The Infamous Pork Chop Investigation …

Cover Photo by Barry Braun. 

During one of our recent family gatherings, the infamous pork chop investigation came up again – and we all laughed and laughed. However, no one was laughing during the real infamous pork chop ‘investigation.’

It all started, years ago, when the kids were all at home and we had pork chops for dinner. There was one pork chop left over. That pork chop was put on a  stoneware dessert plate on the second shelf in the refrigerator, unwrapped, and intended as a snack for Jim (Dad). All of the kids could reach the second shelf. (And by the way, our daughter remembered this detail:  The plate was part of our everyday dinnerware that was tan with orange and yellow flowers in the center and an orange stripe around the edge. I am not sure how it factored into the investigation, but a detail to be noted nonetheless.)

The next day Jim went to get the pork chop — but —  horror of all horrors!!  Someone had taken a nice big bite out of the pork chop. Jim was not happy – not happy at all!! All of the kids were called into the kitchen and the investigation began. Each was questioned about taking a bite out of the pork chop; none would confess. Minutes turned into an hour – and still no confession, And so they sat. And sat. And sat.

After what some claim was several hours and some claim was only one hour (years since have dimmed the memories), the youngest son confessed  — even though he kept proclaiming his innocence. He really did not want to sit anymore. He wanted to play with his wrestling action figures. Clearly the bite in the meat did not match his small bite  – but he did confess. He was thanked for telling the truth and the investigation was over. But the investigation wasn’t closed. Something just didn’t add up.

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Youngest son’s wrestling collection. (Photo by Barry Braun)

Years later, at another family gathering, the truth came out. It was not the youngest son. It was the oldest son – a bit of a trickster. Through laughter, he finally confessed. We should have known.

And yet, grilled pork chops are still a favorite of everyone – the oldest and youngest son in particular — and me, as well !!

Family Favorites when grilling pork chops:

  • Lawry’s Seasoned salt
  • Garlic salt with pepper or garlic pepper
  • McCormick cajun seasoning, rubbed into the meat before grilling
  • Tip: Cut up leftover pork chops are good in stir fry.

And to put a little spice in your life, here is a recipe for Cajun Spiced (fried) Pork Chops – on that rare occasion when you can’t use an outdoor grill:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 center cut pork chops
  1. Mix paprika, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sage, and garlic salt on a plate. Liberally coat each pork chop with the spice mixture.
  2. Heat olive oil and several pumps of non-stick, butter-flavored spray in a large skillet over high heat. Place pork chops in the skillet, reducing heat to medium. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Thanks for reading! I hope you return. 

Fluffy Wuffies ???

Recently I was looking through a recipe book that my Mom created in 1983. It is full of recipes from family members. We were all asked to submitt a couple of recipes; Mom then ordered spiral bound books with blank pages for recipes. Mom typed them and pasted copies of all of the recipes in the book. Mom’s recipes came first, then the oldest child and spouse, and then the rest of the siblings and spouses, according to the age of the sibling. Each book had the sibling’s name custom printed on the cover. The book became our Christmas present that year. This process went on for a couple of years, although I”m sure she intended it to last longer. I think we became rather negligent in supplying recipes. After the second year, we had to paste the recipes in our books ourselves. I find that I hadn’t even done that yet.

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But – on to the Fluffy Wuffies. As i looked through the book, I found a recipe from my sister-in-law for Fluffy Wuffies. I had absolutely no recollection of this. So, of course I googled it. Guess what – there are lots of recipes for Fluffy Wuffies. I can’t believe I have lived this long and know nothing about Fluffy Wuffies!! I asked a couple of ladies that are older than me –  and they had not heard of them either.

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A Fluffy Wuffie is simply an oven-baked pancake. Some sources say it is German in origin; some say it is Dutch. It  is made of very basic ingredients — one of those things you could make if you don’t have much on hand. I would bet that this was a good meal during the depression era – easy, few ingredients and can be embellished in many ways.

Fluffy Wuffies

  • 1/2 stick melted margarine (I would use butter)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • i cup milk

Mix all ingredients together; pour into a pie pan (or baking dish). (It doesn’t say this, but I would spray the pan first so the pancake doesn’t stick.) Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. The edges will pop up and the center raises when the wuffie is done. Eat with butter and syrup – or:

  • Applesauce
  • Fruit (berries, peaches, etc.)
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Peanut butter ?
  • Butter and powdered sugar (served right away, nice and warm. Yum)

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Have you heard of Fluffy Wuffies?

