Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hot and Boring - Typical Saturday

The air conditioning went Tango Uniform Thursday (it seemed to know that I have four days off and it's going to be warm) With temps in the upper 80's and high humidity, it was pretty hard to keep the house cool.  Barkley, fortunately, loves all the interesting sights and smells in the basement.  The cool floor down there is just a place for him to hang out or snooze on his bed while while the two legged family members putter around until it cools down in the evenings.  Plus temps at night down in the 60's and clouds forecast for the weekend will help.
Midwest Chick  and Mr. B. did invite us over to sleep at their house.

I  had to ponder the invite, having a mental picture of their cement floor. And Mr. B. just got a new chain saw and they're only an hour or so away.  Boy, that was hard to say no to.
But I need to be here while the AC can be repaired, replaced or blown up and replaced with the Cabana Boy Fan System (STILL on back order?)

But what to do for dinner?  With friends helping troubleshoot the AC problem, I should be a grateful pal and make supper (oh look - cold Beer!)

Heating up the oven was out of the question. It's crock pot time.  With a few odds and ends in the cupboard (a smash and dent sale at a local wholesaler netted some cans and jars of various products) and a couple extra thick (like two inches thick) pork chops the size of  plates, this will be easy.

Zesty Pork in a Crock Pot

2 pounds extra thick cut pork chops (or pork steak)
1 cup Salsa (medium heat)
1 cup Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1 medium sized can niblet corn
1 cup of Black Beans(canned or leftover cooked from dried, drained)
The juice of one whole lemon
1 packet McCormick Taco Seasoning
A heaping 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 

Throw everything  in the crock pot and stir around, making sure the meat is covered with liquid.  Cook on low 5-7 hours until meat shreds with a fork. Remove bones and serve. It will serve six, plenty for friends or leftovers to be microwaved another day.
click on photos to enlarge
Serve with rice and whole wheat tortillas (use a slotted spoon for burritoes as it is pretty juicy) or serve with the sauce over bowls of rice or crushed tortilla/corn chips with cheese and sour cream.

You can add, cheese, lettuce and sour cream and wrap it all up for about $3 per serving.

It looks like it's the pressure switch on the air conditioner.  The circa 1970's part is no longer made.  Looks like a little more time with my fans as a local AC company gives a quote for a comparable system. But home, warm or not, is always the best place to be.

There's no gust spread Skipper, but that's more than 45 knots, abort the start!!


  1. I have a fan exactly like that one.

    Works great, too. :)

  2. Italian dressing, often a bit too strong for most salads, IS the bomb as a marinade base. Just last week, I did something very simliar(italian dressing, taco seasoning, and a bit extra chipoltle powder) on 5 pounds of boneless/skinless breasts and thighs. I did mine on the grill, and then they had very similar use to your pork.

    Thanks for the idea...for some reason I never think 'zesty/mexicany' when I think pork. I always go maple/honey/fruit/mustard flavors.

    Hope you can stay cool...since moving to the desert I have full sympathy with 'it's too hot for the oven'.

  3. "It looks like it's the pressure switch on the air conditioner. The circa 1970's part is no longer made."

    Check with another AC firm? In my salad days as an industrial electrician, we used to mexigineer a lot of lash-ups for old, obsolete, or orphaned systems that were perfectly serviceable.

  4. Sorry about that a/c unit, have been there before, 99 here in Texas now, looks like a long summer for all.

  5. We had a similar problem with our AC last summer. Approaching the triple-digit days, I recharged the freon, which didn't help (but it did need it), then opened up the electrical box on the side of the AC unit to check the wiring (circa 1960's, always fun to deal with). Went in to open the breaker, found it tripped already. Hey! Problem solved, right? Reset the breaker, walked back around to watch it kick on and re-cover the electrical panel....around the house in time to see a small, but very bright, very energetic fireball shoot out of the panel. Yup. We got a new AC unit soon thereafter.

  6. Ouch, sorry to hear that, but your food is good pay for the help!!! :-)

  7. Go buy a large galvanized tub. Preferably with a hose connection near the bottom. Plug this hole. (Alternatively, connect a hose and run to a drain. (but don't let all the water out of the tub as the ice melts))

    Fill with ice (Block ice is fine, cubes are a second choice.

    Place fan behind it.

    Place chair in front.

    Drink beer in cool air.

    Drain tub in morning.

    As an aside, you can fill the space the ice doesn't take up in the tub with beer. Drinking beer is optional.

  8. Try not to melt in the meantime. There's a few things I miss about the midwest, but the humidity isn't one of them.

    Good luck on the air repair.

  9. When life hands you clearly know the rest.

  10. Sweat - always a pleasant aroma!

    At least you had crock pot pork so folks thought it was dinner!



