I had the most astonishing thing happen yesterday morning….
The phone rang, which, in itself, is a rare occurrence.
I answered and was told to wait on the line for someone.
At least, I think that's what I was told. One can hardly ask a recorded message to repeat itself.
Well, one can ask…
A few seconds later a voice comes on the line, speaking rapidly in French, and asks me if I'm having any trouble with the internet.
Since it was such a bizarre question, I asked him to repeat it, certain that I had missed something.
No, that was the question.
As it turned out, for the last day or two it had gone off and on occasionally, for 4 or 5 seconds at a time. It was irritating, but didn't really cause any problems.
I explained that to him as best I could.
Then I panicked, thinking now I've gone and done it; it's someone trying to sell me a different internet service and I've just given them ammunition!
The voice on the other end said: 'We'll send a technician right out'.
Then he hung up.
I was so astounded I stood for a minute with the receiver in my hand.
Apparently the technician came and fixed it (they rarely have to actually come to the house, just the nearest 'box') as it's been working perfectly ever since.
It was rather an eerie feeling, a bit too much like Big Brother (no, not the stupid reality shows), until I realized it was likely because of the storm last Saturday.
At least, that's what I'm going to believe.
One challenge I have, cooking at Vlad's house, is that I have 1 skillet, 2 saucepans, but only 1 with a lid, and 1 dutch oven. (Yes, I know I could unpack, but it's the principle!)
The other challenge is they don't all physically fit on the cook top at the same time without hanging half off.
So, I've gotten rather good and combining foods to cook.
Pork Tenderloin with Brussels Sprouts
Sliced pork tenderloin and Brussels sprouts cooked together in a brown sugar and hot mustard sauce. Serve over brown rice for a healthy, one-dish dinner.
14oz (400gr) pork tenderloin
2 tsp olive oil
14 – 16 Brussels sprouts
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 cup (8oz, 250ml) beef stock
1 tbs maizena dissolved in 2 tbs water
Roughly chop onion. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Slice tenderloin into 1" (2.5cm) thick rounds. Move onions to the side of the skillet and add pork. Brown about 2 minutes per side.
Add sugar, mustard, and stock; stir to combine, cover and simmer.
Trim Brussels sprouts: slice a bit off of the stem end and peel away the outer leaves – any that are damaged, wilted or discolored. Cut in half. Lay the Brussels sprouts around the pork, cut side down. Simmer until sprouts are fork tender, about 10 minutes longer. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Move pork to the side, stir in cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened.
To serve: Put rice on a small platter. Arrange pork in the center and Brussels sprouts around the pork. Spoon sauce over and serve.
In addition to the above, for the week of January 30 we have Hot and Sour Soup, Red Sauced Shrimp and Fried Rice for Chinese New Year, Chickpea, Shallot and Tuna Salad, Roast Cornish Hens, Meat Loaf Florentine….
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