Dear Muzgaash of the Tower [that’s my oven’s Orc name from a generator I frequent],
It really sucks that you are trying to ruin my carefully planned meal itinerary, especially when you know how important it is to me. I worked on it all day Friday. I even missed the first ten minutes of General Hospital—a sacrifice that led to confusion and suffering. Mostly because I didn’t know Brenda was in the limo when the bomb went off and I had to find out from stupid whiny little Molly. BTW, I told you it was Sam in the wreckage. You are home all week, you should have seen this coming. The Balkan left clues. And why didn’t you tell me Franco was going to be back? Not cool.
I bought you a new temperature gauge so we could communicate better, and a meat thermometer to take the pressure off of your work. You still undercook my joy and overcook my patience.
Please try to be better.
Very truly yours,
I wrote the above letter to my oven today. I made pork chops as per the Master Plan for Sunday lunch and after Martha Stewart’s prescribed 16 minutes at an alleged 425°, the chops were still basically raw. They had to go back into the Mordor’s minion for another ten big ones, thus leading to overbrowning of their delicate breadcrumb crusts.
It was my first pork chop experience as a homecook and I didn’t love it. Maybe because after the drama was over, the chops weren’t all that fantastically delicious. Pork has a sweetish flavor on its own, and I think the apricot jam glue that held the crumby crust in place over-sweetened the dish. A side of radicchio slaw (based on a smittenkitchen recipe) added some much-needed balance with its heat, oniony tang, and bitter crunch. I will say, the multigrain crust was pretty bangin’—like a coat of stuffing, soaking up the juices from the meat on one side and crisping nicely on the other.
We put the icing on the cake of Day one: The Feast begins with, well, cake… that had no icing. Pretty appropriate, actually, because the pork wasn’t “the cake” that could be iced. So “the cake” became the real cake, and we missed the proverbial icing. Anyway, who needs icing when you have molten chocolate? OH WAIT. Muzgaash vanquishes all oozy joy from the land of Welivehere and the cakes were significantly less molten than anticipated. Still pretty good. I ate two… Don’t look at me like that—Alex ate three.