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When in Doubt…

October 19, 2020

…. blog about food.

I’m often not sure what I might blog about. It gets to this point in the evening, I’m ready to turn in, realize I haven’t blogged (which is just about every night) and say to myself… hm. I download and look at whatever photos I have (or is that upload… I’ll forever mix those two up), and usually find a subject.

Long way of rationalizing tonight’s subject. I do plan to reflect on something substantive at the end, so skip the food stuff if you want to go right to something that happened tonight that I found important and incredibly thought provoking.

~~

Jim and I have resumed Sunday brunches at Bernardo’s. Did I mention that last week? This was our second time, since mid-March. Jim reverted right back to his usual.. the french toast. I liked the bendy banana, so took this pic.

I could write about many things relative to this breakfast, but most are sub-blogworthy. But there was one thing: we had a longish conversation with Ona, the mom of a girl Peter went through Chavez with (and the rest of school, as well). Ona and I worked together on a significant chunk of Grad Night planning.. all those years ago. Anyway, we learned today that she bought the house I’ve had my eye on for decades. A part of me has believed that when the stars line up, we will buy that house. I had tried to talk mom into buying it at one point, with the idea she’d live in it until .. well .. until the end, and then we’d move in. I’d taken the fantasy so far as to plan on Peter then moving into our current house and raising his family here, while Jim and I lived out our days in the sweet little cottage at 6th and D. But now Ona’s bought that sweet little cottage (for eight something hundred thousand dollars) and has declared it her forever house. Fantasy bubble burst. Damn.

Still, breakfast outside with our usual favorites was excellent.

Okay.. more food. Here’s a pic I took this afternoon as I assumed my position at the island eating my usual assortment of snacky things. A sunbeam caught my grapes and roasted pecans in a nice light.. made for an appealing sight:

Yum.

For dinner, I made another Chris Kimball pork tenderloin, this time with a different assortment of herbs and spices. Also, instead of a tenderloin it was just a loin.

Here are the spices/herbs: ground fennel, dried oregano, fresh rosemary, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and ground pepper:

Which you press into the pork and let sit for 15 minutes or so:

Then you brown it at a fairly high heat in canola oil until the pork’s browned on all sides and put the whole pan into the oven at 450 for 10-15 mins to cook the pork through. You then remove from the oven and remove the pork from the pan and set it aside while you make the sauce. Here’s how it looks after the oven part–crusted and intensely flavored.

That is a crusty ball-o-pork.. really moist, too.

Then you add to that hot, crusty pan some chicken broth and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar. That deglazes the pan and once the broth’s reduced a bit you add cold cubes of butter (only 1/4 cup’s worth) one at a time, emulsifying as you go (Kimball loves this technique). Add a couple T of lemon juice and finally, off heat, stir in another teaspoon of fresh rosemary. Spoon it over the sliced pork, serve with whatever (in our case, some buttery toasted pinenut rice w/ onions and garlic, some unadulterated steamed broc and some need-to-eat avocado. Voila:

Okay, that’s it for food.

~~

While I was cooking tonight (or trying to cook.. it was hard to do two things at once and I messed up numerous times on the above fairly straight forward dishes), I was listening to a celebration of the end of postcarding for this long campaign season. The postcard team’s work comes to a close a couple weeks before election day simply because postcard campaigns need mailing time and that has run out. So it was time to celebrate the achievements of the 375 local folks who contributed to postcard writing for 40 different campaigns across the country. Hard to arrive at an exact count, but their grand total (actually, I wrote some of those postcards, too!) was something close to 100,000 postcards in the months since March. Give or take (it’s complicated to add it all up for many reasons). The celebration–over Zoom, of course–was well attended with an awesome slide show, clever awards and lots of kudos and speeches.

All of that was great and the substantial effort by the team leaders and postcard writers was duly and genuinely recognized. But it was Audrey’s comments at the end that were so gripping. She spoke as a grateful team leader, but also as a woman, a scientist (doctor) and an immigrant — all three disparaged and dismissed by our stupid president* (*not my president). The gut punch was when she said that if she’d known at 16 what she knows and has experienced now, she wouldn’t choose to come to the US. There was a lot more said to support that, and it was emotional and compelling. It was clear this work is personal, as it feels to all of us, but even more directly personal to her as a naturalized citizen. It’s horrible what he’s done, what he’s said and how he’s mobilized hate. He is destroying everything that was ever good about our immigrant-based population. He does not represent us. He must go. We have to get back to who we are. She expressed, with pain and resoluteness, why we’re all doing this work.

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