Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Extreme Sabbath Mode vs The Pork Chop

I set out to make pork chops the other night on Bubba's request but without the proper know-how seeing as I grew up in a house that didn't have pork chops because we were trying to be not-all-the-way-bad Jews. We didn't follow most of the rules, but I think frying up the uncleanest of all beasts in chop form on the stove was too much even for my progressive folks.

Meanwhile, my future husband was growing up in the midwest, far away from the pork fearful and in a household very much in support of Pork Chop Night, of which I have heard much legend. Legends about "cornflake crust", applesauce on the side OR NOT and the merits of pan-frying vs oven-baking. And just for the record, I never heard the words, "Shake and Bake" mentioned in reference to the Almighty Pork Chop until I said it out loud and had to suffer Bubba's evilest evil eye. Scary.

No Shake and Bake. Got it.

Thankfully the All Knowing Cook's Illustrated provided a fabulous and authoritative recipe by which one, even one of Jew-y background, can construct Ultracrunchy Baked Pork Chops.

Bubba was very excited to revisit Pork Chop Night and I was very afraid of this untamed cut of meat.

Why is it so pale? What's the story with this big bone? How do you know when it's done when it's buried under all that seasoning? What about that big word that stands for the scary germ that lives in pork? Trich-ta-somethin-somethin...?

All very scary and bizarre. Plus I was afraid that it would taste like ass and I would have to chew and smile and be all, "Yes, my love, this is very good and worthy of your childhood memories", when I might really just want to hack it up in the trash and pretend it all didn't happen. But I went forward, somewhat bravely, into the dark scary forest of the pork unknown armed with my issue of CI and some chops that Bubba brought home from the store, all despite my Jewy inner fear of The Pork.

And then my oven rebelled by falling apart.

Yes. It fell apart. In the truest and most sincere sense of the term. I went to open the oven to begin the pork baking and upon grasping its one big handle, SNAP, it ripped off clean in my hand.

The handle. It broke the fuck off. Just right there for all the world to see.

And then the stainless steel sprung forward allowing the heat proof glass to come sliding onto my kitchen floor.


"What the hell was that??"

"Hehehe hahahaha heeeeeeeee hahaaaa"

"Baby? Are you ok?"

"Um....hehehe hahaha hehe"

"What are you holding? What was that crashing sound?"

"Oh. You know. My BRAND NEW OVEN just fell totally apart and apparently I think it is pretty damn funny."

And it kinda was. In the sense that I was standing in my kitchen, holding the big handle for the oven, which was in no way connected to the oven itself, while standing over a very large piece of glass watching the stainless steel available-at-an-extra-charge sproing to and fro, having been freed of its enclosure. Holding in my other hand, a rimmed and racked baking sheet with two perfectly coated pork chops ready for baking.

It was at this moment I realized the actual purpose of the Sabbath setting.

"Sabbath Mode: Beyond the automatic shut-off feature of this particular model, this ingenious and militant option keeps your oven free of any filthy unkosher items. When set, the oven will go to all lengths to maintain the sanctity of its observant interior, resorting to self-destruction if any attempt is made to force unclean flesh into its depths with the intent of cooking or otherwise."

As it turns out, my oven is something of a self-righteous Jew. Who knew this?

Anyway, my oven fell totally apart and I'm blaming it on my made-up oven feature for which I previously had no explanation (come on, did YOU know what Sabbath mode was for? See, no.) and the shoddy craftsmanship of some appliance manufacturer which will remain unnamed. Sadly, most of my appliances are from this particular manufacturer, so everything in my kitchen is getting the wary eye at this point, especially those with inexplicable features like Pots and Pans Cycle, Filtered Water Dispenser and Permanent Press. WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS ALL MEANS, REALLY?

It could be anything.

However, I think you might be happy to know that despite the Extreme Sabbath Mode setting under which my oven was previously operating and the fact that the door handle BROKE THE HELL OFF, I still managed to bring to life the ever-cherished Pork Chop Night in our humble yet combative home.

Bubba assured me that they were indeed quite good and definitely didn't seem like they'd been made under duress or anything, so I felt better knowing that at least his dining dream was coming true.

Meanwhile I stewed about the time I was going to have to spend escorting the retards from that service center which will remain unnamed until I have had my issue satisfactorily resolved around my kitchen so that they could fix these things that should have never broken, and certainly not so soon after I purchased them. Ahem.

Good news - I didn't have to spit anything out in the trash.

Pork Chop Night 1 - Oven 0.


  1. Ohmygoodness. I cannot believe your oven did not want to cook those pork chops. I think that is the funniest thing I have read in a long time! Good luck with the service calls!

