Having been home less than a week from our fabulous island vacation I’m beginning to settle in to my home routine…it is just the beginning of summer and not having to go to work is a bonus. I’m pretending I’m on a stay-cation now and making the most of the simpleness of summer on the Ridge. Simple summer comprises staying up a little late, sleeping in just a bit, not rushing through a cup of coffee, and not wearing any makeup.It’s made up of late dinners, when the sun drops below the horizon in its pink and orange grandeur, ice-cold beer, Trinidadian rum and coke with a squeeze of lime and firing up the grill each evening.
Simple summer includes, tending the garden, which I must mention is doing quite well. We have endless tomatoes and herbs, not as many peppers as I’d like and strawberries are few, but when I pick one it is sweet! Fighting the grasshoppers could become a full-time profession as it is hotter than blue blazes and they seem to adore the heat. I do not like them.
This summer we chat often about a daughter headed to college in the fall, being empty nesters, paying for tuition, plans for the future…..
Today as part of my simple summer lifestyle I went out to the apiary early, I mean early. I did wait until the girls were up and out of the hives, but it was early by my summer standards. It was hot, but tolerable if I worked swiftly. Hive #1, still has a pest problem, wax moths. Tomorrow, early morning, I”ll be handling that nasty situation. Hives 2-6 look deliciously healthy and full of honey. I am certain we will be conducting our first harvest of 2012 next week. It appears that I may harvest as much as 20 gallons of honey this year. I will have a clearer estimation of how much honey as soon as my man Dan can help with the inspection. You see, when a super is full of honey it weighs somewhere between 80-100 pounds. Considering that it is a box full of bees, with precious golden nectar to protect it is a tad risky for me to try to lift and move those by myself. That is the exact reason my adoring husband is the proud owner of a bee suit and tools of his own. I could not perform this important step of beekeeping without his help and muscles. It looks very promising so stay tuned for the story of Honey Harvest 2012.
This past weekend I found myself in possession of a bounty of fresh peaches, Lorings to be exact. We visited our favorite local peach orchard, Ham’s, and brought home bags full. I think you’ll like this BBQ sauce that contains the fresh peaches, spread on bone-in loin chops. We were of course grilling our dinner late in the evening and by the time it hit our plates I didn’t pause to style my photo before I snapped a quick shot to share with you. I think it looks pretty tasty but is it styled to perfection? Heck no. It’s summertime and I’m
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups ice cubes
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 2 lb.)
- 1 medium-size sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup peach preserves or jam
- 2 large peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1. Combine sugar and salt in a large bowl; add boiling water, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in ice cubes to cool mixture. Add pork chops; cover and chill 30 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add ketchup, peach preserves, and peaches. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add vinegar; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- 3. Remove pork from brine, discarding brine. Rinse pork well, and pat dry with paper towels.
- 4. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Pour half of peach mixture into a bowl; reserve remaining mixture. Season both sides of pork with desired amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- 5. Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of each chop registers 145°, basting pork occasionally with peach mixture in bowl. Remove pork from grill; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved peach mixture.