Let me begin by saying that LOVE the lazy days of summer. As a teacher, I truly appreciate and look forward to this time to regroup and refresh. This week, my kids are in camp all day (this is the first time that they’ve ever been in camp for more than a few hours a day) and the weather has been absolutely fantastic. I have spent the last few days indulging in long runs through my neighborhood, coffee with friends, yoga classes, afternoons spent reading in my backyard, and meals cooked on the grill and eaten outdoors. The stress is melting away, as we speak.
The pace of life, and meals, has already slowed down considerably. Unlike most weeknights spent juggling homework, after-school activities, and dinner preparation (after a full day of work), summer evenings require no juggling, and meals require hardly any time, planning or preparation.
The conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: What do you feel like having for dinner tonight?
Any one of my three family members: I don’t know.
Me: Okay. I’ll see what looks good.
And that’s how I plan for dinner. By not planning anything at all. I go to the store and allow myself to be guided by my senses. What looks good? What smells good? What is calling out to me? In the summer, I have the luxury of time to do this. I can go to the market everyday if I want to, shop unhurried, and prepare dinner mindfully and without distractions. Then, we sit together, chatting and eating and lingering at the table for a long while.
This is what we lingered over last night: Orange and Rosemary Grilled Pork Chops.
Money spent: $10.00
Time spent: 45 minutes
Summertime Sanity: Priceless
3 Tbsp. dark molasses
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
4 pork chops (I prefer boneless ones, about ½ inch thick)
Salt and pepper, to taste
More fresh rosemary, for garnish (oprional)
In a medium bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients. Set pork chops in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Allow to marinate for approx. 30 minutes. When time is up, remove the chops from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 6 minutes per side. Garnish with additional fresh rosemary, if desired.