Welcome to a presentation by The Novel Bakers:
Home Made Winter
by Yvette Van Boven.
This week, The Novel Bakers are focusing on winter food.
Home Made Winter is the quintessential winter cookbook, complete with drawings, photography,
and step-by-step instructions. The author, Yvette VanBoven, is all about food. In addition to writing and illustrating cookbooks, she owns a restaurant, operates a catering business, and is an amazing food stylist.
She introduces the recipes, then weaves memories of her Irish childhood with a modern sensibility and a dash of humor.
Home Made Winter opens with lyrics from an Irish folk song:
I'm a rambler
I'm a gambler
I'm a long way from home
and if you don't like me
Well, leave me alone.
I eat when I'm hungry
I drink when I'm dry
And the moonshine don't kill me
I'll live 'till I die.
If you live in a cold part of the world, winter cooking is probably on your mind. Plunging temperatures always make me think of hearty (and heart-warming) meals. As I leafed
through the book, I kept going back to one recipe: Pulled Pork.
Unfortunately, it meant cooking outdoors in a smoker.
Bandwidth, my youngest son, considers himself to be an honorary Novel Baker, so he volunteered to smoke a pork shoulder. He just happened to have a brand new smoker--and a remote controlled thermometer--Christmas presents from our foodie relatives.
Smoking is one of those all day events, and it requires babying. While you want the pork to acquire a bark (see below), you certainly don't want it to become too barky or worse, to dry out.
The remote device allowed Bandy to check the cooking temps without making hundreds of trips outside. A quick note: He says it's important to not "prick" the meat or the wonderful juices will leak, and your pork will turn into shoe leather.
This is what the author has to say about her recipe:
"This ridiculously delicious meal takes time, but no effort."
It takes 5 hours to smoke a 3 1/4 pound pork shoulder.
While the meat smokes, Van Boven suggests that the cook
"Do Something Else . . . la di da."
We started with lots of wood chips, a homemade rub, and the pork.
Many hours later, the pork was ready, with the aforementioned deep, lovely "bark."
After cooking, be sure to let the meat rest. If you carve or shred too soon, the roast will
The bark will take on deeper meaning when you finally "pull" the pork--I shredded it by using two forks. As you work, the dark bits will be mixed in with the meat. Heavenly.
Here's Van Boven's rub recipe:
"Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika, chile flakes, brown sugar, and a little less salt."
We didn't add sauce, but the smoked pork didn't need it. We piled it
onto thick buns. The book has a recipe for "Miraculous Rolls," along
with Sauerkraut Salad with Hazlenuts, Fried Parsnips,
and White Beans in Tomato Sauce.
This was a delightful start to Home Made Winter Week. I don't know
about Bandwidth, but I certainly enjoyed the pulled pork.
Note: The scheduled post didn't post today, and I didn't check the blog until
just now. I have been up all night with a sick Yorkie and on my way to the vet.
For more wintry food and cheer, be sure to visit the Novel Bakers:
*Who are The Novel Bakers? Jain, Mary, Pam, and me. Friends and bloggers
who love books and cooking. Our past projects have been collected in group Pinterest Boards. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for The Novel Bakers.