A fine fall dinner

TaliesinGroundsbfLOIt was uniformly beautious around and about these parts this weekend, and we ventured out to take full advantage of all that beautiousness – mostly by getting up at (as friends of ours would put it) the butt-crack of dawn to join buds Bob and Don on a drive to Spring Green, Wisconsin for a walking tour of Taliesin… Wow.

TaliesinTeaCirclebfLOAbsolute perfection of the day aside – Taliesin is stunning; the site, the building (because it really is one huge, meandering building) and the surrounding valley are just incredible, and I was left with just a bit of an insight into some of what must have inspired and sustained Mr. Wright throughout his life.

TaliesinVisitorCtrSignbfLOUnfortunately, the same could not be said for lunch.

We chose to stop for a bite at a local establishment that shall not be named – just please stay away from any round barn-like eating establishments if you’re ever in the vicinity of Spring Green, Wisconsin – because we were uncertain of lunch options at Taliesin.

Bad move.

AsparagusPitcherbfLOThe Taliesin Visitors Center has a lovely restaurant – Mr. Wright had actually designed the building as a restaurant – but we only learned of this after dining on bad tuna fish and stale potato chips – and those were two of the highlights of lunch.


One lives, one learns, one goes on to dine another day.

ChopsMarinadeNicebfLOAfter a full day of slouching around stunning bits of architecture and sampling some of the poorest excuse for food it has ever been my misfortune to taste, we spent Sunday catching up on errands around the house and never really had the time to think about what to do for dinner. The market had a special on boneless pork chops; not my favorite cut of meat, but I thought that I could mebbe do something quick with them, so home they came, along with some lovely asparagus a couple of lemons, and two nice baking potatoes.

ChopsOutofMarinadebfLOIt was already after five by the time we got home and stashed our groceries, so my normal methods of preparing pork chops were not an option, but I had a bottle of apple juice in the bottom of the fridge, and some diced onion tossed with pickled jalapeñoes left over from a hot dog dinner last week… hmmm.

QuickLikeABunny, into a plastic container with the pork chops and then a couple of tablespoons of whole grain Dijon mustard, just because. A quick stir and a cover and a stash in the fridge for an hour and I was ready to deal with dinner.

ChopsSkilletFlippedbfLOThe potatoes went into the oven, the asparagus got peeled, and water salted and set to bubbling for a quick bit of cooking just before we sat down to eat; now for the chops.

I pulled the pork chops out of the apple juice, onion, jalapeño and mustard mixture and seasoned them with a bit of salt, pepper, some Gateway to the North Maple Sugar ChopsRestSauceBkgdbfLOSeasoning, and a bit of garlic and paprika; then heated a large skillet on top of the stove and melted a bit of butter with some olive oil.

I browned the chops for about three minutes per side, then poured that apple juice and mustard concoction over them and let it simmer and reduce for another five minutes or so.

Chops done, I pulled them off to a warm platter to rest while I turned up the heat under the pan and reduced the heck out of that apple juice mixture.

AppleDijonPokAsparagusbfLOWhile the sauce was reducing, I popped the asparagus into that bubbling salted water and stood back to watch the magic happen for about five minutes.


Perfect asparagus with a bit of salt, butter and lemon, and those OH! so tender pork chops with that lovely apple juice, Dijon mustard, onion and pickled jalapeño reduction poured over top.

Not bad for last minute, and a heckuva lot better than lunch on Saturday!

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