I honestly wish I had never bought the iPhone. I did it pretty much for the look. And the timing was right — my contract with Verizon was up; Dan, Suzanne, Mara, and Bob all had one; and I didn't want to be left behind. Plus, it's a thrill to buy something beautifully packaged from the Apple store, and I thought it fit my personality. Which it does — the addictive side. The phone is hard for me not to touch even for a few minutes. And, it doesn't actually work as a phone. But it's good for everything else.
I use it as an alarm clock and reach for it first thing in the morning while still essentially asleep. I check the time, then my finger might slide over to the weather, so I know what to wear. And, hmmmm, I wonder if anyone has emailed me between midnight and 6:00 a.m.... Is there any new news about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James in the Huffington Post? What are the lead stories in the NYTimes and on Boston.com? What are the new movie listings on Fandango? What are the people I haven't seen since high school up to on Facebook? Maybe I should play a few rounds of Sappho's Twilight trivia game or look for cheap tickets to Paris on kayak.com. This all before I get out of bed. On my phone. Which, again, doesn't actually work as a phone. Because of AT&T.
I used to try to meditate in the morning. My new routine is pretty much the opposite — being more equal to a spiritual death than enlightenment. And I'll need some spirituality soon because it's only a matter of time before I crash my new car and injure myself or others. Remember when a red light meant you just sat and waited for the green, maybe singing along to the radio? Now it's an opportunity to check in with the rest of the world. As a consequence, I virtually never see the light turn and am either propelled forward by the honking of the car behind me or my daughter yelling, "Mom! Go!" The other day I tried not to touch my phone for the entire three miles between home and work, but I do it without thinking and then have a do-over for the next five minutes until I fall off the wagon again.
Then a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Dan and at the end it said, "Sent from my iPad." Tech envy ensued, and I headed for my car but stopped short when I realized that if I want to have a semblance of a life I can't ever buy another iAnything. Unless they develop the iPork. Because I love pork. And, after all, this blog is about food and not addiction or technology. So here's the pork.
Just before the release of the iPad, it was restaurant week here in Boston and I enjoyed a luxurious long lunch at Toro with Bob and Mara, who were on spring break. Of course the iPhone came with, so I could show you a photo of this:
I obsessively photograph anything and everything I eat, so those pix were par for the course. What I didn't expect to show you was this!
Right in the middle of lunch, in came a dead pig carried by the Vermont farmers who raised it. The Toro guys started butchering it right in the middle of the dining room. You can imagine how Mara, the vegetarian, clung to her seat and didn't even reach for her iPhone, but Bob and I were on the scene immediately and had an amazing, horrible, wonderful, omnivore food experience as we watched professionals quickly prepare the pig for its afterlife as carnitas and sausage.
We didn't get to eat any of the pig — it was for a cook-off that weekend at the Liberty Hotel, but it gave me a hankering for pork (it doesn't take much). So when I got home, I got away from my screen and in front of the grill to make a fab recipe from this month's Saveur. I suggest you do the same.
Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops
100% plagiarized from Saveur, April 2010
4 10 oz. bone-in pork chops, frenched
3 T extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
4 T unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 c. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside. Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
I served them with fennel baked in milk and stewed sweet peppers, both from the same issue and the perfect accompaniments.