Tuesday, January 24, 2006

a big hunk of pork makes it all better

Mr. M must have known he was going to have a bad today today, because yesterday he came home with two giant Schweinshaxen - pork hocks, and asked me if I'd make them for tonight's dinner. Not one to deny a German his daily slab o' meat, I went to work this afternoon lovingly massaging these unsightly blobs (have you ever seen a raw pork hock? Not pretty) with herbs and spices and tenderly basting them with beer as they roasted. Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes were procured to go alongside.

After a couple of hours they turned out something like this, and good thing too, because Mr. M was very cranky when he got home. He's been trying with little success to fix the rear window defrost thing on his car and has stayed longer at work a couple of times to do it. It used to be that "his people" in the repair shop were allowed to take care of stuff like this, but those days are gone and it's now strictly verboten so Mr. M has to do it himself. Usually things like this don't phase him at all - the guy can fix anything -but this seems to be a sticky problem and it made him really mad.

Enter the pork hock. Amazing what a good meal can do for a guy. He seems to have forgotten all about his car troubles and is now lounging on the sofa smiling quietly to himself.

A happy husband is worth his weight in gold, I always say.

26 Comments:

At January 25, 2006 1:12 AM, Blogger Angie said...

Mmm pork, Indiana's state food.

It's cold here too, but I've ordered a new winter coat (on clearance from J. Crew, courtesy of the gift certificate my boyfriend gave me for Christmas). It's a knee-length, "dark-camel" wool, double-breasted peacoat lined with Thinsulate for warmth. Which has not much to do with pork, but I'm just really excited about it! Haven't had a new coat in 3 years and it should arrive tomorrow! :)

 
At January 25, 2006 1:13 AM, Blogger illahee said...

i agree, 100%.

and now i have a hankerin' for pork!

 
At January 25, 2006 1:59 AM, Blogger Dixie said...

Right now I have my MIL trained (heh!) to cook stuff like that for B. I never have to because she likes it for herself and it's too much of a pain to cook for one so she makes it for him as well.

She's bringing Kassler and Grünkohl for him tomorrow. All I have to do is boil some potatoes and cook some fish for me (Kassler is just too salty for my taste).

 
At January 25, 2006 4:38 AM, Blogger Betty said...

Your diet continues to frighten me. What do you eat when you're in Vancouver?

 
At January 25, 2006 7:59 AM, Blogger Haddock said...

keeping a chap well fed is always a good move! :)
Germans do like their slab of pork. Must admit I have been eating more meat in the last couple of years, but I am cutting down this year......until the next Kassler! :)

 
At January 25, 2006 8:03 AM, Blogger christina said...

Angie! - Pork is omnipresent here. Can't get away from it. It's like it's watching you wherever you go.

And a new coat isindeed something to celebrate - please post pictures!

ilhahee - Thanks for visiting! I'm enjoying reading through your blog.

Dixie - Yup, my m-i-l like's to make stuff like that too for her "little boy" and bring it over. This Schweinshaxe is like a twice a year event for me and now it's back to the Dinkelbratlinge. :-)

Betty - He ate the meat -I mostly ate sauerkraut which is SO healthy. And on vacation? Anything but pork! :-)Actually the other night I made everyone eat spelt burgers and the night after that we had sushi, so it just looks like we're drowning in meat.

 
At January 25, 2006 8:06 AM, Blogger hippo_pepperpot said...

I try to cook something nice for Rollie on the night he gets home...that always seems to calm him down.

xxx

 
At January 25, 2006 8:07 AM, Blogger christina said...

haddock - We try not to eat too much meat, but sometimes Mr. M just can't stand it any longer. and has to have his fix. :-)

 
At January 25, 2006 8:08 AM, Blogger christina said...

hippo - You're right, a hungry man is not a pretty sight!

 
At January 25, 2006 8:08 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I've never made Haxen myself - guess I have always thought I would never manage to get them as brown and crispy.

Either way, it just goes to show that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach :-)

 
At January 25, 2006 8:20 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

"a big hunk of pork makes it all better"

Don't it just? Nothing puts a look of glee on my husband's face faster than crispy fried bacon on a Saturday morning.

In my part of the U.S. it was all beef. Beef for almost every meal. Now I have to deal with pig. Can you remember the ads telling us pork was bad? And yet Germans appear to keep on living, and I see many very senior citizens (all raised up on pork I'll bet) walking the streets every day.

