Three weeks ago it was -6C (22F) and snowing.
Two weeks ago it was -11C (12F) and the ground was covered in snow.
Two nights ago we had our last night below freezing and the forecast is continued warming.
The high today was 12C (54C)…. The snow is gone, the grass is growing, the daffodils are blooming.
I have spring fever.
I'm ready to plant the garden, get out the barbecue grill, throw open all the windows and sit in the sun.
Instead I lit a fire in the stove, as usual.
One of the disadvantages of living in a house with 2-foot thick walls is that it takes awhile for the inside to catch up with the outside.
In spring, and sometimes well into summer, the outside can be warmer than the inside. I often open the doors and windows to let the heat in. I'm lighting a fire in the kitchen and working outside in shorts and a tank top.
On the other hand, we don't need air-conditioning.
At least, so far.
For now I'm still cooking winter food.
These braised pork chops, flavored with beer (or wine) and paprika, made a warming dish for the cold weather… Or, just a cold house.
2 – 4 pork chops, depending on size, 12oz (350gr) total weight
1 tbs olive oil
4oz (125gr) mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) beer
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) chicken stock
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 2 tbs water
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops and brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove.
Reduce heat to medium. Add paprika and sauté briefly, about 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes longer. Add beer and deglaze pan, stirring up any browned bits. Add chicken stock and thyme. Return chops to pan, cover, reduce heat and simmer until chops are cooked through and tender, about 15 minutes longer.
Remove chops and keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to sauce, stirring until thickened and cleared. Pour over chops and serve.
In case your curious, our house topped out at 18C (64F) inside during the coldest weather and was around 11C (52F) most mornings when we got up, before we lit the fires….
Another disadvantage of old, stone houses.