I am struggling with a way to write this post without the use of expletives. Unfortunately, there is no scotch in the house to help me out with this.
When the dogpile started before noon (you are familiar with the concept of a dogpile? Not the search engine or the clothing label that makes Joey Ramone stovepipe pants, the human pile-up. It’s also apparently football slang, but I wouldn’t know.) Mike took the boy and the dog out and I went downstairs and threw things in the slow cooker. When I get completely overloaded with stuff that all needs to be done like right now, my natural reaction is to go and make something for dinner, because that I can control. And when everything else falls apart and I don’t meet my deadlines, at least I have been a good mom/wife and put a proper dinner on the table. (But really I know it’s just that I’m a master procrastinator.)
I had pulled a bag of diced pork tenderloin from the freezer (weird, I know; I have no idea why it was diced) which triggered the memory of a Thai pork peanut stew I saw in Cooking Light eons ago, so I looked it up. It was easy; pork, some diced peppers (I had red and yellow in the freezer), teriyaki sauce (or a quick throw-together of soy sauce, sherry, sugar and ginger), rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic and peanut butter. I set it to cook and we went to my parents’ to help finish up their move and take loads to the dump and clean in time to hand over the keys tomorrow morning. At around dinnertime we had run home to unload, feed the dog, check the email, send some files, and got some disastrous, infuriating and expensive news that distracted us entirely from the simmering pork in the slow cooker, which looked a little weird anyway. So dinner was peanut butter and bananas on (whole wheat) bread on the way back out the door.
Mike likes chunky all-natural peanut butter, but W and I are unfortunately partial to the Kraft or Skippy light varieties, which are less fatty but sweeter than the originals and not as good for you as the nuts-only stuff. Sometimes, though, I make my own nut butters. (I didn’t say I did today.) You can do this if you have a food processor; all you do is pulse (toasted) nuts for several minutes, until they spontaneously turn to butter. You will think it’s not working for several minutes, while you watch perfectly ground nuts go around and around in circles, and then suddenly the oil will leap out of the nuts and it will turn creamy. If you like, add a pinch of salt and any other seasonings you think would go. And don’t limit yourself to peanuts; pecans, almonds and cashews make great butters too.
When we got home at 10:30 the pork stew looked pretty good, despite the fact that it all but completely disintegrated. After 10 hours in the slow cooker it actually resembled peanut butter. Perhaps I’ll spread some on toast for lunch tomorrow.