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Mist, Rest, and Homemade Carnitas

I woke to a farm shrouded in heavy mist. Our neighbors disappeared in the fog making it seem like we were living on an island.

I love these kinds of mornings, especially when I’m not feeling so good. Yesterday was spent at the hospital undergoing tests, examinations, injections, etc. Down the road all these things will help get me better, but today they’ve left me in great pain, feeling weepy and exhausted.

It will get better, I know it, but on this eerily beautiful day, I need to rest and watch movies and take naps and drink homemade cocoa and stir Mexican black beans on the stove and simmer savory shredded chicken in the crock pot and take quiet walks through the dripping trees.

Mist is like sneaky rain. You can’t see it until it clings to feathery weeds, delicate branches, or your eyelashes.

But then it’s magical, like someone decided it would be a splendid idea to deck humble weeds with glittering diamonds.

Weather like this makes me want to read Russian novels or British murder mysteries and drink copious amounts of tea laced with maple syrup and coffee spiked with rum.

This may be my home, but today it feels like a fairyland I’m visiting, a place of safety and comfort and peace.

Even the animals are quiet today, goats hunkered down in their shed to keep warm, chooks ruffling their feathers until they look like little old ladies in enormous fur coats.

I feel hugged by the weather today, thankful for the mist obliterating even a glimpse of the outside world, helping me focus on all that is good and wonderful.

Like the crippled little runt duckling that survived against all odds and is now toddling about with his big brothers and sisters.

Pressies from dear friends overseas that remind me I am loved and cared for.

And just enough popcorn kernels left to make myself a bowl of salty, buttery goodness.

My other happy thing today is more Mexican food, specifically, carnitas.

How I love carnitas! That exquisite dish of slow-roasted pork so moist and tender it falls apart yet with crispy, caramelized edges that make you swoon.

There are numerous ways to make this delicious meat dish, but it boils down to this: seared pork simmered for hours in a savory broth then crisped in the oven until the broth evaporates and all you’re left with is flavorful shredded pork begging to be folded in tortillas and topped with pico de gallo, frijoles negros, and queso fresco.

I like to simmer mine with water, citrus of some kind (orange or lime are my favorites), and some whole milk (it helps to caramelize the carnitas).

What are some good things in your life today?

Homemade Carnitas

Ingredients:

1 large pork roast (shoulder)
1 orange or mandarin or clementine or lemon or lime
1.5 cups full cream milk
salt and pepper
water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (180 C)
  2. Cut roast into large chunks, season with salt and pepper and brown well on all sides in a lightly oiled saucepan.
  3. Remove pork to oven-proof pot, preferably cast iron, and pour over any drippings remaining in pan. (If they’re stuck to pan, add a bit of water, heat, and scrape until all the tasty bits are free).
  4. Halve and squeeze citrus fruit over meat, tuck in between meat chunks.
  5. Pour milk over meat.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add enough water to almost cover meat.
  8. Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil.
  9. Slow-roast for 2.5-3 hours until meat is fork tender.
  10. Remove from oven (but leave oven on!) and remove citrus rinds. Using two forks, shred pork meat.
  11. Return to oven uncovered and roast 30-40 minutes until edges are crispy and caramelized and cooking liquid has evaporated.
  12. Serve with Mexican black beans or tuck into tortillas and top with fresh pico de gallo.



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budgetjan - How great that the weather has come to your rescue. Mist to comfort you and wrap you up. I am glad that you still got out with your camera though to show us the transformation. I can imagine the goats hunkered down, their big eyes and pathetic bleats (in a nice way). Their eyes either laying accusations over the weather or pleading for an intervention, or just hopeful of some food. Whichever, as you know, goats always make me smile 🙂

thefisherlady - coming here to see this beauty of misty black, white, and greys has made my day…. such beauty always flows from you… even in your pain. Be well dear friend. praying healing,strength, and joy, (with love), for you .
Today, here, was ladies’tea with good friends, their wee ones and small dogs, warm sun afterwards on my back as I took the goats to pasture…. fun pulling old fences apart and dreaming of new ones… my cat poisoned two days ago well again today… trees still fresh in greenery while neighbouring folk complain of tent caterpillers…I will enjoy each vibrant moment until it is bare … all in all, a good day

Maureen | OrgasmicChef - I’m in love with this dish but that first photo makes me feel cold 🙂

Bethany Bassett - That close-up of mist clinging to those weeds is stunning! You have such a gift for finding beauty in your surroundings; thank you for sharing it with us.

