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Our local butcher sells meaty, smoked pork chops. We prefer them to the unsmoked chops because they stay moist when heated through—as technically, they are already “fully cooked”. Our colleague, Julie Sproesser, shared her grandmother’s “Drunken Sauerkraut with Smoked Pork Chops” (the recipe can be found in our book, “Canal House Cooking, The Grocery Store, Volume N° 6). The chops bake, buried under fresh sauerkraut, juniper berries, salted butter, among other things, and here’s the most important part, a good drink of gin and dry vermouth.  We made a pot for lunch today, to warm us up on this cold, blustery day. Better to give the pot a mid-morning drink, than the cooks! Temperance in all things.

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