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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna and her daughter (affectionately known as Dotter) Brittany's food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest - The Old Hen on Tour coming in 2014! You can learn & laugh with Deanna & her friend Buffee (yes, that's her real name) during their cooking demos at the Washington State Fair this September and hear their The Old Hen podcast soon. Here's to starting from scratch. Thank you so much for supporting us!

Breaded Pork Chops With Fresh Sage Gravy Recipe

Once you grow sage in your garden, there’s pretty much no room for anything else. They are hearty plants that are thick and full of beautiful sage leaves in no time but even if you don’t happen to have a monstrous sage bush in your garden, you can pick up a container at the grocery store in the produce department.

Back to the pork chops – one of the best comfort foods in the world.

To prepare pork chops, place about 1 1/2 of cups of buttermilk (or regular milk & whisk in a teaspoon of vinegar) in a shallow bowl. Place about 2 cups of flour in another shallow bowl.

Heat enough canola or vegetable oil to coat bottom of pan. Allow to heat up while breading pork chops but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t smoke.

Place pork chops in the buttermilk.

Then coat with flour.

Then since that was so much fun, do it again. Do it again!

Ooooo serious breading.

Place each pork chop in preheated oil. Enjoy the sizzle.

After first side is golden brown, flip over carefully to brown second side. Heat until middle reaches 145F. I often get asked how to keep meat moist in the middle. Normally the fix is simply making sure that your meat reaches the minimum temperature in the middle but doesn’t cook longer than necessary as this is when it becomes dry.

Minimum temperatures:

  • Pork = 145F – 165F
  • Poultry = 165F – 175F
  • Beef = 120F – 165F
  • Lamb = 135F – 165F

Remove pork chops from pan & set aside. Add a little olive oil (or bacon grease if you happen to have some) to pan & heat then add diced onions. Allow onions to cook until golden & somewhat see-thru looking.

While onions are cooking, place about 3 cups of water and about 4 fresh sage leaves into blender. Bend until sage is minced & set aside.

Sprinkle about 1/4 cup flour into onions and stir well. Cook for a few minutes.

Pour sage water into roux and continue to stir while gravy thickens.

Simmer and add salt, pepper, and house seasoning if you like such as Spike, Lawry’s or Johnny’s. A little broth seasoning works magic with the flavors too. I recommend about a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon vegetable or chicken base. Taste test to be sure your flavors make your taste buds dance.

Awesome optional step… use a large mesh strainer to remove onions & bits after finished for a smooth but still flavorful gravy!

Perfectly perfect served with a side dish and garnished with a sprig of sage…

or as the Peter Brady special: pork chops & applesaaaauce.

 

The Fairmont Empress and Victoria’s Inner Harbour

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While visiting Victoria in the month of March, we decided to play summer and take a walk around Victoria’s Inner Harbour. A couple of the beautiful landmarks that you cannot miss are the…

British Columbia Parliament Buildings (free guided tours available) and…

The Fairmont Empress.

The Inner Harbour – where one great photo op is interrupted by another.

Dotter on the grounds of The Fairmont Empress.

Beautiful architecture all around.

And when you are vewy, vewy quiet, you can wander around the hotel to witness the beauty and shops within.

Yeah, like that.

“Presented to The Fairmont Empress by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness. Visit of October 2002.”

The queen herself  has taken in the beauty of The Empress. What a sweet gesture. I hope she just leaves a card when she visits our B&B cuz I’m simply not plaque & trophy person.

I suppose when one is willing to take a picture of a picture that would make one a tourist.

At this point, dotter was embarrassed of my picture taking. So I held off…

Until we got to the tea room.

And the restaurants.

And the gift shops.

And a few more beautiful outdoor spaces.

Across the street from both buildings is the Inner Harbour. I can’t imagine how beautiful this all must be in the summer.

But in the meantime, a glimpse of spring.

Many of the buildings around the harbour are stunning.

From every angle.

Especially on a blue sky kind of day.

There are carriage rides and double-decker buses, an IMAX theater and a museum all close to the harbour. If you have fond memories of Miniature World, you can find that at the Fairmont Empress as well… perfect for kids.

Rumor has it that street performers gather all around the harbour in the summer. This brave soul came out to make balloon art for the kids on a sunny but cold, spring day.

When I see our flag I feel teary-eyed. When I see the Canadian flag, I feel the need for maple syrup. I am broken, I know.

In the midst of all of this, there are side streets filled with shops to wander through which lead to downtown BC which has much to offer as well.

Exploring is the fun part of vacation. Nowhere to go. No hurrys. No worries. Time to get lost on a city bus even. Not that this happened to us or anything.

Oak Bay Marina in Victoria BC

Downtown Victoria BC

 
© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014