Thanks for reading. I hope you return to read again. 

Since you asked …

And now for something completely different. My recent posts have been pretty serious so it is time to have some fun.

I recently posted a picture of one of our dinner meals – Chicken Cashew Casserole. Several people requested the recipe (so here it is, at the bottom of this post).

Then I started thinking about family food favorites and decided to ask our kids about it – what was their favorite? what did they not like?

Interestingly, our daughter said she wasn’t a fan of my hot dishes – except for two of them. She hated carrots, beets, mushroom soup, and green peppers – but now she eats them all. Oldest son mentioned mushroom soup, also, recalling the time where all we had for a meal was mushroom soup – and we all got sick!! I still don’t like it and rarely eat mushrooms (and then only when it is a small part of a dish).

Her favorite foods: Old Dutch potato chips (yes, specifically, Old Dutch), kohrabi (introduced to the family by her Grandpa Art), olives, radishes (the whole family loves radishes), bean with bacon soup, Hamburger Rice Hotdish and Tator Tot Hotdish (with green beans). Another of her favorites – and everyone else – was fresh-baked bread made by Grandma Edna. I am not good at baking bread; I am forever washing my hands to get the flour off – which doesn’t make for good bread making.

Our youngest son had only two responses – grilled pork chops and deviled eggs (another family holiday favorite). I usually use two dozen eggs – which makes 48 deviled eggs for a family gathering; rarely are there any left. This son claims he is overweight from his love of pork chops. I think there might be more to that story. He didn’t have any items he didn’t like – so that might be why he is a bit overweight.

Favorite family meals include:

  • Hamburger Rice Hot Dish
  • Chicken Dumpling Soup
  • Tator Tot Hot Dish
  • Chicken Cashew Casserole
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Every once in a while, I will post a blog with another recipe – and perhaps the story of the Pork Chop Investigation, or Remy and his Ham, etc.

I hope you enjoy this blog. Thanks for reading. 

Chicken Cashew Casserole 

(Note; You can substitute tuna for the chicken)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of cashew, halved or chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cans cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can of milk (more if needed)

3 – 10 to 12 oz. cans of canned chicken (or tuna), drained, rinsed and broken apart

1 12-oz. bag of chow mein noodles

Salt and pepper to taste.

Soy Sauce (optional)


Directions:

Chop onion and celery; saute in fry pan until soft and let cool.

Chop cashews and put in large mixing bowl.

Add chicken or tuna, which has been rinsed and broken apart.

Add celery and onion.

Empty canned soup into a bowl and stir in milk.

Pour into bowl with other ingredients and stir. You can add more milk, just a little at a time, if the mixture is hard to stir.

Add the bag of chow mein noodles and stir.

Put the mixture into a ceramic baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the cover off for the last five minutes to brown the top of the casserole.

Serve warm with soy sauce as a condiment.

Warning: This casserole is very rich – so don’t overdo!! Also, this makes a lot – so you may want to use smaller amounts if it’s just for a few. 

 

 

 

A cousins weekend …

This past weekend I went to a cousins gathering – at my sister-in-law’s cabin on Lake Lipsett (also called Lake Lipsie) near Siren, Wisconsin. Technically, some of us are really cousins-in-law or cousins through marriage. However, we made no distinctions.

There were seven cousins, all women, who attended. Many had not seen the others in many, many years.However, it took about five minutes to get reacquainted and then it was as if we had just seen each other. And so the talking and the laughter began …

We enjoyed pontoon rides on the lake  …

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We saw eagles and loons (a favorite thing for me) …

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We poured over family photos …

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We had bonfires …

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We drank wine … (with just a little trouble opening the bottles) …

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We played cornhole …  (look at that arm follow-through) …

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We talked and laughed …

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And we enjoyed the beauty all around us.

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The picture below  truly represents the glorious evening sunlight and our glorious weekend.

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I highly recommend a cousins weekend. We did not talk politics. We did not solve any world problems. We did not listen to the news (we were too busy talking). But we did create precious memories that will linger …

Precious mem’ries, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

Until next time – Thanks for reading!