Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Our fans have done a good job" WHAT???

Hey Nick S--

I like you just fine. I've liked your teams. But Alabama fans do not "work" for you. You have your directions mixed up. I grant that there are "fans" out there who don't have brains, I am not one. You blew this all by yourself. As a fan, you work for me. And you are fired.

Seriously. What a monumental screw up. And now listen to ESPN spin. "You had a bunch of lineman trying to run him down." Right. Lineman. Sure, they may have thought you were looking to fake. But let's look at this as we did as we watched the game. Go into overtime. Yes. That would have upset our dinner plans. But you would have won. But no. You opt to try a FIFTY-SEVEN yard field goal. Kicked by a red-shirt freshman. Are you insane? Have you lost your marbles?

And what universe am I living in where I am hearing, "But Florida State's still gotta beat Duke." DUKE?? Duke! Duke football. As I type "D-U-K-E F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L" my fingers freeze up. And the only thing I can think of is how pissed off Coach K and those lacrosse fellows must be.  Duke is about B'ball, not football, and false accusations, vis-a-vis the lacrosse fellows. 

I said to Mr. Big Food just an hour or so ago, "If you'd have told me, fifteen years ago, that Duke beat Carolina in football, I'd have said you were crazy." Of course, in 1998, I didn't fully appreciate how crazy thing were going to be in 2013.

And Missouri just beat Texas A&M. Another dose of fresh hell.


Tomorrow, me & the truck & I are going on a pilgrimage to the woods. I will take Missy. We will gather things for a delightful holiday potpourri, and some kindlin' wood. 

And just for good measure, I will take my cowboy rifle.  

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

Make French Potato Fritters!
Very good! A nice send off for Mike & Greg who both are now in their respective cities where they will do City Mouse things. (Mike loves that story.) 

Life is Big, isn't it? Oh. Speaking of Big... . Remember American Grouch? The guy whose blog I read who lives in Minnesota, takes fabulous outdoor photos, and won a place in the wolf-hunting lottery? He's off to hunt wolves. Check out his post from yesterday, the day he left for his five-day deep cold woods adventure.

Feed the Birds

Let's make suet!
If you've never made suet for the birds, you're missing out on a fun winter activity.

You can find suet recipes on the World Wide Web, or you can wing it. These are the items I gathered up this morning. Note: I opted to not use the baking mix-- I thought there might be too much miscellaneous stuff in it. Everything else is nearly a one ingredient item.

The base of suet is any fat that is solid at room temperature. I used lard but have used vegetable shortening. The consistency is gotten by adding grains, oats, etc. I added a little bit of peanut butter and brown sugar for color-- not that the birds care-- and extra energy. Everything else is a bird treat: raisins, apricots, prunes, pine nuts, sunflower kernels, and a small bit of chopped up apple. 

Melt fat. Add peanut butter and brown sugar. Stir in oats, corn meal, grits, bran cereal, a few stale crumbled stale corn flakes, and whathaveyou. I go for a consistency of... a thick muffin batter. Then add treats. 

I made a cake by pouring the cooled mixture into the used pine nut container. The rest is cooling in the pot on the patio. When it's solid, I'll smear it on some sticks I've placed in a sunny spot in the garden near the back door. 

I'm hoping to see cardinals, chickadees, tufted tit mice, house sparrow and wrens and we'll see what else. In years past my suet sticks have attracted woodpeckers.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bright Friday!

Put a feather in her cap!
Thanks to my lovely mother, the dinner table is always set with panache.
--Miss M

She ended the dramatic reading with such panache that I'll remember it forever.

One of my colleagues frequently digresses to teach with great panache

Some folks are short on panache and long on practicality.
--A. Lelend

This misguided panache will not stand!
--Mr. Big Food

Despite the second-hand smoke and dog hair, the bunkhouse has a lot of panache.
--Dr. Greg Johnson
Do tell.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I didn't even look at that crappy old Thanksgiving today. And I took very few pictures.

Around 11:30 Miss M called our attention to the tree with the buzzards.
There were a lot of them.
You may recall Nick got a deer last evening.

Meanwhile, there's some cooking and baking going on. The two pies were delicious. We did those early. They sat on the counter all day. Harvest artwork. One of the pies was pumpkin with homegrown pumpkin. At the end of the evening, while we were enjoying our pie in front of the television and the fire, the consensus was that homegrown pumpkin is better than canned.

