Hello, dear reader! I have to ask your humble apologies for my extended absence the last several months... I can only say that despite my lack of posting, I have not been idle. This last year has been filled with plans for a new path (studying and taking the GRE and applying to graduate schools) as well as my usual too-much-sewing-for-hire at this or that theatre, not to mention moving into a new house.
The important bit, however, is that here I am! The bitch is back and ready to get cooking, crafting and carousing. So hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, because here is my first annual Friendsgiving!
- Cider-braised pork roast (my contribution-- recipe later in the post)
- Roasted root vegetables
- Sweet potato & dried fruit casserole
- Ham-hock gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Classic stuffing
- Stuff'n Muff'ns (they're just as delicious as they sound)
- Spinach salad with goat cheese and walnuts
- Fall vegetable couscous
- Rolls from the Macrina bakery
- Mulled hot cider
- Lots and lots of wine
- Vegan mixed berry pie
- Pumpkin cheesecake
Instead of placing all the trouble of feeding 14 people on ourselves, we decided to opt for a potluck style affair. We set up and sent around a google doc so that everyone could sign up for a dish and to ensure nothing was forgotten or doubled up on.
After we got the menu under way and the invitations sent (nothing too fancy... just a Facebook invite), we set to the fun part of gathering a delightful combo of kitchy and classic fall decor.
Now for the pork! I found the recipe on Better Homes and Gardens' website and decided on it after looking at several similar ones. I have never cooked pork on my own (read: without my Gran) before, so I read up on many ways to roast or braise pork before going ahead with it. I found the Pioneer Woman's info on roasting pork to be particularly helpful as well as amusingly written. Her recipes are pretty much aways awesome and basically idiot-proof.
- 1 3.5 - 4 lb boneless pork top loin roast (tied)
- 3 cloves garlic, cut in thin slices
- 1tsp course salt
- 1tsp dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
- 3 med apples, cored and cut into wedges
- 1/4cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4cup apple juice
- 2tbs lemon juice
- 2tsp dry mustard
Ultimately I followed the recipe exactly as printed, excepting that once the meat was fully cooked, I removed it as well as the roasting laurel (silicone riser that allows more air-flow around the meat) from the dutch oven and reduced the juices on the stove top until they were a little more the consistency of sauce and spooned it over the pork once it was plated with the roasted veggies and apples.
It was one of the happiest dinners we've ever thrown-- whether that was due to the excessive food, drink or heat from the oven, who can say?
As always, I'm dying to hear what you think so please leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming posts include a holiday crafting roundup, holiday decor, Christmas cookies, as well as the saga of my recent move! Also expect to see some new features showing up soon.