When I was a little girl, I loved going to the farm with my dad for Sunday chores.
I would “drive” the pickup down the gravel road off the highway. The farm dog — usually a German Shepherd mix, and always named “Ginger” or “Lassie” for as long as my dad could remember — would greet us excitedly, jump up all over me, and scare the bejesus out of me.
Once in the hog building, he would push some buttons, releasing the feed would be released. My little cowboy boot-clad feet would kick the excess feed into the troughs. Every once in awhile, a sow would be loose from her pen and running around. That’s when the terror of a big scary farm dog gets trumped by a big, scary pig running around, trying to trample you to death and kill you.
(Have my memories embellished over the last 20-some years, or is life really that scary when you’re 4?)
Ironically, as a child I didn’t really care for pork. Other than bacon and sausage, natch, and smoked pork chops cooked on the grill in the summer. Regular pork chops, tenderloin, ribs, pork shoulder, and even ham were things I tolerated as a kid when I had to, but fell in love with as an adult — years after my family left the hog business.
I love incorporating pork chops into my weeknight menus. Simple, quick, and versatile. This recipe comes together in under an hour, with less than 15 minutes of hands-on work, and features a few seasonal ingredients. It’s the kind of recipe that works equally well on a weeknight after the gym or hosting dinner guests on a Sunday night.