Thursday, December 17, 2015

Studio Confessions and Crock Pot Survival.

This month seems to have a theme: the holidays and the studio.  First, I needed to remind myself balance is dynamic not static and this is so true especially during the holidays.  Last week, I realized my creativity is actually enhanced by the holidays in more ways than one.  

This week, it's a confession: my studio work has slowed to a stop. And then, so did I.  

After the blur of holiday hunting and gathering, successfully get everyone's list checked off, having a few friends and clients over to my studio, I found myself napping in the middle of the day.  I don't nap.  Usually.  So this was, pardon the pun, a wake up call to get some rest.

It's hard for me to do this, because my mind is always playing an ongoing to do list.  And there are still holiday errands to run and baking to do.  Plus, I do have quite a few mugs, bowls and such that need under glazing in the studio.  

But, I was forced to listen to my body and instead of more holiday running, I did a little holiday resting.

Here's something, I just rediscovered, that helps me through the holidays: get out the crock pot.  

When I have dinner cooking itself by noon, I feel so much more relaxed.  Even if I'm stuck in traffic or in the studio or napping, I know dinner is already done.  So I thought I'd share two of my favorite crock pot recipes and hope that it brings you a more restful holiday even when you're out running around.

Pork Loin with Veggies and Gravy

Put into the crock pot:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 red onion sliced
2-2 1/2 pound pork loin roast, place it on top of the above.
Chop up 2-4 sweet potatoes and 1-2 apples, place around the roast.
In a one cup measuring cup:
3/4 cup spiced cider, 1/4 cup sherry and 4 tablespoons soy sauce
Pour over the roast.
Now for the seasons: 
Sprinkle the roast with salt, pepper, basil and thyme.

Put the lid on the crock pot.  Set it on H for 5-6 hours.

Take the pork and veggies out of the crock pot leaving the cooking liquid.
In a small shaker, mix flour and some of the liquid, add back into the crock pot and whisk to make gravy.  

Slice the pork, add the veggies and gravy and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup

Put into the crock pot:
1 ham bone(it's ok if it's frozen)
1 red onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1-2 cups of small baby carrots cut into bite size pieces
1 pound of split green peas
2 cups of water
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Pepper, dried basil, thyme, tarragon  to taste

Cook on high 4-5 hours.  Serve with hot rolls.

Enjoy a restful holiday!

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