And Mr. Big Food had gotten the turkey on the smoker with apple wood. Later, after about two hours of smoking, he'll bring it inside, let it cool, put it in a turkey cooking bag with some apple cider and put it in the oven for several hours.

Miss M went on a nature walk and took my camera.

The Lake. There's still some expensive tackle out there.

Ducks on the Lake.

There's supposed to be a blue heron in there somewhere, I think.

Here it is in flight.
This Thanksgiving was small. There were only six of us and four of us live here. But we did a good job of putting on the dog.

A. Leland volunteered his Winter Tea and so got put in charge of appetizers-- stuff we could drink and nibble on in the afternoon before dinner.

He did a fine job!

And so we go survey the house. Vicious Pit Bull. He's doing his job, earning his keep.

Anyway...  clockwise beginning with the orange crackpot holding A. Leland's famed Winter Tea-- a concoction of rum, triple sec, apple cinnamon tea, and a boatload of fruit; some little redhot wieners in a silver chafing dish; let's call it an ante-pesto tray-- peppers, pickles, tomatoes sprinkled with dried basil from last Spring; crackers, some vegan; a meat & cheese tray.

Here it is from another angle. It was by design that we put this table over by the fireplace. Stay out of the kitchen. It's Thanksgiving. We're cooking.
What I forgot to take a picture of was the coffee table laid out with the appetizer glass ware. So I have these crappy old rectangular glass plates. Picked most of them up at a flea market on Hwy 60 in WV. They have little punch typey cups that fit in a carved out space at one end. There's a similarly square-shaped carved out space beneath cup space. The entire plate is beaded all the way around. Except for the space I just described. It has a divot where a bead should be.

What is the purpose of this space?

If you guessed "ashtray," you guessed right!

And, as a bonus, the little punch typey cups were perfect for the Winter Tea.

Mike brought a delightful sweet potato dish. Mike has a nice way of bringing exotic food down to earth.

Greg brought us a very nice end to our day.

We feasted on turkey, mashed potatoes (not my best), gravy, stuffing (vegan), cranberries (which stained by Christmas serving bowl),  green beans, and I am proud to announce, a fresh green salad with butter crunch and red leaf lettuce and broccoli raab. Picked  today.

The table wasn't my best. I liked last night's table better.

But the food was good. I especially liked the pie.

Tomorrow, as is our Tradition, we will have Turkey Gumbo.

I hear tell there may be a shrimp or two thrown into the pot.

Happy Thanksgiving, all y'all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Have a Book About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Its Origin, Celebration and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse. Robert Haven Schauffler, ed. Dodd, Mead and Company, New York. 1953.
I'm on page 23-- after a lengthy 12 1/2 page Introduction-- and I'm disappointed. But I'll keep reading and see what I can find to share. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about what it might have been like to be the sort of person who felt so strongly about something that you were willing to do what the first colonizers did. 

Meanwhile, ...

Do not click to read more if you do not want to see a picture of a dead animal.

Let me be perfectly clear

I will make it a point to talk about guns.
What with neither Mr. Big Food nor Miss M having to go to Starkvegas today, and our having finished up all of our shopping for tomorrow's feast, our Thanksgiving weekend has begun. So let me take a few minutes to get some things on & off the table right now so we can all enjoy the remainder of our weekend.

1) We will be talking about guns this weekend. We may even shoot some guns.

2) As I was explaining to Missy yesterday, Thanksgiving is an American holiday-- more than just a harvest feast we also remember the Pilgrims, Puritans and other souls who left the warm and comfy Old World to come to the New, where they had a greater measure of freedom. Unless your ideological bent is toward individual freedom and liberty and away from being told what to do, think, eat, etc., you can say whatever the heck you want but be prepared to meet with devastating resistance from those of us who value individual freedom, etc. 

3) You loose points if you use the term "Black Friday." In all of the English language, this is a phrase I abhor the most. Shopping for Christmas gifts for loved ones should-- yes, should-- be a warm, pleasurable experience. It is not a contact sport. Calling the day after Thanksgiving "Black Friday" is crass and I don't like it. 

4) The salad fork is the shorter of the two. 

Good. Now, let's enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's All the Excitment?


"Yes, Missy?"

"Are you busy?"