Back to your post, the haxe looked lovely and I'm very happy it lay down and submitted properly to its fate like it was supposed to, unlike those evil taters. By the way, this post is proof of your domestic deity Ms. Beer-Baster. No going back on it now! :)

 
At January 25, 2006 10:40 AM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Oh, wow! You cooked Bayrisch???!! O.o *thumbs up!*

 
At January 25, 2006 12:17 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Orange is exactly the same - you give him a nice, big piece of meat (preferably pork) and you'll see the dreamy, happy look on his face! :)

 
At January 25, 2006 2:16 PM, Blogger christina said...

Karen - it's really easy, actually, and I'm not all that good with roasts and such. You just cut cross hatches into the skin and fat (yum!), rub spices on it, put it in the oven and baste it now and then until it's brown. That site I linked to has some really good recipes.

Lisa Oh yeah, bacon works even better! I think pork has lost some of it's bad reputation over the years and isn't considered to be that unhealthy any more unless you eat the fatty cuts. LIke we did. Ooops. :-)

Elemm - Help! I've been assimilated! :-)

canadianswiss - It sounds like such a cliché, but it does seem to be true much of the time. Could it be that deep down inside all men are the same? :-)

 
At January 25, 2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

I nominate the title of this post as "Best of 2006."

For some reason, the word "pork" always makes me giggle...regardless of the context.

Pork.

Pork.

Pork.

Hee hee hee hee hee....[sorry]

 
At January 25, 2006 3:21 PM, Blogger Just another American Expat said...

"He seems to have forgotten all about his car troubles and is now lounging on the sofa smiling quietly to himself…" Just before suffering a massive coronary.

 
At January 25, 2006 3:36 PM, Blogger jen said...

Christina, you are the expat version of Martha. You rock, lady. I hope your hubby knows how awesome it is that he can bring home two ham hocks, say please and voila... perfection.

Sparky would like to come to your house for dinner.

 
At January 25, 2006 4:09 PM, Anonymous mar said...

You make it sound sooooo easy! Someone told me once "if you can read, you can cook"- No, it doesn't work for me. I already knew your link, maybe I should try something new...

 
At January 25, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger christina said...

Sal - Why thank you! Let's just call it "Best of 2006" so far, shall we? - the year is still young. :-) It DID make me giggle when I wrote it.

pork, pork, pork... Just think of the possibilities. :-)

Duncan - Well, that too. He was still alive when he left for work this morning, though :-) I once consulted a pyschic who said I'd probably be married two or three times. I wonder if she was referring to my cooking...

Jen - Seriously - anyone can throw a chunk of meat in the oven, but ol' Martha would roll over in her...uh...gravy if she ever saw the state of my house.

Sparky is welcome any time, however he has to bring you (and his polishing cloth) with him!

 
At January 25, 2006 5:46 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I saw sauerkraut the other day in the store and wanted to get it, but I'm afraid nobody else here has ever tried it. I hated it or at least I thought I did until I tried it for the first time in France. I loved the stuff (prepackaged with potatoes and different meats). I think I'm going to bring it home for the hubby once and try it out. Who knows what will happen but yours looks yummy!

 
At January 25, 2006 7:56 PM, Blogger Berlinbound said...

Christina ... I saw this beast of a porkish thing last weekend for the first time. We actually went out to dinner and my friend ordered it. Our teenaged niece took care of HH or should I say he took care of her. We got the mid-meal panic call "He just won't go to bed! What should I do?" ... Anyway, those haxen are serious saxon! Brava for tackling it - or whatever it was you had to do to bring it down!

 
At January 25, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger christina said...

Expat - Sauerkraut is great and it's so healthy! We used to eat it at home when I was a kid. You have to experiment and find a brand you like, some of them are pretty acidic and they do taste better if you put the meat or sausages on top and bake for a while.

Richard - Those things are quite the eyeful, aren't they? There must be some mighty large pigs around here. There's also the Eisbein that's basically the same except it's not grilled or roasted but just simmered in broth or pickled so it keeps it's lovely piggy colour. German food is a real adventure sometimes! :-)

 
At January 25, 2006 8:28 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Looks like this is another "make the charts blog" Christina. I've already added that link to my favorites (I love to cook!) Any special suggestions?

 
At January 25, 2006 10:19 PM, Blogger christina said...

canadianswiss - :-) I haven't really explored that cooking site thoroughly myself, but it seems to pop up every time I search for a German recipe and all the recipes seem pretty straightforward. Have you ever made Sauerbraten? I want to try that some time.

 
At January 26, 2006 11:29 PM, Blogger Tim Rice said...

If it makes your spouse happy, it's worth it. But me, even though I'm of German ancestry can't stand pork and sauerkraut. :)

 
At January 27, 2006 9:57 AM, Blogger Pumpkin Pie said...

So, true about husbands. If I make a good meal mine gives me lots of extra attention.

Like they always say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

 

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