Monday, September 14, 2009

Sept 9-13,2009; BEST Pulled Pork Recipe

Monday, Labor Day, 9-7-09

Chuck was home from work so we skipped school. The kids were so disappointed. LOL (not really)
It was such a rainy day that we were not able to go on a hike that we had planned at Hudson Woods. We drove to Brazos Bend State Park and it wasn't raining there. Apparently it was only raining in patches here and there in the area.
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Although it threatened to rain while we were there, we just got a few sprinkles. We were able to hike a trail and find a geocache that had eluded us on our last geocache search.
While on the trail around Hale Lake, this guy was nosing around for some food and got pretty close. Armadillos are such odd looking critters.
Tuesday, 9-8-09
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Rachel is signed up for a Kitchen Chemistry class taught by a wonderful homeschool mom. Today was the first class so we drove for about 30 minutes to her beautiful home. I didn't see any other cars there so I knocked on the door to drop Rachel off. Rachel was nervous. The lady answered the door and apologized profusely. She had sent an email to every one but somehow I wasn't on the email list: her mother died that week and all of her family was there. DOH! I felt terrible.
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So we went home and just did a bunch of school stuff. We also started a family read aloud book called The Graveyard Book. It won the 2009 Newbery Award and is written by the same man who wrote Coraline. It's pretty dark and freaky but has a lot of imagination. We all liked it except Charlie. For some reason it didn't appeal to him.
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Wednesday, 9-9-09
Another rainy day. I have to admit that I am loving these rainy afternoons. We needed the rain anyway.
I still haven't started back to a regular exercise schedule. I can feel a slight change in the way my pants fit and that is not good, my friend. I have got to find some time for me.
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I was able to get a lot of school work done.
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Forgot to mention: a couple of weeks I had a cyst removed from my shoulder. Wasn't a big deal but I nearly passed out because I'm a wimp when it comes to that sort of thing. I broke out in a cold sweat and had trouble standing. I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes with the AC blasting on my face and was able to get it together and drive home.
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Today was the day to have my stitches taken out. I would have done it myself but the stitches were so close to the skin that I was afraid of cutting myself. I shouldn't have worried: the physician's assistant cut me trying to get them out. LOL It wasn't too bad. At least they are out.
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Thursday, 9-10-09
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FUN! I have signed the kids up for a class once a month at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They have so many class topics available. I hated just choosing one but I can't afford them all. Anyway, Rachel took a class on squid dissection and Charlie took a class on animal defense. They both had a great time. Rachel learned a lot but Charlie already knew all the stuff about the animals. But he still enjoyed it.
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Afterwards, I went to the ticket booth to see if my chaperone sticker for the class would get me a discount to the Cockerell Butterfly Center. It did! They gave me a corporate rate and we saved a lot of $$ and were able to see beautiful butterflies swirling and floating around us. They would land on us or get so close that you could feel their wings as they passed by. We did see one butterfly die in flight and plummet to the ground. Poor thing. It's a shame they don't live longer.
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I had taken several pictures with the camera on my Blackberry but I can't seem to get it to email them to me. It says it emails them but then I never receive them. $*&%@(* Blackberry!!!! Ticks me off. You have no idea how much.
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After all of that, we came home and did some school. Yeah, it was a busy day.
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Honestly, there are so many activities available out there that it's difficult choosing which ones to do and which ones to pass up.
Right now there is an opportunity to take aviation classes at an old airport terminal in Houston and learn about planes and flight history but it's $125 per student ($250 for both of my kids) and I just don't have it right now. So this one I may be forced to pass up, darn it. I have to save up for the house taxes which seem pretty high to me. But it's a great place so I guess it's worth it. I still don't understand why I can't be rich. LOL
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Friday, 9-11-09

Chuck was home. I hate to do school when he's home. It seems like such a treat for the kids to have dad home during the week so we usually take the day off and do something fun and/or educational.
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Today was rainy (again) so we decided to try a place we've never been called the Angleton Natatorium. Angleton is a town in Brazoria County and a natatorium is just a fancy indoor pool.
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Let me tell you: this place was terrific! They had slides, lap pool, spray area with tipping buckets, hot tub and a lazy river. All indoors! The admission was cheap too.

