Monday, January 23, 2012

Thumper and stuff...

A few years and about 20lbs ago, Adventure-Poppy and I took a trip to Espana. While in Jerez de la Frontera (yep, the place where Sherry hales from), Shoppy-Poppy and I went to the Mercado. I got it in my craw that I wanted to cook a rabbit. I'd never had rabbit. Oh, and Food-Adventurous-Poppy wanted to fry up some bull's testicles. So, we bought the rabbit (the nice lady skinned it on the spot) and the Ferdinand testicles and some stuff to make rabbit stew.

We decided instead of cooking that night, we'd save it for the next because we wanted to take a ride into Seville. Once in Seville, we were having too much fun and decided to stay the night there so we could watch a bull fight. When-In-Rome-or-Spain-Poppy had seen a bull fight before and thought it was very culturally cool thing to experience. So, I decided it would be a good thing for me to see. I was reminded when I was a kid and how my Grandma would watch them on the T.V.; that and wrestling!

Thing is, we had ringside seats right where all the action was so to say it was graphic doesn't describe fairly enough. Oh well.

We also happened into a restaurant where they had their own Sangria recipe...El Buzo. Yeah, no kidding. Did you know that Sangria is pretty much a touristy drink. The only reason Spanish folks drink it is to get drunk.

I also learned that seafood paella is also a touristy dish, they don't hardly eat that either. Paella is like the kitchen sink dish...whatever you have goes in it. That said, if you had the seafood, it would go in.

What was I talking about? Right; Thumper...So once we came back to our little place to make our Thumper stew, we walked in the door and the the place smelled funny. We opened the fridge and quickly discovered our fresh Thumper and Ferdinand testicles had got bad. Boo!

To this day, I've wanted to cook a Thumper. As luck would have it, Sunset Sooper where everything is a dollar sells frozen Thumper!

I found a recipe for braised Thumper in white wine. Since I didn't want to open a whole bottle of white wine, I used Shoaxing Rice Wine...which strangely enough, tastes like cheap fino sherry. I'd give you the recipe, but really, would you cook a Thumper?

Because Thumper was a farmed rabbit, he really did taste like chicken...

Yesterday was game day and also National-Day-Of-Pork. Okay, I just made that up...I'd bought some boneless porky-chops and they were some fatties! Decided I'd make them for lunch, I wanted to brine them so here's the recipe. It's an Alton Brown recipe that I've embellished:

Brined Porky Chops

2 thick pork chops
3/4 cup kosher salt
½ cup Truvia (or 1 cup of Brown sugar for you carbos)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon Coleman’s mustard powder
2 bay leaves
1 cups cider vinegar (heated until hot)
1/2 lb ice cubes


1. In a non-reactive bowl, put the salt, Truvia, peppercorns, bay leaves and mustard powder; add in the HOT vinegar and swirl to dissolve the sugar and salt completely.

2. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes at room temperature to develop flavor.

3. Add in the ice cubes and shake to melt most of the ice.

4. Add in the pork chops, making certain that the meat is completely covered with the brine.

5. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours (NO MORE than 2 hours!).

6. Rinse the pork well under cold water before cooking.

7. Cook as desired.

Some years ago, Grill-Master-Poppy bought me my own training grill. It's actually a little clay piggy that is a replica of the same deal that's used for street food in some foreign land. He'd already lost one of his ears, then I knocked the other one off yesterday so now he's my Mini-Earless-Training-Grill. I wanted to grill my brined pork chops, but since I was only doing two of them, I didn't want to use the Smokey-Joe, so I used Mini-Earless-Piggy. Problem with Mini-Deaf-Piggy is there's no lid and it was very windy. Oh, I also put some wet sage in the bottom of Mini-Hearing-Impaired-Piggy so that would give them some yummy smoke. Worked out pretty well, only I did overcook my porky-chops, but they sure were good.

What, I can't hear you? Now it looks like he's got Joan Crawford's eyebrows! See what I mean?

Also my vision of my brined porky-chop was to fry an egg and put it on top. Why? Because everything tastes better with an egg on it!

My-Worst-Food-Critic-Poppy said it was "Okay." You know what that means...I bet she's just threatened by my grilling prowess!

Smokin-Hot-Poppy made a batch of her home cured and smoked Becky-Bacon. This was the best batch to date! Guess what that means? Yep, BLTA's sans the bread. So good!!!

So ends Not-Really-National-Day-Of-Pork!

Okay, all you mens stop reading now cause I'm going to talk about the lady bits.

Yesterday was that special time of month where I had some stinkin bad cramps. I said to What's-Old-Is-New-Again-Poppy that I wished we had a heating pad. Low and behold, she brought me this:

This evidently, is what folks used before the rubber hot water bottle was invented. When Takes-After-Her-Dad-Poppy and the fam were in Scotland many years back, I guess it was in the dead of Winter. The only heat source was fed with coins (yeah, kind of like Magic Fingers only different) but Poppy's Why-Spend-Money-On-Heat-When-You-Can-Freeze-Dad didn't want to pay for the heat. Wonder where Tight-Wad-Poppy gets her spend-thrifty habits? Anyway, they had these ceramic bottles so you put boiling water in it and wrap it in a towel and you have a nice hot heat source. So did the trick! Yay Poppy! Even Roger liked it! The bottle was still warm this morning!

Why is it when the smoke alarm battery is dying, it only does it in the wee hours of the morning? GOD-DUH!!

Recall my nickname at work is "Nubbins" because if my handican'd pinky fingers. Well, I just want you to know that for the first time in Nubbins' life she feels whole! IT'S A MIRACLE!

Fun times, eh?.

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