We’re not big believers in karma (or much else, for that matter), but we have no desire to repeat 2011. Karen said it best when she suggested 2011 deserved a punch in the face and a kick in the ass.
And that’s why our Christmas tree is lying naked in our front yard. Best not take chances, you know, given our recent history.
So. 2012. Onward. To bigger, happy things. To having our best year yet. To planting roots in a new place. To making new friends. To claiming our current situation as our own and making the absolute best of it. Better than what we thought. To holding our kids close. To laughing harder. To cooking with them. To putting an excessive amount of Hello Kitty bandages on scraped twin knees. To knowing the entire Star Wars history better than any person should because that is what makes the boy happy. To playing a game in which to win one must feed a plastic toy dog a series of neon yellow “treats,” only to expel these treats out the other end of the dog on to little plastic toy shovels,amidst howls of laughter from the kids. To silent moments of trips to the potty with each of the twins while they are sleeping so there are no accidents in the middle of the night, dancing them back to bed and telling them they are funny and smart and strong and can do whatever they want to do when they are older. To getting older with the most beautiful woman in the world, whose smile melts me because she puts up with my shenanigans and still loves me.
To being better. And stronger. And calmer. And peacefilled-er. And more of whatever else we need to be.
2012 sort of feels like it’s gonna be our year. No matter if it agrees with us or not. It’s gonna be better.
It has to be better.
As I head up north to Indiana to visit my parents and brothers and their families, just me and the kids in the blue minivan and Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon on repeat, leaving Karen in Atlanta to have a break from all that 2011 was, we thought we’d share some love with you.
Before recent events, the National Pork Board asked us if we wanted to do a little giveaway with them. We said yes, because they’re swell people and kind and also, you know, bacon. They’ve got a great collection of recipes for celebrating, and knowing how much we like Brussels sprouts,they asked us to take their sprouts recipe created by Jill Silverman Hough for a spin and see what we thought.
And we liked it. We really, really liked it.
Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Ham from Jill Silverman Hough and the National Pork Board
Frizzled ham. It’s our new favorite thing. Thinly sliced ham cut into fettucini-sized strips of porky goodness, dropped into sizzling hot oil. That popping sound of the pork as it browns in the pan...there’s no other word for it that “frizzled.” A pile of sliced sprouts (the food processor slicing blade is your friend), garlic, and a fresh and happy kick from the zest and juice of Clementine oranges (they’re the only citrus we had in the house, and they worked well). Tarragon vinegar for the final punch, and the buttery+nutty flavor of pine nuts. Topped with the frizzled ham and served steaming hot.
This is a kicked up side, that while completely different than our SproutKraut, is just as satisfying. I’m making it for parents and brothers and their families this weekend while we celebrate a late Christmas together.
So Jill and the National Pork Board have a whole set of recipes for you to check out and devour. And one of you lucky readers was going to get a little bit of something fun to start the New Year right.
But. And I’m not saying we believe in karma.
To start the New Year off even righter, one of you will win the entire thank you package the National Pork Board sent our way and the something fun originally planned. Here’s what the entire prize package now includes:
- Two Jill Silverman Hough cookbooks:
- An instant-read digital thermometer, perfect for getting a pork roast cooked just right.
- A four-piece serving set from Crate & Barrel. It is shiny.
- A very cool six-piece set of Martha Stewart melamine serving/mixing bowls. The nesting kind. Saves space. Looks cool.
- Oh. And $100 worth of American Express Gift Certificates. You know, to buy yourself something pretty.
Here’s how to enter:
- Check out the recipes from Jill Silverman Hough from the National Pork Board.
- Leave a comment below telling us your big wish for you and your loved ones for 2012. That’s it. It doesn’t have to involve pork (but most of our wishes do).
- Leave your comment by January 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
- Please see the section below entitled “Here’s how to lose.” It contains the one thing you can say to automatically be disqualified.
- All qualified entries are entered to win the amazing awesomeness from the National Pork Board and the two of us.
- We will choose the winner randomly via random.org from all qualified entries and announce on January4, 2012.
If you tell us why throwing out our Christmas tree on December 26 is a bad idea and why you leave yours up through the first week of January, blah blah blah, you’re disqualified. I’m joking. Except I’m not. I’m sort of joking. But no, really, I’m not. You are totally disqualified.
Now, go read the sweet recipes from Jill Silverman Hough and the National Pork Board and download the PDF version for your files.
And go dream of a pork-filled year.
And something better soon.
Here’s to 2012.
Remember, leave your 2012 wish for you and your loved ones in the comments below. And don’t mention the Christmas tree.