When they said an arctic cold front was coming, I watched the updates to plan accordingly. Today it was supposed to be in the upper 40’s with the temps falling into the 30’s around noon. Watched the local idiot weatherman on TV this morning basically stating the same thing–only problem was, at that moment it was 28 and falling. (Pssst, dude, step outside then give your “forecast”).
So, while getting the kiddo ready for school, feeding the cats inside, etc, I’m running back and forth outside trying to cover the plants. At 6:30 when I got up it was 36, by 7:00 it was 28. Did I mention it was raining/sleeting, with winds gusting to 40 mph? Thinking I had until around noon today before the front hit, I didn’t cover anything last evening, although thankfully I had already brought all the movable plants inside.
I dropped the kiddo off at school at 7:20–it had fallen to 24 degrees. Get back, finish covering the plants. Weatherman is still saying it won’t be freezing until later in the morning, might have ice on bridges and overpasses by noon. Gee, sorry, wrong again. I just drove through several ice patches on the regular roads, and it was getting worse by the minute. He finally gave an updated, accurate forecast at 8:00. Guess someone called in and told him to walk outside.
The roses are covered, just as a precaution, since it’s getting down to 17 tonight. They’re fairly tough, but the ones I have here are still technically babies, so I don’t want to risk losing them. Harvested my last tomatoes before the last arctic front on February 3rd. The cabbage and broccoli are looking a little rough, carrot tops are a little damaged but the carrots themselves are fine, spinach has a little damage, but the onions are fine. It’s also a toss up if the bell peppers will come back or not. I brought in all my herbs–another advantage of growing them in pots. Beyond that, it looks like it’s time to start planning the spring garden.
Today I’ll just be taking it easy, trying to stay warm. I put a pork roast on to cook, the recipe for which I’ll post below. Figured I need to start rounding out those categories. *Grin*
PORK SHOULDER ROAST
5 to 7 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
1-1/2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 large onions, quartered
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 stalks of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 package (1/2 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
7 whole cloves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (about 2 good sized sprigs, strip needles from stems)
2 bay leaves
4 cups broth (chicken, turkey or veggie), or water
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard.
(Note: I usually add additional veggies to the roasting pan, such as ears of corn, sweet potatoes cut in half, etc, during the last 2 hours of cooking so they don’t end up overcooked).
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Sprinkle Greek seasoning on all sides of pork roast, then place in a large roasting pan fat side up. Spread onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, cloves, rosemary and bay leaves all around the roast. Drizzle veggies with olive oil and toss. Add broth/water to pan until at least 1-inch deep (depending on size of pan and roast, may need more or less than 4 cups).
Cover pan (lid or aluminum foil) and cook at 275 for 4 hours (or 3 hours for a smaller sized roast). Uncover pan, increase temperature to 400 degrees and cook for another hour.
OPTIONAL: During last 10 minutes of cooking time, mix together maple syrup and whole grain mustard and spread over pork roast.
Remove roast from pan. The pan juices can be used to make a gravy, if desired. Serve with a favorite side dish or two, and a hot loaf of French bread. Perfect for a cold winter’s day.