"Why, no. Not really. I'm just diddling around the World Wide Web. What's up?"

"I'm sensing a bit of excitement in the air. It portends of the unusual. Pray, is something different about to happen here at the Farm."


"How perceptive of you, Missy!"

"Ruff ruff! Ruff?"

"You, too, Rocky. And yes, Daughter C will be gone for a few days. She's off to visit Mr. Bow Tie."

"Ah. Mr. Bow Tie. Such a pleasant fellow."


"Because she's flying on an aeroplane and it's difficult for dogs to fly on aeroplanes."


"Pardon me, but we seem to be getting off topic. Is something about to happen?"

"Indeed it is! Thanksgiving is coming up."


" 'Thanks giving.' Excuse my ignorance, but that is something less than satisfying as an answer. What, pray tell, is 'thanks giving?' "

"Thanksgiving is an American holiday. You remember that we're Americans, right?"


"Of course! I'm proud to be an American dog. 'All-American,' I might add, given my Newfoundlandian and German heritage."

"Ruff. Ruff."

"Good for you, Rocky! Stafordshire Terriers do have British ancestry. Anyway-- Thanksgiving is an American holiday on which we-- as a country, as families, and as individuals-- take time to reflect on what we are thankful for."

"Hum. Don't we do that everyday, Marica? I hear you tell Mr. Big Food you're thankful we all live together here on the Farm at least two or three time a week."

"Ruff? Ruff ruff ruff."

"Yeah, I do. And Rocky, I know you give thanks every night before you lay your little head down on the pillow that Daughter C rescued you from being chained to a tree. But this is a day where everyone gives thanks."

"Ah. An institutionalized holiday."

"Riiight. We also remember those folks who first came to America from the Old World."


"Excuse me! 'Old World?' There was a world before this one?!? I recall no mention of this on The Big Bang Theory! Old World! Is a TARDIS involved? My head is spinning!!"

"Oh, Missy. Don't take things so literally. The old world refers to Great Britain and the Continent, as opposed to America which, at the time of its discovery and colonization, was referred to as the New World."


"Oh. Please. You did not know that. Stop acting so smug. Now, Marica. I have several more questions but I wonder if you might retrieve for me a map of these Old and New Worlds, as my questions are predicated on understanding this distinction."

"Ruff ruff ruff!!"

"Stop laughing. I know I am the retriever. But it's Marica's library-- she would know better than I where the appropriate map is located."

"You have to admit, that was pretty funny! I'll go retrieve you a map, Missy."

"Ruff ruff ruff!!"

"Thank you ever so much, Marica."


"Really? Ruff ruff!!"

"Most helpful. Thank you very much!"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Look at all that white space

I gotta figure out how to write in columns.

H/T Miss M

A Quiet, Yet Memorable Evening

Creamed spinach. PopEye!
We enjoyed the last of the fresh spinach-- for a little while. I picked it hard the other day, and what with the cold weather, growth has slowed considerably.

A. Leland tried out the beta version of his Winter Tea. He'll make a big batch for Thanksgiving and serve it in the crockpot.

Miss M was able to take time out from writing to grace us with her presence at dinner.

Daughter C is preparing for an excellent adventure and still managed to compose the #1 word of the day sentence (see below).

Mr. Big Food found yet another excellent grace to read before dinner.

AND... we had had our first "V" word!
Mrs. Mumaw was not only vituperative, she was physically abusive.
--Miss M
Not a trait one desires in a grade-school teacher.
Just because you hate it here in Mississippi, and you think being a tenure-track professor at Mississippi State University is beneath you, you have no reason to be vituperative toward your students, Mister Assistant Professor.
Or in a professor.
His vituperative bellicosity cost him friendships.
--Mr. Big Food

Martin Bashir's vituperative eruption in response to the conservative woman's commentary not only demonstrated an inept frame of mind but a vicious character.
--A. Leland

It's not as if she was being vituperative when telling him he did the wrong study in the form of a question. Actually, yeah she was.
--Daughter C

A Lunchtime Trip

from Starkvegas, Mississippi to Oxford, not-Mississippi via Poland, Berlin and South Africa
We begin our little journey with the recent announcement that Donald "Field" Brown, a Mississippi State student double majoring in English and Philosophy, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship! The Rhodes Scholarship was established at the behest of Cecil Rhodes.

