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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Honey Pecan Porkchops

Papa, Granny, Ashlea, and me
Nobody loved shelling pecans like my Papa Poirot.  He could sit at the counter in his and my Granny Poirot's kitchen for hours shelling thousands of pecans from the pecan trees in their backyard.  He was good at it, too.  One would never bite down on a pecan shell left behind because Papa was just that meticulous and careful.  He would put them in Ziploc baggies and keep one baggie out for snacking, and freeze the rest.  (Pecans and other nuts can stay fresh, when sealed properly, in the freezer for up to two years.)  If you're unsure as to whether or not the nuts are fresh enough to cook with, smell and taste them.  If they're bitter- throw them out.  If they taste fine, you're golden.
My mom, me, Granny, and Papa
The following is the eulogy that I wrote for my Papa Poirot's funeral in 2004.  He spent his last few months in a rehabilitation facility, but my amazingly caring Granny brought him pecans almost every day to shell right there in the hospital bed.  Towards the end of his life, Papa would end our phone calls with the same phrase, every time.  I'd say "I love you, Papa," and he would respond, "I love you too, darlin', very much."  In making these Honey Pecan Porkchops, I can still hear his voice echoing through the telephone, and I love you, too, Papa- very much.

Me, Papa, and Ashlea at Granny & Papa's house in Wichita Falls, TX 

"Love.  Now there's something my papa knew everything about.  He loved his friends, his four kids, eight grandkids, his great grandson, and my Granny more than anyone in the world.  Whether you called him Dad, Bubba, Marcel, Grandpa, or Papa, he loved you with all of his heart- and trust me, we loved him back.
Ashlea, Papa, Granny, and me at church- Dallas, TX; Summer 2004
We loved eating frozen apple juice in his lap, crawling in his bed at night to watch Johnny Carson, reading the funny papers, and eating chocolate ice cream cones with him in his recliner.

We loved watching his favorite TV programs with him, even when it involved Papa yelling at the contestants on The Price is Right for bidding too low in the showcase showdown with Bob Barker.

We loved interviewing him for our school projects, going on Easter egg hunts, and feeding the birds in his backyard- even though the crows DID tend to attack us now and then.
My mom, Granny, me, Papa, Ashlea, Uncle Richard- Easter Egg hunt at Granny & Papa Poirot's, Wichita Falls, TX

We even loved it when Papa jokingly chastised us for covering his bedroom in toilet paper or building forts throughout the whole house.  Or when one of us would sneeze really loudly, and he would say, "Gee, it's a good thing you weren't in church!"  Oh, and of course we loved the Werther's caramel candies and peppermints he'd sneak us during Father Bill's homily at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.  Papa was funny, smart, and could always make us smile.
Papa playing Pretty Pretty Princess with me and Ashlea at my parents' house- Fort Worth, TX

He gave us faith- faith in ourselves, faith in God, and faith in our family.  He gave us hope- hope for school, hope for our future, and hope for happiness.  And his greatest gift was love.  Love for each other, love for our family, and love to last a lifetime."
Ashlea, Papa, and me dying Easter eggs at Granny & Papa Poirot's house in Wichita Falls, TX

Honey Pecan Porkchops
Kate Strickland
Servings: 2, Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 12

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, pounded thin

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons light butter

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1. In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Dredge pork cutlets in the flour mixture.
    2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chops, and brown both sides. Transfer to a warm plate.
    3. Mix honey and pecans into the pan drippings. Heat through, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over cutlets.
    Keep on cookin'!

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