7 Quick Takes Volume Two: Concerning Hobbits (and pork chops and the TV chefs who make them)

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–1–

They were calling for snow here.  Everyone has been eagerly watching the weather forecasts, and getting all excited about what we’re going to do with our day off from school. It’s been raining here all week, and yesterday the rain was supposed to change to snow.  Well, guess what?  No snow.  Other people got it, not us.  So I made soup.  I feel much better.

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Stay tuned for this recipe.  Quick, easy, delicious.

–2–

For dinner on Wednesday I decided to try a recipe from the “15 Fast Ideas” section in the latest issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray:

PORK CHOPS WITH GRAPES

4 bone-in pork chops (10 ox. each) – 1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) – 1 1/2 cups red grapes, halved – 3 cloves garlic, slive, – 1 tsp. thyme –> In skillet, cook pork in EVOO over medium-high, 5 minutes per side.  Put on plate, tent with foil.  Add grapes, garlic, and thyme to skillet.  Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Top pork with grapes.  Serves 4. (Every Day With Rachael Ray, January/February 2013, p. 16)

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Let me tell you, I have never cooked grapes in a skillet before.  This was amazing.  I had five thick boneless chops, and I used like six or seven cloves of garlic and fresh thyme.  The savory taste of the garlic complimented the sweetness of the grapes.   I’m happy to say that everyone loved it.  Last night we made pork sandwiches with the leftovers to eat with the soup.

–3–

Speaking of Rachael Ray, here’s a photo that my friend Lesley took with her phone about a month and a half ago.

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That’s Rachael on the left, and me on the right.

She visited my town in December to promote her new cookbook, My Year In Meals.  I showed up with a bag full of books I wanted her to sign, to give away to friends and family. When it was finally my turn, the only thing I could think of to say was, “You’re a busy lady!”  to which Rach replied, “Yes, and a happy one, too!”  Lesley, my friend who took the photo said, “She’s your Number One Fan!”  That was when Rachael looked at me and gave me a big grin and said, “OH, Nice to meet you!!”

I’m such a sap.

–4–

And speaking of magazines, my friend Barbara gave me a subscription to Catholic Digest for my birthday.  The first issue came in the mail just this week.

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Happy Dance!

–5–

There’s an interesting new meme going around the Catholic Blogosphere:  “What I Wore Sunday.”  It’s hosted by Kendra and Emily at the lovely blog Fine Linen and Purple.  When I first started seeing bloggers (all ladies) posting pictures of themselves in their Sunday best, my first thought was, “Why should I care what you wore to Mass on Sunday?”  After I saw this post by Jen Fulwiler (our “7 Quick Takes” Hostess with the Mostest)  I started paying more attention to the “What I Wore” posts I ran across.  Now I see it as a fun way to really make a conscious effort to prepare yourself for Mass.  How many times have I just haphazardly thrown together an outfit at the last minute, more often than not coming to church just barely presentable?  Just for fun, last week I took this photo of myself just before we left for church:

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My sister-in-law in Atlanta sent me the sweater/dress and leggings for Christmas.  Now, I had NEVER worn leggings before last Sunday, and I felt slightly self-conscious in them, to tell you the truth.  She said I needed to get a pair of tall boots to wear with them, so I did, although you can’t really see them too well in the photo.  (Brand name:  “Hot Kiss.”  Definitely worth an eyeroll, but they’re super-cute.)

I will say this:  The women who participate in this meme all seem to be in their twenties and thirties.  I’m in my mid-forties.  If I were to start I would undoubtedly be the token old lady in the group.  And it would mean that I would have to ask a family member to take photos of me every Sunday modeling my outfit.  Boy, would I get tons of grief for that.  But we’ll see…

–6–

I’ve been blogging for four years now, and I’ve connected with lots of people, especially Catholics like me trying to live out their faith the best way they know how.  I haven’t “Facebook Friended” many of my online acquaintances, but there are some.  The other night I dreamed I was at the home of one of my bloggy friends (I won’t say who, but she lives VERY far away), and the the two of us were laughing our heads of at something or other, and it was as if we had known each other forever.  I woke up smiling, but do you know what?  It also was a reminder of the importance of nurturing the relationships with my loved ones here at home.

–7–

And finally, last Sunday, we went to see The Hobbit.  I think we were the last people on the planet to go and see it.   Some said it was too long, some said the battle scenes were overdone (they’re probably right), some said it was over-acted and over-the-top.  Well I for one loved every minute of it.  Peter Jackson is brilliant, and Martin Freeman is the PERFECT Bilbo.  I loved the scene near the beginning when all the dwarves were singing their melancholy “Misty Mountains” song (at least one member of my family found it cheesy) while Bilbo sat and brooded about whether or not he wanted to go on their epic adventure with them and help them get their city back.  The addition of an extra villain (the Pale Orc, evil nemesis of the dwarf hero Thorin) added a whole new level of conflict that isn’t in the book–and made the film that much more exciting.

I don’t know if I will be able to withstand the yearlong wait until the next movie…

Please continue to pray for Jen, who is getting better, thank the Lord!  And check out her fantabulous blog Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

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About momn3boys

I'm a 40-something mom of three sons. I'm a teacher, lover of the outdoors, and a convert to the Catholic faith. My recent love of running and geocaching inspired me to start my blog, Ramblings of a Runner Cacher. Even though my family doesn't share my love for either of those things, we have A LOT of other things we enjoy together: movies, the beach, skiing, and Indy Car racing to name a few.
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