I’m making carnitas again next week, and I’m intrigued by the idea of adding citrus and milk. I usually go the spice-rub-and-peppers route, but I think I’ll have to try your suggestion! (With my first attempt at homemade queso too. ::fingers crossed::)

Tanya Lloyd - Eerily beautiful and comforting imagery … so inspiring that you still find beauty on even your most difficult days. Big hugs and thoughts for your strength during this difficult time xx

Joanne (eats well with others) - I’m so glad that even with all of your medical tests, the weather and some food has brought you comfort!

Jamie - Lovely, haunting, mysterious photos. How lucky you are to live on your wild “island”… I hope this helps heal. xo

Andrea and John - Oh how beautiful! I had no idea QLD could mist up like this

Rachel Friesen - I’ve been reading your musings for awhile now, but haven’t commented. I love the way you see the world around you. Thank you for sharing it! It was raining here yesterday too; not a gentle mist, but a steady patter blown against the windows and overflowing the planters. It was a wonderful afternoon to hunker down in the kitchen and bake something. I put our excess bananas to good use in muffin batter, and made up for our lack of chocolate chips by adding some molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice. Getting them into the oven around kids with cabin fever wasn’t pretty, but the aroma alone was worth the effort. The muffins were even better for this morning’s breakfast: comfort itself. That’s the good from my day (from evening to morning, that is).

Karen (Back Road Journal) - I’m so sorry that the first time I’m visiting your blog that your are not well. Having grown up in Texas, I love carnitas. I’m hoping that every new day brings better health to you. I love you photos…they are wonderful.

Karlynn Johnston - Hauntingly beautiful pictures…..just lovely. That recipe sounds divine!

I found you through Valerie’s (A Canadian Foodie’s) website Nice to meet you!

Karlynn

Krista - I’m so glad you stopped by, @karenbackroadjournal:disqus 🙂 You made my sick day better. 🙂

Krista - It’s lovely to meet you too, @karlynn:disqus 🙂 I’m off to look at your site now. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you decided to write, @rachelfriesen:disqus 🙂 I visited your blog and am so happy to meet you. 🙂 Your afternoon sounds messy and crazy and delicious. 🙂

Krista - It sure can, @inspiringtravellers:disqus It’s like this a lot during the winter. 🙂

Krista - I feel very lucky to live here, @71eb07213759ab4e5611e1dd9f1df8a7:disqus 🙂 It is a safe and healing place. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus 🙂 I’m so grateful for both of them. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @tanyalloyd:disqus It is wonderful to hear from you 🙂 XO

Krista - Thank you, @OrgasmicChef:disqus – it is rather delish. 🙂 These photos make me cold too. Shiver!! So glad I could go back to a warm house. 🙂

Krista - Ooo, your version of carnitas sounds fantastic too, @BethanyBassett:disqus 🙂 I’m going to have to arm wrestle you for your recipe. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @thefisherlady:disqus 🙂 Your day sounds wonderful – especially the healing of your cat. 🙂

Krista - You know goats so well, @budgetjan:disqus 🙂 Those eyes and bleats of theirs are so eloquent, aren’t they? 🙂

Kitchen Butterfly - Love, love, love the photos, especially the second from the last one, with the water droplets just hanging off the branches. And I totally heart carnitas. I love the creamy flavours of the braising liquid

katyabroad - Those pictures are just magical, Krista, and thank you for another great Mexican recipe!

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