Tuesday, December 16

Things Fall Apart

I don't mean that in the tragic Chinua Achebe way or in a more minor you're running late, fall on some ice, rip your pants, and everything makes you want to cry way either. I'm thinking of a gentle unwinding, a decrease of items on your "to-do" list. The satisfaction of things becoming simpler, like sloughing off dead skin or a cookie crumbling as you dunk it in hot chocolate. These are the disintegrations I have in mind.

My stomach also has a specific idea of things falling apart. It is specifically thinking of my mom's recipe for a pork roast slow-cooked in soy sauce, herbs, and garlic that gently loosens and makes delicious meat-heap sandwiches. With my normal eloquence and flowery language I've dubbed this salty, herby, tender mess "crock-pot meat."

As things in Mexico fall apart (exams, grades, moving, packing, dressing as a cowgirl for a Christmas parade and riding on a skittish horse in skirt. . .) and I move closer to my vacation in Iowa (Tomorrow! Tomorrow!!!), I've been thinking of crock-pot meat. My mom has exerted all effort (conscious or not) to reinforce my association of this recipe with coming home. My first trip home after going away to college: crock-pot meat. Trips back to Iowa from Louisville: crock-pot meat. Coming home for Christmas after moving far away to Mexico: crock-pot meat? :)

Even if you don't have a daughter you want to welcome home to below-freezing temperatures from a warm, distant land (ahem), pick up a roast, throw a few things together, let it do its thing. Very little effort, but a bit of foresight since it takes 8-10 hours, will supply a simple hearty meal that is very appealing amidst all the elaborate holiday fare. Don't be daunted by making a whole pork (or beef) roast either. It keeps well, either in the fridge or freezer and is equally delicious when reheated.

Crock-Pot Meat

3-4 lb beef or pork roast
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup soy sauce
bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbl thyme
1 Tbl rosemary
Cook on low in crock pot 8-10 hours*

* Think of all the things you can accomplish in this span of time while the meat is gently falling apart and soaking up that salty goodness.

I'm hoping to put up some photos and recipes as I nosh through the holiday season, but it is possible that it may be delayed until the New Year. If that is the case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! I hope everyone has safe travels and delicious stuff to look forward too. Feliz Navidad!

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