That name sounds familiar.
Cecil Rhodes: Man and Empire-Maker. Princess Catherine Radziwill. Funk and Wagnalls Company, New York. 1918.
Sure enough, there it is right on the shelf behind my desk/lunch table-- British rule of South Africa, which would explain where ol' Cecil got his money. Mining.

So who is this Princess? My minimal skimming of the book suggests she's not the most objective author, but what do I know? It's lunchtime and I am not predisposed to go wandering about searching for biographical information, so I turn to that infallible source, Wikipedia:
Princess Catherine Radziwiłł (30 March 1858 – 12 May 1941) was a Polish princess from the Polish-Lithuanian aristocratic Radziwiłł family. She was born as Countess Ekaterina Adamovna Rzewuska. She married Prince Wilhelm Radziwiłł at age 15 and moved to Berlin to live with his family.

And then it gets interesting:
She stalked the English-born South African politician Cecil Rhodes and asked him to marry her, but he refused. She then got revenge by forging his name on a promissory note. She was convicted of forging Rhodes' signature and spent time in a South African jail for her crimes.
Enough about the miner & the Princess. Back to Oxford-- not-Mississippi, the Oxford across the pond-- where Field will be studying.
Brown, the son of Willie and Cynthia Brown, said he is particularly interested in studying post-World War II African-American literature. He said both English and philosophy are related to his love of studying ideas.

"English is the narrative form; literature deals with everyday people and how they relate to ideas," Brown said. "Philosophy is the systematic study of ideas, and the two go together."

Brown said that, while the promise of continuing his studies at Oxford is thrilling, the reality of gaining the fellowship is life changing.

"So many great minds have walked the halls of Oxford, including tons of writers and a lot of important thinkers who have shaped the western world," Brown said.

Brown said he plans to pursue masters of studies degrees in both American literature and modern English literature. Specifically, he is interested in trans-Atlantic interactions within literature, particularly how McCarthyism scare tactics of the 1950s and the Cold War affected which books were promoted.

Recipe: Best Breakfast Casserole and Party Variation

Really, really good!

This is the regular version, not the party variation. It would make an excellent breakfast for the coming busy weekend. Make it in the evening, refrigerate overnight.

"Scrumptious. Be creative with the bread and meat you use." 


12 slices bread (“may substitute French bread for white bread: either preferably homemade—see recipes in Baked Goods section) 
1 lb Velveeta cheese 
8 oz sausage, cooked and drained (preferably homemade—see recipes in Meats section) 
1 stick butter or margarine, melted 
6 eggs, beaten 
1 tsp dry mustard 
½ tsp salt 
1 quart milk 

Break bread into small pieces and place in a greased 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Cube cheese and place over bread, then top cheese with sausage. Pour melted butter over all. Stir together beaten eggs, mustard, salt, and milk, then pour mixture over casserole. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours. Preheat oven to 350° and bake casserole for 1 hour or longer, until a crust forms on the top and the casserole is firm. 

 “Layer over bread 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained. Add the cheese and diced ham. Add 2 tablespoons instant minced onions to the beaten egg mixture, pour over casserole. Proceed as directed. Serves 10.”

Recipe: Texas Style Barbequed Chicken

Broiled version

Serves 6 

1 C catsup or chili sauce (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section) 
1/3 C lemon juice, strained 
1 Tbsp onion, grated or chopped very fine 
1/3 C butter, melted 
½ C Worcestershire sauce 
½ tsp black pepper 
2 3 ½ lb frying chickens, cut up 

Blend together all ingredients except chicken pieces, brush on chicken, and let stand 20 minutes. 

Arrange chicken on foil-lined broiler pan and broil at moderate heat 6 inches from flame, about 35 minutes total. Turn chicken several times and baste frequently with the remaining sauce. 

Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken pieces in shallow baking pan (lined with foil if desired, for easier clean up) and bake 45 minutes.

Recipe: Carolina Slaw

Add this to your barbeque sandwich. Very Carolina!

Serves 8 to 10 

1 head of cabbage, shredded fine 
1 medium bell pepper, chopped fine 
1 medium sweet onion, chopped fine 
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch strips 
1 C sugar (or less, to taste) 
1 tsp salt 
2/3 C vegetable oil 
1 tsp dry mustard 
1 tsp celery seed 
1 C cider vinegar 

Combine cabbage, bell pepper, onion, and carrots in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves, and then stir frequently. Pour hot dressing over vegetables and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Wait. What?

