Monday, December 27, 2010

Antigua and Barbuda

(Originally posted here.)

Antigua and Barbuda

Spanish for "Ancient" and "Bearded"
Between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
Size: 442.6 sq miles
Population: About 87,000
91% black
Tourism dominates their economy
The recession hit them quite hard

Bah, isn't a break supposed to be restful?  I was going to write this during that time.  Instead, Christmas was skiing, skating, wrapping, and a lot of shopping.  Oh well, better late than never.

Originally I was worried about finding a recipe for this small island nation.  The problem?  I don't like seafood.  That can be an issue when you are talking about a nation that is surrounded by water.  Especially one that personally I had never heard of before and therefore I figured was more secluded.  However, I didn't have to look very long.

For those of you who didn't actually click the link: Pork Chops with Bacon and Bananas!  Holy crap.  Could there be a more amazing combination of things?  Had I hit the jackpot?  There was no way to screw this up, right?  And best of all, I regularly have all of the ingredients for this around other than pork chops.

So let's get started, shall we?
Bacon is pretty!
We have a nice flat pan for bacon that works really well.
At this point I realized that I didn't have everything I needed.  In getting all of the food ingredients, I hadn't thought about the fact that I didn't have anything to hold the bacon and bananas together.  No toothpicks, no skewers, nothing.  This time I was in a bind.

What will work?  What will work?  Wait, didn't I just buy things to hang up Christmas ornaments with?
And yes, I will end my sentences with prepositions.
Amazing?  I think so.
At this point, I had also been "marinating" the pork, although it was quite thick and not really something that marinated in the typical sense of the word.
It smelled delicious.
I also did, of course, go for the optional addition of beer.
Yuengling - One of the biggest benefits to living on the East Coast!
The plan was to cook this all on our grill.  It has a guide that goes with it that explains how long things should be cooked.  However, this guide didn't have pork in it.  I just went with what the recipe said because didn't have anything else to go by...
Yummy pork.
At this point I also put the bananas on the grill and sat for a bit.  What were the others doing at this time, you ask?
Checking on the food, looking good.
Kevin: reading material for the work trip he was about to leave for.
Tesla: Being adorable.
Time for everything to be done now!  I am super excited!

I messed up, and big time.  The bananas did not hold up under the weight of the grill that went above and below..  Secondly, some of them had completely disintegrated.  The other thing I didn't account for was that with the heat from both sides the time should probably have reduced in half.  I was pretty devastated.  This was by far the recipe I had been most excited about by now.

Set table.
At least it looks decent.
End result?  Burnt and disappointing and dry and sad.  The pork chops were so overdone that you couldn't taste much of anything.  The bananas were mostly gone.  The bacon was...well, that part was fine.  And the little you could taste of the banana and bacon mixture was actually quite good.  There is a silver lining on everything, right?

I would definitely encourage other people to try this one and tell me how it turns out when done right.  It is so simple, maybe I will try it again someday.

Hopefully next time I write it will be from a blog, but we'll see.  Sarah-Anne is visting right now, so I may not get to research it yet.  I will try to respond to people I haven't next time, hopefully while not feeling like I am getting sick.  Get excited, though, Argentina is from on the road!

Last time: Angola
Next time: Argentina

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