Thanks for the laughs:) Annette (aka "Annie" :)

*~Dani~* said...

Annette - I am glad you liked it. Everytime I read it I crack up too but probably because I lived it. Oh, and I am the author.

Now I am going to start calling you Annie just to get Jon's goat. Whatever that means :)

Jennifer said...

Okay, I am cracking up! You are way ahead of me. I don't even try to make anything. Maybe we should take a cooking class together.

Oh, and I am not sure that I knew ham and pork both came from pigs? I mean I guess I knew, but who really thinks about those things? Not me. I always thought turkey was the other white meat.

*~Dani~* said...

Jenny - I never though about it either. Maybe because my parents made pork chops regularly and ham only on special occasion? Is that why I never connected the two? And what about bacon? It comes from a pig too but I would not call it ham or pork. Thoughts to ponder.

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