The runaround


So after we voted on Election Day, Petey and I took care of some errands around town.

We headed over to King’s Red and White to order a nice, big, Daisyfield ham for Easter dinner.  This year I’m doing a honey glaze with a chopped peanut coating.

Regina Hicks, an institution at King’s, and I always take a few minutes to catch up.  I discuss my plans for the ham, and she always tells me what she’s really liking in the meat case, and gives me some great ideas.

Regina pointed out a cut I’ve never used before.

But the funny thing is, a week ago I saw it in another supermarket and pondered buying it but didn’t.  It was pork chops, but chops that had been cubed.

Just like beef cubed steak, these had been run through a machine fitted with multiple spikes that pierce the flesh, which tenderizes, and to a certain extent, flattens the meat.  Because of the needling, it cooks fast, which is why another name for it is minute steak.  I use cubed steak for country-fried steak with cream gravy, and country-style steak with brown onion gravy.

Regina said the pork could be used the same way, but suggested another preparation.  She lightly sprinkles a seasoned salt on it, then cooks it briefly in a skillet, melts some cheese on it, and puts it on a bun with sliced tomato.

Even before I cooked it, I knew it would be good, ‘cause in all the years I’ve been shopping at King’s, Regina has never once steered me wrong.

Cubed pork chop sandwiches

cubed pork

2 pork chops, cubed (1/4-1/2 pound each)

1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or just salt and pepper)

1 tablespoon butter

2 very fresh Mexican Telera rolls (or another soft sandwich roll)

Butter lettuce

Shaved red onion


Dijon mustard

Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium for 5 minutes.  Pat meat dry with a paper towel and season both sides.  When good and hot put butter in pan and let melt.  Lay in chops and cook on each side for about 90 seconds.  Remove and let sit for 3 minutes.

Split rolls in half and spread Dijon on one side, and mayo on the other.  Cover the bottom slice with lettuce.  Place on pork and cover with shaved onion to taste.

Serve with cole slaw and chips or fruit.

After we left King’s, we went down Roxboro make a stop at the CVS.  But on the way, I saw the TROSA thrift shop at 3500 N Roxboro St, where the Walmart used to be.  I asked Petey to pull in.

Recently I’ve begun visiting the Durham Rescue Mission thrift shop on highway 70.  I’ve been collecting cute little Corning Ware baking dishes, and they usually have them.  And they have a huge selection of books for almost nothing.  Also, I’ve been helping The Kid set up housekeeping and had found a Frugal Gourmet brass pepper mill for less than $10, and my very best find; a like-new bread box that Williams Sonoma sells for $120.  I paid just SEVEN DOLLARS.

That’s right, seven dollars, I swear.

At TROSA I found some more books and a couple of Corning baking dishes.  But both stores are treasure troves of furniture, housewares, appliances, and more.  And by shopping there you’re helping out really worthy organizations.  It’s also fun, like a scavenger hunt.  You never, ever know what you’ll find.

Our next and last stop was the main library at 300 N Roxboro to pick up the new Christopher Buckley that I’d reserved.

Drawers full of good eats.  Can you say that about your own drawers?

Up in the reference department, in an old wooden card catalog cabinet is one of the library’s newest, coolest additions.  They have started a seed collection.  They have close to 100 different plants; veggies, herbs and flowers.  I got enough for a full herb garden: two types of parsley, three kinds of basil, thyme, chives, and dill, plus five different flowers.

These are all free; they just ask that if you are able to harvest seeds, bring them in to share.

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I am so grateful for this amazing town of ours.

Next week I promise; we’ll leave the city limits.

Thanks for your time.

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