  11. Gosh, the food at your house always looks so tasty !

  12. Cond0011 - it works well, indeed. Got one up in the living room and one in the bedroom window on the deep sill. The windows are up high enough from the ground it's safe to leave open at night. I'd hear the ladder and have my 1911 out before anyone got in.

    UnoMas - Thanks for the tip, I was just happy to have folks that would look at it for me.

    Suerte - Dad is 92 and only has air in his bedroom, I've learned the tricks of cooling the house down at night, buttoning it up tight in the day and keeping the fans going.

    RapidAlien - it's time for a new unit, indeed, but lasting from 1970, I'd say it did well.

    Old NFO - it saved a lot of time and $$ for others to troubleshoot, at least we know know exactly what has to be replaced.

    B -That sounds like a plan indeed. Thanks for Midwest Chici's offer to bunk at your house with you two and the cats. Tomorrow should be the last of the higher temps and AC guy will be here Monday.

    naturegirl - the humidity here isn't CLOSE to what it is east of here, just more noticeable this close to the great lakes when there's rain, and then cloud cover it holds it in for a day or two.

    Mathew P - make lemon icebox pie!

    Jane - I love to cook and experiment, and if I can make a tasty supper that's easy on the pocketbook, I'm pleased.

  13. Ok now - the bad pun has been up all day. No one going to take a guess as to basement machine #7, there in the first picture? :-)

  14. Was expecting a boring with hot barrel. Take .22 out on hot day to cool shade of foot hills, ventilate a few empty cans. Then, have been spoiled by the refer system known as air conditioning.

  15. BTDT... a lot! Glad to see you had help and will only have the problem for a short spell.
    I get drool on my computer every single time I see one of your recipes...

  16. By the way, that Root Beer in your picture is brewed not even two miles from my house. Pretty cool little brewery tour with a nice sampling at the end. Just in case you find yourself in Central Wisconsin.

  17. Sorry to hear that AC went Tango Uniform - Here, in Kandahar, temps topped out at 106 today. Yes, the heat is on.

    Tuesday, things change as I am demobbing. Heading home to Boston.

    All my best to you and Sir Barkley.

    Call sign complete. Out here.

  18. That looks so yummy. Home made food is a dim memory of the past eight weeks. Next month our tour will be over and we'll be home cooking for ourselves. :) It's fun to have good food while away, but there's nothing like home cookin'!

    Hugs from Port Canaveral (for another hour or so),

  19. " No one going to take a guess as to basement machine #7, there in the first picture? "

    Nice Brass!

    As usual your cooking pictures are simply nummmy looking. One of the these days/years when I get a life ... :)

  20. Fred - I will actually be in Wisconsin in September. I will see if I'm close enough to check it out. That is some FINE root beer.

    Middleboro Jones - I'm glad you are on the way back stateside. My hat is off to you and everyone there, heat and all.

    Lois - I get so tired of eating out while traveling, I rarely do when I'm at home unless it's something I wouldnt' make myself (like an all you can eat Polish buffet :-)

    Cond0011 - No one recognizes a boring bar. . . we're doomed. :-)

    The brass was a plumbing fitting :-)

  21. Sorry to hear about the AC but the food looks great!

  22. We've also got a pretty sweet tap-house in the adjoining town (something like 50 Wisconsin beers) and a spare room upstairs. I should be back home from deployment mid-July.

  23. I keep reading your recipes and finally got organized early enough to make zesty pork for dinner. Moms been out of town for a week so the monsters were getting tired of frozen turkey burghers. This meal was easy enough for the little ones to help make and was wolfed down by six little monsters to cries of "can we have more?". Thank you for taking the time to write it up and put it online for we food challenged dads.

  24. Keads - It was still a great weekend, a little warm and all. Thank heavens though, for crockpots and grills.

    Fred - thank you! I don't have a schedule yet, and with budget cuts it may still yet get cancelled, but I am really looking forward to it. The location is near Oskgosh, though, not sure where that is in relation to you and your family.

    8 is enough - That comment just made my whole evening! ("It was a long day" is sort of an understatement). Not everything I post is easy (I look at some complicated baked goods as a small science experiment) but having 3 brothers and a Dad who loves to eat it's fun to come up with things the whole family will like and things I can make for myself and freeze leftovers when I put in a 16 hour day.

  25. The pork chops and other yummy stuff is in the crock pot as we speak. With some modifications - of all things I am out of taco seasonings....Improvise, adapt, overcome.....

  26. Thanks Brigid! I've been looking for some new crockpot recipes. Will definitely have to try this one later this week.

  27. So I got organized earlier today and loaded the crockpot with help from the littlest monster. Came in the kitchen a little while ago to find her standing on a chair stirring the crockpot. "Dad, look its ready- can we eat it NOW?"


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..