  2. I'll be interested to hear what your kosher-approving stove does if you try to make jambalaya.

  3. Hiya,
    I am the porkchop component in an interfaith marriage and my husband has managed to learn to love them just fine. Probably not a better food in this world.
    AND, I have a number of appliances by a manufacturer that shall not be identified beyond the initial letter F, and MY stove door cut the bejeezus out of my thumb when I was cleaning it ( which taught me not to clean ovens.)It seems the edge was never finished properly.
    I love to read you ranting.

  4. So that means you liked 'em?

  5. You should be a sitcom writer. Wait, I have no idea what you do for a living. Are you a writer?

  6. You're hysterical. Maybe you should break more appliances, 'cause that pork chop looks drool-worthy. Excellent baking job! Now, come-on. Dish. Name the culprit. They should be publicly flogged and humiliated, dontchathink???

  7. WTF? Is that thing attached with plastic drywall anchors? Oh hell no.

    I should talk, my oven has such a bad hot spots I have to turn pans in it every fifteen minutes or every thing comes out burned on one side.

  8. I was thinking of making that recipe, now I must. But I do believe my oven/refrigerator/washer are also the brand that must not be named and am dreading the service call for the washer that makes ominous squealing noises.

    How is the running going?

  9. OK... this officially goes in the "stood before God and laughed" category, right?
    thanks for yet another perfectly good application of the f word. i'm going to have to try that one.

  10. Whatever you do, don't cook a ham. Your house might explode.

  11. Sabbath-approved pork chops, one might say. I love it.
    And let's hope the Kenmore people get on the ball double-time. Hell hath no fury like a Jew with a half-cooked pork chop.
    hee hee!

  12. Lynn - I will need it. They've already been out once, and SURPRISE, oven is still broken and refusing to cook The Pork. Or anything else for that matter.

    Meg - I'm quite certain that it would self destruct. Although, the stovetop might be game?

    Anon-I'm pretty sure I know what anonymous source is responsible for your wounds and will begin now hating them just like I do the appliances that start with K and end with enmore, k?

    Vallen - Yes, they were fine. What can I say? I was bitter.

    Jan - Nope, no writer here. But, I hear they're down a few in Hollywood - I could go be a scab! Wait, no. That's no nice.

    Thimble - You know I break lots of stuff. This is just the first I'm mentioning from the kitchen. Did I tell you the micro is also broken? *sigh*

    P.s. See Africankelli's comment and start hating on these people with me, k?

    Steven - The blue thingees you see on the oven door are indeed drywall anchors holding cast-off washers thanks to my ingenius Bubba who didn't want the oven door steel sproinging around as I try to make due with my broken kitchen. So far, still broken.

    Anon 2 - The recipe is good, I'll give them that. Try it out! But beware and open the door slowly and without something else in your hands (like a baking sheet with pork chops on it). Running is good - I'll have to post on that soon!

    Hooli - Yes, I am a master of the F word. Thank you for noticing.

    Decca - Thankfully I don't enjoy A Ham. Even the spiral cut types that everyone else just luuuuuuuvs. So nasty. See! I am a Jew! I knew it.

    Africankelli - Dude. If the rabbi could see me now.

  13. Soo..barbeque pork chops are really good too. Barbeque or fried, that's how we eat them at my house, but I think I like bbq better. (Can you tell I'm from the south?)

  14. Good luck with the service calls, you know those people only come out from 9-9:15 on Tuesdays with a full moon in months with more than two vowels. And, they only travel a distance of .5 miles to get to a service call. That's if you can get them on the phone between 1-1:22 on days not ending in -y. We had dryer issues from this company and oh, my heart goes out to you.

  15. im not so much interested in the pork, as i am the brocolli. your broccoli looks damn good. it's my favorite food, and yet i still mess it up.
    by the way, im back from the land of no blogging, and in the meantime i started up my own etsy shop! it's for readers :)

  16. That's funny, I was thinking the same thing..that broccoli is making my mouth water!!

  17. When I saw your oven handle, all I could think was, "Her new kitchen remodel!" It hasn't been that long! Yikes. I hope it gets fixed soon!

    And I love your story. Sabbath mode? lol

  18. LMAO! OMG that was so funny! Y'know, with our new house we got new kitchen appliances, and I forget if it's the range (dual-fuel!) or the fridge, or both, that came with the Sabbath mode. Being a non-religious guy, that just got quizzical looks as I read the manuals (shocker) - do I need to send these appliances to church??

    But now I know - I just won't risk putting pork in the oven for fear of the handle, stainless steel front and glass flying off. Thanks for the heads up!

    (What's sad is I don't remember what brand I picked for the nuker, range and fridge - I think they were all different, depending on pricing and features and looking like they still belonged in the same family. Do you prefer sticking with all one brand even now, after it seems they come with a self-destruct mode?)

  19. OH - PS - I thought about making that pork chop recipe as well...now I'll rethink it after seeing how dangerous it is!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.