Day 19: Last-Minute Father’s Day Invite and Pork Chops with Glazed Apricots

Thanks for joining me in my “30 Days of Summer Entertaining” series.

When my chops arrived last week from the National Pork Board, in honor of an early Father’s Day, I invited my Dad and his wife, Ginny to dinner. I totally agree with The Pioneer Woman. Ginny is my Dad’s wife, but really, isn’t there a better term than to call her Step-Mom? It just doesn’t work for me, either!

Summer entertaining often revolves around last minute invites. It’s been that way for years my family and me.

One thing I’ve learned about cooking is that it’s best to be creative with what you have and not freak out over what you don’t have. I guess you’d say I’m a more seasoned cook, often cooking without a recipe.

So what did I already have in my kitchen?
-Fresh apricots – a whole bunch of them!
-An abundance of beautiful lettuce in the garden.
-And risotto is always an ingredient I keep on hand.

This was our dinner menu:
-Grilled pork chops with apricot glaze
-Fresh salad right from the garden
-Risotto and whole wheat bread

Delicious and a wonderful early Father’s Day celebration with my Dad and his wife, Ginny.

As my Dad opened his cards, I couldn’t help but grab the camera by my side and take some shots of his hands. It was totally unplanned, sporadic, … a quick thought.


(… from the grandkids to GPa)

I thought back to the years when my Dad was a contractor and provided for our family by building beautiful custom homes in our valley. And how when my Mom was dying of cancer, Dad cared for Mom day in and day out. This was not easy, losing the love of his life of 40 years.

A few years ago, my Dad designed and gave to our family a fabulous new kitchen. Again, his now some-what shaky hands a work of art and a gift to our entire family.

So as my glance focused in on Dad’s hands, a wave of gratitude came over me, totally unexpected.

We all have people in our lives who give to us unconditionally. Sometimes we take them for granted, sometimes we offer ourselves and our homes for them to come to, and provide a meal, to tell them how much we love them and care for them.

So Happy Father’s Day to my Dad.

And to my husband, who’s the greatest father to my children.

And to all of my wonderful readers and your dads, husbands, and the men in your lives!

What is your favorite way to serve pork chops?

Pork Chops with Sage and Rosemary Glazed Apricots

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 8 fresh apricots, pitted and thinly sliced, or 16 dried California apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Four 8-ounce pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a pan and saute onions over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the apricots, brown sugar, soy sauce, sage, wine and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring, until the glaze is thick and glossy, about 25 minutes.
  2. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and grill or broil about 6 inches from the heat, turning once, for 7 to 8 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
  3. Set a pork chop on each plate and serve with the remaining apricot glaze.

(Stay tuned for tomorrow’s VERY AWESOME Giveaway from the National Pork Board … it’s one that you won’t want to miss.)

   

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8 Responses to “Day 19: Last-Minute Father’s Day Invite and Pork Chops with Glazed Apricots”

  1. #
    1
    Kendra — June 19, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    I love this post….I love the pictures of your dad. It’s those simple, everyday mental ‘snapshots’ we take and file in our hearts that carry us as time quickly passes. Thanks for sharing that!

  2. #
    2
    lisa — June 19, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    I love this post. I love pictures of hands…they do tell stories. My momma still always holds my hands when we are together. She is having hand surgery on Tuesday…and I could not help but cry as she held my hands on Friday night…still offering comfort through pain. Love you Sandy. What am amazing dad you have been blessed with.

  3. #
    3
    marla — June 19, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

    Looks like gobs of fun at your house for Father’s Day!! Reminds me I need to have my pork sent over here :)

  4. #
    4
    Ad K. — June 19, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    How wonderful for you to have your dad and Ginny to celebrate the day! Everything on your menu sounds delicious and it looked like a beautiful day. I like to brine my pork chops and cook them on the grill or in a grill pan. Our kids and grandkids came over today and I made a turkey breast for dinner. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

  5. #
    5
    Krisann Gonzales — June 25, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    awe love it you have inspired me to try this with my bowl of apricots a friend just gave me love it!

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