Just simply put…I couldn’t even think about writing anything for the last few days because of the two snow storms that converged on us and other areas in the northeast – started last Thursday, into Friday and everyone is SO tired of the shoveling and clearing of snow.  Apartment living is the way to go with no snow shoveling required.

Today, Sunday, was finally a day to enjoy – most of the snow in NYC proper is gone (but still visible in huge mounds where snow plows dumped it!)  It was definitely time for some food shopping – not from the freezer/pantry/refrigerator, but from actual food stores.

We drove to Trader Joe’s – unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that this was a mistake until I began to notice empty spaces on the shelves…hmmm…could they have been so busy just today that so much is sold out?  Well, yes and no.  Part of the empty shelves was due to people hoarding food before the snow storms hit, and the other factor was that their deliveries were hampered by the heavy snow!  All adding to the increasing space on the shelves.  So I didn’t buy nearly as much as I would have, but I did manage to buy their excellent marinated chicken tenders in a curry marinade and a seasoned filet mignon.  Both of which I had previously bought and so I knew they were good tasting.

Then as we were already in the neighborhood, we went to Stop ‘N Shop – a huge supermarket chain mostly in the northeastern U.S.   Not even a shopping list in hand and I was able to spend over $100.00.   That’s easy for me and could almost do it blindfolded.  Anything interesting you may ask?  Let’s see …. oh yes….a 9 pound pork shoulder with the skin on – for $0.99/lb.  With my store card that was quite the bargain.  It is packaged in a cryovac plastic package so it will stay fresh in the fridge for several days.  I intend to marinate it – Puerto Rican style – a la Daisy Martinez’ recipe for “Pernil” which is what this roast is called.  I’ll have to invite some folks over  so it will be a Puerto Rican night of eating delicious roast pork shoulder.  Yellow rice made with olive oil that has been infused with annato seed to make it look red, and when you coat the rice in the oil before adding the water or broth, the rice turns  into a beautiful golden yellow.  This recipe is also in Ms. Martinez’ book “Daisy Cooks!”.  The pork shoulder will marinate in the fridge for at least 3 days.  The wet marinade consists of garlic, oregano, white vinegar, olive oil, black peppercorns – all processed together, rubbed over and into the pork shoulder, cuts made into the skin so the marinade can penetrate into the fat and the meat.  Roasted in a hot oven on a rack in a roasting pan for one hour, then the heat is slightly reduced and roasted for an additional 2 hours or more – roasting time depends on the size of the pork shoulder.  The skin becomes a crispy delight for those wishing to indulge in the most decadent taste.  Almost as decadent as the marrow in a braised Osso Buco.

On Saturday, Mother Nature gave us another bolt with the huge devastating earthquake in Chile – causing a Tsunami to develop in the western Pacific and heading towards the Hawaiian Islands and other areas in the Pacific.  Hawai’i dodged a bullet as one expert stated.  People did listen to the Civil Defence folks and evacuated the areas that would be inundated should Tsunami waves hit the shorelines of the Hawaiian Islands.  People headed for higher ground.   We were watching a live feed from a local TV station in Honolulu which gave us much better information than watching any cable news stations.  Luckily, the “all-clear” sirens sounded at 2:00pm Hawaii Pacific Time on Saturday.

All the time we were watching the events unfold on line in Hawai’i, I had lamb cooking in a slow cooker and the aroma was beginning to permeate the apartment.  Lamb had been marinated in wine, garlic, rosemary, a touch of honey, and thickly sliced onion.  I browned the lamb prior to the slow cooking which really helps with the flavor of the dish.  Served the lamb with polenta and pan sauteed baby zucchini.   A bottle of Zinfandel by Green Meadow was our wine of choice.

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