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Crock pot dish makes an easy pork chops meal

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I certainly do enjoy being a grandparent. We have had the greatest time in the past month spending time with all five of our grandchildren. 

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Since four of them live in Georgia, we don’t get to see them as often as we like.  This year they were able to visit us at our Florida condo while on spring break, along with their parents. The other grandchild was also on break in Florida, but at Disney World, so we went for the day and had a great time.

It’s amazing the stories they can come up with and expect us to believe. And as their devoted grandparents, we do.  For instance, Batman has been to my grandson’s house in northern Kentucky and he actually left him one of his gadgets. 

Our 2-year-old granddaughter is destined to be a dancer or
ballerina because she wears a ballerina skirt over her pajamas every night when she goes to bed. Also, during the day she will have on some form of fancy dress or costume, which can change by the hour.

All I need is to sit back and watch them because they all are the quintessential entertainers. Most of all, and you can absolutely take my word for it, they all are extremely intelligent. They are the brightest grandchildren any grandparent could ever want.

We just had our 7-year-old grandson for an overnight visit. He has become quite accomplished at playing any card game, board game or Wii game around, and his Papa and I usually lose. We lost a lot on this visit, and he was thrilled.  Anything to make them happy.  On that note, the ultimate meal to make him happy, he declared, “Steak Nana, I love steak.” So Nana complied, as always.

I am trying to comply to my wish to make meals simpler, but that doesn’t always work.  The crock pot is fantastic, I admit, and helps tremendously.  Now that warmer, and I hope, drier weather is upon us, grilling helps too. In less than 30 minutes the other night, I had grilled a steak, made potatoes with the microwave oven, and sautéed asparagus. It was a delicious meal.

Recently, I prepared something new in my crock pot, which my husband really liked.  A sort of sweet-and-sour dish.  I give you

Chops in the Crock

4 boneless pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick

2 medium onions, cut in medium chunks

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 large green pepper, cut into 16 pieces 

1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. brown sugar or non-calorie sweetener 

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. beef bouillon or 1 cube

2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. water

Salt and pepper pork chops to taste; place in crock pot.  Add all remaining ingredients, except water and cornstarch, to crock pot. Cook on low for about 5 to 5 1/2 hours.  Mix cornstarch and cold water together; stir into crock pot. Cook 30 minutes more.

This is great served with rice, sautéed snow peas and a garden salad. Instead of white rice, I served it with a wild rice mixture to get a little more grain in the meal. 

Tip: If your family is not big on all the vegetables cooked with the pork, then remove them before adding the cornstarch mixture, and blend in your food processor or blender. It is an easy way to get some of those vegetables down.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day, breakfast in bed is always a special treat. Enjoy!

 

Lonnie Sundermeyer is a professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.