One can only hope the various weather predicting organizations are as accurate as they typically are.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Word of the Decade

A lack of eptitude resulted in an inept character.
--Mr. Big Food

I left it inept to the other fella to put the shine on the barn.
--A. Leland

Excessive drinking and crack usage do not alone make one an inept city official.
--Daughter C

It was the most inept performance by a professor-- in front of his own students no less!-- that I've ever seen.

You're inept.
--Miss M

It doesn't take much

to amuse us.

These are mockernuts.
Mockernuts are a species of hickory: Carya tomentosa. I got that from the infallible source, Wikipedia. It confirms what my Plant Book [1] and several tree identification books [2] say.

Mockernuts are A. Leland's gig. He's been collecting, removing the husks, and shelling them. He reports the nut meat is sweet and buttery with a hint of banana.

If he keeps up his current pace of collecting, removing and shelling, we should have at least four or five cups of nut meat by next Spring. That is, if he isn't distracted by the walnuts. 

A. Leland observed that it was cool that we could just walk outside and gather food to eat. He's not one, but it's good to be reminded that some folks think delicate nuts come from Whole Foods. 

[1] The Plant Book: The World of Plants in a Single Volume. Random House Austrailia Pty Ltd. 2001

[2] Trees of North America: A Field Guide to the Major Native and Introduced Species North of Mexico. Frank Brockman. Golden Press, New York. 1979.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


WHAT does history mean to me?

That's an excellent question.

It's Plain & Obvious. Duh.

The plain and obvious Meaning of the Words Freedom and Liberty, in common Speech, is Power, Opportunity, or Advantage, that any one has, to do as he pleases. Or in other Words, his being free from Hindrance or Impediment to the Way of doing, or conducting in any Respect, as he wills. And the contrary to Liberty, whatever Name we call that by, is a Person's being hinder'd or unable to conduct as he will, or being necessitated to do otherwise.

(Emphases in original; From "Concerning the Notion of Liberty, and of Moral Agency" by Jonathan Edwards [from the "Treatise on the Freedom of the Will," 1754] in Selections from Early American Writers 1607-1800, William B. Cairns, ed., The Macmillan Company, New York, 1912.)

Freedom and Liberty

Friday, November 22, 2013


I'm gaining an appreciation for Hume.

But I'm not going to talk about Hume in the hallway.

But I might think about talking about Hume later in the day.
I have a "Hume" tag. Is that pathetic or what?

re ∙ con ∙ dite

Foolish recondite puffery is the real "hobgoblin."
--Mr. Big Food

Metaphysicians seem to be incapable of offering anything but the worst recondite theses.
--A. Leland

According to contemporary scholars, "No genuine scientific understanding is possible." "How recondite," said Hume.

re ∙ con ∙ dite

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Private Message

page 3

I bought a bunch of copies to send to y'all.  Please email me your adresses.

Mr. Low Man! Who told you could get out of that corner? Get back there!

Recipe: Hot Potato Soup

Welcome to the 2013 Fall & Winter Soup Contest!
The soup can easily be veganized-- which is what Mr. Big Food did. He also sauteed up some red hot sausages to add-in, and served the soup with your choice of sour cream, vegan sour cream, milk, or almond milk. 

Serves 8 

2 C onion, chopped 
1 C celery, chopped 
1 quart red potatoes, peeled and sliced 
1 clove garlic, minced 
½ stick butter 
2 C chicken stock, plus more, or use veggie stock for a vegetarian/vegan soup (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section) 
Milk, soy milk, almond milk 
Sour cream 

Sauté onions, celery, and garlic in butter until limp, add 2 C chicken stock, then add potatoes and enough additional stock to barely cover potatoes. Cook covered until potatoes are tender. “This can be pureed in a blender if you want it smooth or mashed with a potato masher. Add half milk and half sour cream, or all milk, until the right consistency for soup.”

Recipe: Toamto Gravy II (used for a macaroni dish)

Veganizable in the obvious ways
Mr. Big Food made this as a sauce for baked macaroni. A nice vegan variation on mac & cheese. Also, he used broccoli stock rather than water. No need to let those vitamins go down the drain when you boil veggies!

