Ducks, Pigs, and Polar Bears

It has been a fine Wednesday, Jack.

Whether or not you got that reference, you should definitely watch Duck Dynasty tonight.  Scott and I have been hooked since we saw an episode a few years ago, and we happily watch reruns all the time.  Tonight isn’t a rerun though, it’s the season premier.  We’ve been looking forward to this night for months.

And how did I celebrate this momentous day?

I started with the great fridge de-molding of 2013.  It was pretty epic.  And now that it’s over, I can relax in that wonderful feeling you get after you finish a dreaded project.

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I used a homemade cleaning mixture that my mom recommended.  It was 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, 1/3 white vinegar, and 1/3 rubbing alcohol.  And thanks to that potent mix, I’ve never been happier to see a dated but moldless fridge.  It looks beautiful now.  For more homemade cleaning solutions, there is a great list with recipes at Young House Love.

There had to be more celebration, what with it being Duck Dynasty day and de-molding day all in one.  So in the names of all things Southern, I pulled out a few recipes from my favorite chefs and made a small feast.  It was a take on the week’s accidental theme–pork chops and squash (it’s what we had in the fridge, and I have plans for other exciting meals with other exciting ingredients later in the week).  Even after eating pork chops and spaghetti squash so recently, this was delicious and just different enough.

First, I made squash casserole, Giada-style.  We made this recipe about six times last summer, with the dozens of fresh summer squash that came straight out of our mini veggie garden.  With the lack of garden earlier in the summer, there was also a lack of squash and “Verdure al Forno.”  Thankfully, Scott’s dad came to the rescue with a supply of garden-fresh squash.  I mixed it with some zucchini for color and texture variety, and presto.  Giada would probably be sad to hear that I call her recipe squash casserole, because it’s a lot more than that.  The veggies keep their shape well and don’t get over-cooked, which is key.  And the heavy cream, three-cheese, and breadcrumb combo is magical.

There were substitutions made, as usual.  Monterey Jack cheese for Fontina (which we don’t have at our local grocery store), and Parmesan for Romano.

Then came the pork chops, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.  The other recipe from earlier in the week had more flavor, but PW’s recipe cooked up juicier, so it’s a tie.  And to go with the cheesy squash casserole, the simpler pork chop flavor just seemed right.

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This was kind of the perfect summer celebration dinner, if I do say so myself–delicious homemade food, a tasty glass of wine, and lots to look forward to.  And do you see that polar bear?

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That is the polar bear from my favorite pair of pajama pants.  Even with splattered green nail polish all over them, they’re still the best.  They’re comfy and cute, and they make me happy, happy, happy.

So all things considered, it was a successful day.  Mold was vanquished.  Pictures were hung, boxes were unpacked, and as soon as Scott gets home, Duck Dynasty will be watched.

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