The C Word

Yes, it's true, I haven't posted in a while. I have good reason. My mom's Lymphoma has morphed into Leukemia. Her doctor has advised her to get her will in order and gave her a life expectancy of less than two years. She consistently amazes me with her optimism and general perspective on life. She walked into the doctor's office expecting to be given months to live but instead has potential years. It's not good news but better than she'd hoped. As she put it, she's "had a good run of it".
I lost my dad suddenly almost a year ago. He was perky and over for dinner on Friday and dead by Monday. There was no chance to say goodbye.
Now the clock is ticking. I have one parent left and only for a short while. I really can't imagine a world without my mom, and it makes me cry every time I think about it. This whole death thing really sucks.
Through all the tears there are glimmers of joy. I am enjoying my husband, my mom and my kids more than ever. We all went out for dinner on Friday night and we laughed so hard I almost peed my pants and drooled ice cream at the same time.
My mom has taught me that life can always be harder. Recognize and enjoy the positives of your situation. Right now, at this minute, my mom is alive and well, and I'm going to see her tomorrow. I won't always get to say that, so I guess I'm having a pretty good day.

It's hard to know what pairs well with Leukemia. Pork chops seemed like a tasty option. I made these for my mom last week.

Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins
Tyler Florence Real Kitchen

Pork Chops
1 gallon of water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sea salt
1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary
4 bone in pork chops
sea salt and fresh pepper
olive oil

Spiced Apples and Raisins
2 tbsp butter
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced
leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of cardamon
pinch dry mustard
sea salt and fresh pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine water, sugar, salt, apple juice, peppercorns, and thyme in a large pot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Submerge chops and put pot in fridge to tenderize the meat. Do not brine longer than 2 hours or your meat will get mushy.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sear pork chop in heavy skillet. Brown 4 minutes per side. Place in large baking pan and roast chops for 30 minutes or until done.

While the chops cook, melt butter in clean skillet over medium high heat. Add apples, and thyme, and coat in butter. Cook and stir for about 8 minutes. Throw the rest of the ingredients in the pan and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples soften. Spoon spiced apples over pork chops and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Alysa,
    Your post is very moving. You have reminded us to appreciate what we have and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I hope you enjoy a wonderful family thanksgiving in the company of your mother. She sounds like a very special lady. All the strength to her and to you. Happy thanksgiving .