Monday, August 29, 2011

Life in the Country

Virginia is usually a fairly calm state where weather is concerned, but as you know, we were hit by a one-two punch last week with an earthquake and a hurricane.  I live in the mountains in the western part of the state, where neither impacted us.

Normally one of the lovely things about
country life is the interaction with nature.  It's not unusual to see wild turkeys strolling through the yard or deer helping themselves to fallen apples.  I had to include this photo of a luna moth that I saw in the spring.  It didn't mind me getting up close and personal with my camera.

But this week I was having my own little uncomfortable moments with nature that Mary Jane compared to a horror movie. I'm hoping locusts aren't next.

First I found a baby snake winding through my house at warp speed.  I grabbed the closest thing, which happened to be a dog dish, and tossed it over the snake.  Thankfully, my aim wasn't too bad for someone in a panic.  Then I finally found a good use for the exercise weights that I'm always
tripping over -- they went into the dog dish to weigh it down.  I'll admit that I had a somewhat sleepless night knowing that the snake was there.

A neighbor came over to help me in the morning.  My first fear was that it would get away, and I wouldn't know where it was.  My second fear was that we would lift the bowl, and it wouldn't be there.

All turned out fine. The snake was still under the dish and has been removed from the premises.

To be on the safe side, I went out to buy propane for the grill -- what with the hurricane coming and all.  Better to be prepared in case we should lose electricity. Believe it or not, I haven't had a chance to grill at all this summer so I was looking forward to it.

But when I lifted the cover off the grill, wasps had moved in.  Yikes -- part two of the horror show.  No one was stung because I left them alone, which is why my recipe today was cooked on a pan instead of grilled as intended.

An early morning raid on the wasp compound rescued the grill from the wasp encampment, and I hope to actually use it sometime soon!

There must be something about summertime and grilling that makes me reach for bourbon.  I posted a recipe with a bourbon marinade last summer, too.  This one differs by being a bit simpler and not having a sauce.  It's a nice choice for busy days because you can make everything ahead of time and grill the meat when you're ready.

Bourbon Pork Medallions

1 pork tenderloin
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 peaches, diced
1/4 Vidalia onion, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Slice the pork tenderloin into 3/4 inch rounds.  Combine all the other ingredients in a food storage bag, and mix well.  Slide the pork rounds in, press out the excess air and close.  Marinate about four hours.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the pork tenderloin and brown on each side, cooking until just cooked through.  (Do not overcook or they will become tough.)  These can also be cooked on the grill.

Toss the peaches, onion, and lemon juice together and serve on the side. Serves 3-4.


  1. Two of my least favorite things snakes & wasps. In the house & grill to boot :/
    I had not thought of pork & peaches. Those two I like :)

  2. I think I'd have been reaching for the bourbon after snakes and wasps...and not to cook with! Ha! We love pork tenderloin here--thanks for giving me a new way to cook it. :) Watch out for those beasties!

  3. Helena Georgette, the peaches were a nice fresh note with the pork. I have made peach mango salsa to go with pork, too. Very refreshing!

    ~ Krista

  4. LOL, Elizabeth! I should have reached for a drink after I saw the snake. It was late at night, and since it was a baby, I kept walking through the house to be sure there weren't any more.

    ~ Krista

  5. Hopefully that's the end of the strange weather and snakes! The pork looks delicious, btw...

  6. Snakes, wasps, and weather! Oh, my! Dorothy, I think you need to go back to Kansas. Poor Krista.

    But the good news is The Diva Haunts A House is coming out and I can't wait to read it! How appropriate that you had all the elements to get in the mood for scary!

    Now for this delicious pork. Yum.


  7. Sonia, I'm hoping the weather and weird visits from creatures are over. The pork turned out great. I had company, and my friend (who doesn't cook much) asked if it was something I thought she could make and would I please give her the recipe! : )

    ~ Krista

  8. LOL, Avery! You think creepy things are happening because I wrote a Halloween mystery? Uh oh. Better stock up on garlic!

    ~ Krista

  9. funny line about the weights... do you use your Nordic track to hang clothes as well?

    And of course Bourbon and grilling go together. And beer and scotch and Margaritas?

    Doesn't your book come out in a few days???

  10. Krista, I have to agree with Avery. It looks like your Diva Haunts the House theme is coming to fruition. :)

    Very glad to hear the quakes and shakes and windy Irene didn't harm you or yours. We get the benefit, of course, another great recipe. Bourbon, brown sugar, and paprika for sweet heat...I'm there...and doing the countdown to your new DIVA mystery--just 1 short week (although I'll bet some stores will place it on the shelves for the long weekend).

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  11. Dave, I was wondering what to do with the Nordic Track. What an excellent suggestion!

    And I do have a book coming out in 8 days! Wooooooo. Are you ready for Halloween?

    ~ Krista

  12. Oh, that's interesting, Cleo. You think they put them out early, huh? That would be smart!

    ~ Krista

  13. I am very relieved that this isn't snake medallions with bourbon. I love pork medallions, love bourbon and love peaches. Take that, Mr. Snake. Krista has fixed you but good and given us a lovely snakefree recipe!

  14. Mary Jane, I thought about cooking Mr. Snake, but he was too small! ; )

    ~ Krista