Friday, February 17, 2012

Life Changes on a Dime

You know how you are rocking through life thinking everything is going well and you get a little complacent? Then suddenly one day everything changes. Well, we have had one of those defining moments that has restructured life, at least for a while. Over a week ago my dad was ushering at a musical event, traipsing up and down the stairs, and woke the next morning with limited mobility. By the next morning he was virtually paralyzed with esophageal limitations and breathing difficulties. A diagnosis of Guillian Barre Syndrome, massive immunogloblulin infusions and time have stopped the progress and now he is in rehab, s-l-o-w-l-y gaining back some function. It is going to be a long process and in the meantime he requires a lot of assistance. ( We are calling it that because he DOES NOT like feeling helpless)

Long story short, I am most often on the late afternoon, supper, bedtime detail so my cooking has just about disappeared. I feel for the next month or so I will be doing crock pot or salad meals for the most part. A few nights ago I saw a post on the blog of my friend Jill @cooking what I pinned and realized I had everything it called for: boneless pork chops in the freezer, cream of chicken soup, and a package of ranch dressing mix. Since it would cook in the crock pot and The Hub and Son3 would be home for supper and gone again before I got back from the hospital it was a done deal.

Creamy Crock Pot Pork Chops

1 Package of Pork Chops
1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

Put the pork chops in the bottom of the crock pot. Stir the soup and dry ranch dressing and spread over the chops to cover. Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours.

Ok I have to admit I did not do it exactly as called for. The cream of chicken soup I was sure I had turned out to be cream of mushroom which was fine with me. Cream of anything except cream of shrimp would have worked equally well. Since I am a Piggly Wiggly meat snob, I buy all of our meats and poultry there. I love having an old fashioned butcher who will actually butcher things the way I want them. I had bought 2 whole pork loins and had them cut into boneless loin chops that were a little over 1/2 inch thick. They were frozen in packs with either 3 or 6 slices and for this I pulled out one of the 6 piece packages. I thought it might require a little more sauce than just one can of soup would create and when I looked through the pantry I found an accidental purchase, cream of mushroom with roasted garlic. I figured since the ranch dressing already had garlic a little more wouldn't hurt. I mixed both with the dressing mix and spread it over the chops. I had a green salad already made in the fridge but thought the guys would want a little more than a hunk of meat and some greens so I added a cup of short grain brown rice on top of the soup and then poured about a half cup of white wine on top of the rice. I put the top on and set the temp to low and let it rip.

There is no picture this time because I put this on at 7:30 in the morning. At about 4 when Son3 got home from school he called me at the hospital and I got him to stir just the rice and soupy sauce. He replaced the top and it continued to cook until about 6:30. They ate and turned the crock pot to warm and left it for me. When I got home right about 9 there was a crock pot with nearly shredded pork and the most delicious brown rice I have ever eaten. It was so overcooked that I was about 2 hours late for sauce. According to Son3 they had wonderful rice with chops and a delicious creamy sauce, but I had forgotten to ask them to take a picture of it. I could have but it would have been very unappetizing to look at, still trust me, it was delicious. I will do this again another time when I can obey the cooking instructions. I think the only thing I will do differently is to add some frozen peas and a half a cup of sliced mushrooms about 2 hours before serving and just let them sit on the top of the rice to mostly steam but pick up some of the sauce flavors.

Thanks Jill, you were a supper savior! If you want to see what it was supposed to look like, take a look at Jill's blog!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, but glad that he's on the mend! Thanks for the your variation(s). My friend made with bone-in chops this week and they came out much better/tender than mine.