Thursday, October 4, 2012

A side of memories

I've cooked this really awesome pork chop recipe for Mr Grey twice so far and I had to blog it; it's that much of a winner.

I was a law student when I first started learning to cook and especially in the beginning, my criteria for a winning recipe were: a) cheap; b) easy (i.e. no more than 3-4 steps) ; c) effective.

(Here, effective obviously means it has to taste good.)

This pork chop recipe is all of that BUT.... my caveat on it is that for the recipe to really work, you have to get good quality pork. I've tried it twice and what it does is that it brings out the natural flavour of the pork but the lemon juice cuts the richness enough so that it goes down really easily. With good quality pork, this is a fantastic dish but with low quality frozen pork, it's not so great. Still good but less delicious.

I love my meals with Mr Grey and I love standing in our kitchen manning the stove with him.


Does anyone ever feel overwhelmed with guilt whenever they cook a certain dish?

I do.

One winter in Melbourne, the boy I was dating was homesick for his mother's roasted chicken wings and called home to ask her for the marinade recipe. She duly emailed it over and I'll never forget how happy he was when I made it for him.

I still have the recipe - I pretty much memorised it after the second or third time I made it. It's now my go to marinade for barbequed / roasted chicken wings and it's crowd favourite every time. But every time I stand over the bowl of raw chicken wings pouring in the sauces, I feel enormously guilty - as though making it is somehow a betrayal of those happy winter nights eating chicken.

Still I make it. It's a really good recipe and I try to make it for the people I love. But well, I guess the price I have to pay are the sides of guilt and salt tinged memories that go with it.


At the same time, I wonder what recipes will one day call up these lovely early days of being married to Mr Grey. I wonder if one day, maybe 30 years hence, I'll make pork chops for people and tell them about how Mr Grey and I experimented in the kitchen all those years ago, adding truffle oil and balsamic vinegar bought on our Italian honeymoon and going crazy over the resulting flavours.

Then we can sit together and marvel at how simple dishes can be made and eaten with so much joy and thanksgiving.

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