Pulled Pork

The weather has turned cold again for the umpteenth time this spring.  One day it’s 34C degrees and the next day it’s 6C degrees.  I honestly hate heating up the house when it’s SO hot outside so I won’t use my oven during hot weather. Today is a perfect day to bake since it’s only going to get up to 12C degrees, so I’m making pulled pork in the oven.   Not just any old internet pulled pork recipe – my daughter-in-law Jeanette’s Pulled Pork!   It’s ‘to die’ for.

I use my large roasting pan to cook it in but you can probably use a slow cooker if you adjust the cooking time.

Jeanette’s Pulled Pork Recipe

  • Pork roast (butt or shoulder, bone-in is best)  1 to 2kg
  • a few big chunks of veg like celery, carrot, onion, garlic in the bottom of the pot
  • put you roast on top
  • add what will be the equivalent  to a BBQ sauce below ( you can use your favourite bottled BBQ sauce but I’d recommend you try this recipe first)

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 3/4-1cup ketchup or plain can tomatoes or tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey or molasses
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 (2 for spicy) tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • pepper and some salt to taste
  • add (2 to) 3 cups water (stock/beer – I’ve always just used water but Jeanette says beer is best!). Make sure the liquid goes half way up the roast.
Ready to bake

Ready to bake

Cover with lid and cook in oven for 3+ hours at 325F degrees (or less long at 375F degrees), but basically till it falls apart.

Taste the sauce throughout to see if its balanced well and adjust a bit if necessary.

Remember the liquid will reduce and become a thicker sauce and the vinegar flavour will be less strong.  Check throughout to see if sauce is thickening…adjust salt at the end….you can uncover the last hour or so to let it really thicken.  Every time I’ve made this the sauce thickness has been different.

When done, scoop out the veggies and set aside in a covered oven-proof container.  Place in the oven, which you’ve just turned off, to keep warm.  Carefully remove the pork.  Place the roast pan with the barbeque sauce in the oven as well, to keep warm.

cooked

cooked

Remove all the meat off the bone and shred into small pieces.  This usually takes me 20+ minutes – hence why I keep the other stuff in the oven to keep warm.  Pour the warm sauce on top and mix.

Tonight we had pulled pork on garlic toast with a side of the carrots, celery, garlic, and onion from the pot.   It also goes nice on buns or as a side to veggie dishes or salad.  It’s quite a bit of meat for just two people so I usually divide it up into meal-size containers and freeze them for future use.

ready to eat

ready to eat

Thanks again Jea!

Living Legacy

This week I received 76 tree seedlings and 30 bushes free of charge because they were ‘surplus’ from a local project:  White Pine, Red Maple, White Birch, Sugar Maple, Bur Oak, Tamarack, Cedar, Sweet Gale, and Pagoda Dogwood.   All were bare root seedlings (not planted in a pretty one gallon container) ranging in height from 12-36 inches (up to one meter).  I assured the donor that I could definitely find homes on my property for every living plant, even though I re-gifted 10 trees to my son Darin for his home.

Bur Oak

Bur Oak tree

I had been expecting them, so I carefully drew up a map of where I wanted to plant all these wonderful trees and bushes.  It was truly a gift to receive them.   Most of the trees were planted along the sides of my property where they wouldn’t interfere with the gorgeous sunlight that feeds my soul and my garden – and maybe some day, solar panels.   White Pines were interspersed with Cedars and Sugar Maples nearest the house.  I thought that the Sugar Maples should be close so I can tap them in about 25 or 30 years to make maple syrup – maybe I’ll be like my Gramma who was active and busy when she was over 90 years old.   Sometimes there’s still snow on the ground when the Maples are tapped so being closer would be easy….. right?  Tamaracks and Cedars were planted down by the river since they like it wetter.  Some Red Maples and Bur Oaks were planted about halfway up the yard.  I tucked in a few Pagoda Dogwoods and Sweet Gale right along the riverside where they will thrive.  Most of the White Birch were reserved for the front of my house near the road where it’s drier.  They’ll grow up amongst the other maples, cedars, ash, and a variety of bushes.

White Pine

White Pine

The majority of Sweet Gale and Pagoda Dogwood bushes are destined for my ditch by the road.  It’s been an ongoing battle for me over the past few years, to keep my ditch perfectly manicured.  The sides are so steep that it’s very difficult for me to trim the grass.  So last fall, I decided to give in and let it be.  I’ll leave the centre of the ditch for the water to flow (or more like, sit and evaporate since it doesn’t really flow anywhere).  I have other bushes to add including Forsythia (which I have rooting in the kitchen), Hydrangea bushes (ready to be dug out from beside their momma bush), False Spirea (which has multiplied from the original single bush dozens of times over), Ostrich Ferns (which grow prolifically around here), Orange Daylilies (which desperately need dividing anyway), and that blasted Goutweed (which has invaded every garden – brought accidently into my garden with a friendly transplant).   So let the grass grow!  Soon it will be smothered by these other plants.

Sweet Gale waiting to be planted

Sweet Gale waiting to be planted

I reserved the three best trees for my three grandchildren who do not have a tree planted in their name yet.  To date, only 11 year old Kalia has a Ginko Biloba, 9 year old Livi has a Mountain Ash, and Spirit Baby has a White Pine.

I realize that I will likely never see these trees grow to maturity unless I live to be 100.  But as I planted each stick of a seedling, I wished it well on its journey and asked it to share its beauty with my children and grandchildren and whoever else might some day lay eyes on its magnificence.  My gift, my living legacy

Frogs

It’s springtime!  Nighttime at my place is filled with the sounds of frogs singing in concert.

Spring peepers are the most dominant frog tonight.  Multitudes of them are ‘peeping’ alone yet in unison with the others in all directions.  I can hear them from every window in every direction.  Here’s what they sound like.  Our riverside flood plain provides the right habitat for thriving populations of spring peepers, chorus frogs, wood frogs, leopard frogs, tree frogs….. well I could go on and on.

spring_peeper_102912_7

Spring peeper

Before dark, I can hear the occasional sound of a Robin or two, trying to get a word in edgewise.  And every once in a while, I can hear a solitary Gray Tree Frog.  The other evening, it was poised right on my back window just chillin’!

Bullfrogs begin croaking in their low moan as soon as darkness settles in.  Many large bullfrogs live in my pond for the summer after they hop up from the river.  Thousand more live in the river.  I greeted some today…..

Bullfrog

Bullfrog

The most prolific frog around here is the Leopard frog.  They are everywhere from the pond, river, grass, and ditches.  Muskey Joe, an American fisherman who frequents our river, used to catch them to use as bait, in our neighbourhood ditches until my young children shooed them away back in the day.  I remember when we moved here 34 years ago, hundreds and hundreds of leopard frogs were jumping for their lives, out of the way of our kind neighbour who was cutting our 2 foot high grass with his push mower.  My 3 little boys were running ahead of him trying to catch the frogs mid-air with their hands, to save them.

Of course, these are only a few species of frogs that inhabit this area of the planet.  I appreciate the multitude of frogs I share my life with who sing to me in melody.

Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrog

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