“Instead of tomatoes, you can use canned tomato juice or canned tomatoes.” 


1 oz (2 Tbsp) butter (“the size of a large egg”) 
1 onion, cut into thin slices 
4 whole black peppercorns 
3 whole allspice 
1 whole clove 
Pinch ground cinnamon 
½ bay leaf 
Pinch thyme 
Piece of lemon rind “about the size of a thumb nail” 
1 Tbsp sugar, plus more if needed 
2 Tbsp flour 
10 medium tomatoes, well ripened, chopped, with juices 
Soup stock or water (the former preferably homemade—see recipes in this section) 
2 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (optional) 
A little red wine OR sour cream (optional) 

Melt butter in a saucepan or deep skillet and fry onion slices until golden. Add peppercorns, allspice, clove, cinnamon, bay leaf, thyme, lemon rind, and sugar. Add flour and mix well. Add tomatoes and their juices, and simmer, mixing frequently. Add soup stock or water when juice from tomatoes has evaporated. Cook, add salt to taste, and add additional sugar, and vinegar or lemon juice, if any is needed. “Some people add a little red wine or sour cream.” Strain gravy through a strainer.

Recipe: Pickled Pepper Roast

No leftovers!

Mr. Big Food says, "I adapted this one from an old recipe for cooking roasts in foil wraps. It’s tasty and easy, and the cooked pickled peppers are delicious to eat by themselves." 


1 roast, pork or beef (can be a cheap cut—the fat will cook away) 
(Alternatively: one turkey breast) 
1 jar sliced pickled banana peppers or pepprocini—hot or mild (use two jars for larger cuts of meat) 
1 cooking bag large enough for your cut of meat 

Preheat oven to 350°. Place 1 Tbsp flour in cooking bag, close by hand, and swirl flour around bag. Place bag in a pan or roaster big enough to hold cut of meat comfortably. Dump peppers and liquid over meat in bag. Seal bag and cut six slits with large knife across top. 

Bake as follows: 

Boneless Chuck Roast, 3-5 pounds, 2-2 ¾ hours; 
Rump Roast, 4-7 pounds, 2-2 ½ hours; 
Sirloin Tip Roast, 4-8 pounds, 1 ¾- 2 3/4 hours; 
Eye of Round Roast, 3-5 pounds, 1 ¼ - 1 ¾ hours. 

Pork, turkey & chicken below

Recipe: Corn and Tomato Casserole (Veganizable)

Veganizable in the usual way


2 ½ C canned corn, drained (or frozen)
2 ½ C diced stewed tomatoes (or replace some portion of this with Ro*tel for a spicier dish) 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp sugar 
1 Tbsp chili powder (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section) 
Bread cubes, cut from buttered toast 

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together corn, tomatoes, salt, sugar, and chili powder and pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with bread cubes and dot with butter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bread cubes on top are nicely browned.

Recipe: Creole Pork Chops and Corn Bread Casserole

Who doesn't like pork chops? ... Except for vegans?

From Leah Chase, the long-time chef and co-owner of Dooky Chase’s restaurant in N’Awlins

Serves 8 

½ stick butter 
8 pork chops, ½ inch thick 
1/3 C onion, chopped 
1/3 C celery, chopped 
¼ C bell pepper, chopped 
1 large garlic clove, minced 
2 C cornbread, crumbled (preferably homemade—see recipes in Baked Goods section—or Jiffy mix) 
1 egg, beaten lightly 
14 ½ oz tomatoes, chopped with juice (can use canned) 
1 C (8 oz) tomato sauce (preferably homemade—see recipe in Basics section) 
1 tsp brown sugar 
½ tsp chili powder (or more, to taste, and preferably Pure—see instructions in Basics section) 
¼ tsp salt 
1/8 tsp black pepper 
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 bay leaf 

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in large skillet over medium flame. Add 4 chops and brown on both sides. Remove, draining drippings back into skillet, and repeat with remaining chops. Remove and set aside. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter in same skillet, add onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove from heat. Combine cornbread, egg, and half of onion mixture in large mixing bowl, and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to remaining onion mixture in skillet, mix to combine, and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove from flame and remove bay leaf. Place 4 browned pork chops in a 3 quart casserole, and spread cornbread mixture over chops. Top with remaining chops, pour sauce over, and cover casserole. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until chops are tender.