I brought a library book (Angels & Demons) to read while the kids swam. Some guy followed Rachel around for a while and finally asked her when she graduated. She told him that she was only 14 and he said, "Oh, crap!" LOL Guess he was a little older. It made her feel good though. I'm not ready for boys and dating yet. I can't tell you how old it made me feel to have some guy hitting on my baby girl.
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Oh, and we ended up doing some school anyway. I'm such a mean mom. :P
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Saturday, 9-12-09

Lots of rain still. We were lazy today and didn't do too much of anything. Chuck and the kids went to his parent's house for dinner but I had a headache so I stayed home and finished up my library book. Angels & Demons is a great story!
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And 1 year ago on this day, the mighty Hurricane Ike hit. I'll never forget that night as the wind howled and the fence was being torn up and the trees were bending back and forth in half and touching the ground. It was a scary time and we all slept huddled in the living room as a family. The next morning I was so exhausted. Our house made it through ok but we did get some water damage upstairs from the driving wind sending rain into our ridge vents. Others lost their lives in the deadly storm. Bolivar and Galveston are still recovering to this day.
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Before the storm hit, the sky turned purple and frogs started chirping everywhere. It was so odd. There was also a sweet smell in the air that I can't describe. Like a perfume or flowers almost. When the storm hit there was green lightning throughout the sky. We found out that it was transformers being blown across Houston. With the purples and pinks and greens it was an eerie night.
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Sunday, 9-13-09
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Ahhhh....slept in late though I had planned on getting up early to go watch a hummingbird banding demonstration. But it's good to sleep in from time to time.
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It wasn't as overcast as it had been all week so we took advantage of the break in the rain and head to Brazos Bend for a walk. I needed the exercise anyway. ;-)
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We hiked a few miles and got to see the normal wildlife including alligators and ducks and raccoons and armadillos.
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This guy came right up to us looking for food!
A skink on the trail.

a non-venomous broad banded water snake. Hint: in Texas, if a snake has a round pupil it is not venomous. But that means you have to get close enough to actually see its pupils and we don't always want to do that!

A black bellied whistler duck and her progeny:
I finally have a new recipe to share with you and it's a good one! It's Pulled Pork crockpot style. The whole family loved this one.
Pulled Pork
from Recipezaar
SERVES 10
4 lbs pork roast(shoulder or butt)
2 large onions
1 cup ginger ale
1 (18 ounce) bottle favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)
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Slice one onion and place in crock pot.
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Put in the roast and cover with the other onion, sliced. Pour over the ginger ale. Cover and cook on LOW for about 12 hours.
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Remove the meat, strain and save the onions, discard all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.
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Return the shredded meat and the onions to the crock pot, stir in the barbecue sauce. Continue to cook for another 4 to 6 hours on LOW.
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Serve with hamburger buns or rolls and additional barbecue sauce. Any leftovers freeze very well.
TIP: freeze ready-made sandwiches - a scoop of meat on a bun, well-wrapped. These make a great quick meal or snack. To reheat, remove wrapping, wrap in a paper towel, and zap 1-2 minute in the microwave.
Note: Shoulder or butt are recommended because the meat shreds very well. Other cuts do not shred as readily. It is a fattier cut, but the fat melts away in the cooking and is poured away when you discard the liquid.
Note 2: I have an older, smaller crock pot. The above times work perfectly for me. But if you have a newer or bigger crock pot, you may need to revise times downward, esp. after the bbq sauce is added. I think you need at least a couple of hours for it all to meld, but that may be all you need.
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My notes: I used pork loin because it's leaner. I also used Cattlemen's Smokehouse BBQ sauce. It took me almost 3 bottles of barbecue sauce for that amount of meat. It made a TON of pulled pork.

9 comments:

  1. Looks good, Kelly! Thanks for sharing that recipe.

    Looks like you have been getting in lots of good family time! Fun!

    Glad you're back:)

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  2. Always good to see you posting, miss. I love reading about the adventures you take the kids on. It sure doesn't seem like a whole year has passed since Ike. Seems like it was a mild hurricane season compared to the last few years. What a relief!

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  3. I do so love to read your posts and to hear about your familys' adventures in scholastic achievement. Almost makes me wish I had young kids again. But not quite!

    I don't know if Bolivar will ever recover. I'd just made my first trip out there that spring before the storm and vowed to go back every year. I guess it was not meant to be.

    Have a great week!

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  4. Armadillos are kinda scary up close - we had one in our yard for about a week last December, and the cute factor wore off fast!

    Y'all have been so busy, but it sounds like fun! Your kids are lucky to have you and Chuck so willing to spend time with them.

    My mouth is watering over the pulled pork recipe - think I will do this next time my kids are home!

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  5. I am GREEN with envy that you live in a place where there are so many things to do! There's NOTHING here and I am so happy for you and your kids!

    The Graveyard Book is on our list this year, too.

    We can't do school when my husband is home. It just throws us off. Sometimes he'll teach, and my son hates that! lol

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  6. Do you think the pulled pork will freeze well?? That's a whole lotta pork for just me and the hubs...!

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  7. The pulled pork freezes beautifully. I froze half. :)

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  8. OH MAN...this looks so good!! Thanks for sharing!

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