As many women know, when you work full-time and a “holiday” comes up, it’s not usually a day off. That’s when you get things done that need more than an hour or two of effort after getting home from the job, already exhausted. Sometimes these “extra” days are used for cleaning and organizing, sometimes for cooking ahead. Either way, there is always plenty to do.
In addition to watermelon, I found pork shoulder on sale. The trick of course was finding a store with stock, since empty shelves have been the name of the game the past several month. Sure enough, my usual store had none. Jessica, my daughter (she lives two hours away), said her store had none either. I sent a picture to Oscar (the grandson who lives with me now) and told him to hit up the two stores on his way home from work Friday. Eureka, he found some! I had him bring three home – two for our freezer and one for his mom’s freezer.
Of my two, I put one in the big freezer that we just got back up and running (after unplugging it four years ago) and one in the refrigerator for further processing before freezing it.
Saturday and Sunday were used to dehydrate the watermelon. Today, though, was Pork Day. I cut up the pork shoulder in the refrigerator.
I got 7 one-cup-ish packets of cubed pork. I double-bagged them and put them in the freezer. I’m looking forward to making Slow Cooker Chile Verde (a new recipe for me) and Slow Cooker Pork Stew (a family favorite), when the colder weather comes in a few months.
I’m not the most efficient meat cutter. There was a lot of meat left on the bone. I try not to beat myself up about not doing something the best or the “right” way: I just find another way to accomplish the task. I put that meaty bone in the crockpot with onion, salt, and pepper to cook down into soup base. I’ll freeze that and enjoy pork and bean soup later in the winter.
I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I get things done for future use. I have pork ready for nine or ten meals from that one pork shoulder.
Sometimes, though, there’s a niggling voice that says, “These are ‘piddling’ things. You have nothing to be proud of.” When you see other people who raise big gardens and can and freeze the harvest, raise the pigs and chickens and send them to “freezer camp,” it can be a bit intimidating. I often have to remind myself to stop comparing my efforts/abilities with anyone else. They didn’t used to know how to do what they are now doing. It’s okay to do what I can do and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Rejoice in where you are and keep on learning!
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