This post is sponsored by Ohio Pork Council.
There’s something about farm living that has called to me. Maybe it’s the whole “working hard and growing things” part. It’s definitely not the “waking up at the crack of dawn” part. But, to know that what you grow and harvest from your land can feed your neighborhood, state or even country, has to feel really good. That’s why I was so excited to take a drive with the family to Sabina, OH and visit with the Surber family.
Connie and John Surber were our hosts for the day, along with their special guests Chef Rachel and “Uncle Squeals” Neil Rhonemus. They welcomed us with open arms and shared the story of the Surber family and how farming has been a big part of their world for many years.
John, Connie and Neil are all Ohio pig farmers, and had story after story to share with us about this amazing life. We also learned so much about the truth behind “no antibiotics meat” (never pay more for that title), and the meticulous work that goes into growing and caring for pigs. It quickly became an impromptu homeschooling lesson for the kids, and sparked some fun conversations at home later in the week.
As we chatted about the gestation of a pig, and the “shower in/shower out” rule of a pig farm, Chef Rachel from The Glendalia Boutique, created two spectacular pork dishes for us to enjoy that afternoon. Her Sweet Thai Chili Pork was so succulent! I couldn’t believe how juicy the meat was. But, the Honey Oregano Pork Chops really had me on cloud nine.
It was such a simple recipe, with a marinade created from items we already had in our pantry at home. Grilling the chops for 4 to 6 minutes on each side ensured the meat would be savory, and that the honey would caramelize and crisp the surface just so. Gone are the days of cooking pork to 160 degrees, and drying it out to the chagrin of those you serve it to. Uncle Squeals says without the threat of trichinosis, there’s no longer a need to overcook your pork. Pork is meant to be juicy, like Chef Rachel’s Honey Oregano Pork Chops. Be sure to check out the recipe at the end of the post.
Connie Surber also put together some side dishes for us to have with Chef Rachel’s pork entrees, and we enjoyed our time of fellowship and fun around a very full table.
Dessert was provided by Casey from Batter Up Bakery, and consisted of two cobblers: Blackberry and Peach! Batter Up Bakery makes from-scratch baked goods, including gluten and dairy free items when ordered in advance. We can’t wait to take the kids there this fall. While we totally spaced on getting a photo of the cobblers, Erin from The Spiffy Cookie took an awesome photo of both desserts.
We had such a blast with the Surbers that afternoon. The kids ran all over the place, Brandon and I were able to chat with fellow foodies, and we made a plan to visit Chef Rachel at her bed and breakfast, The Glendalia, for a date weekend. Stay tuned for a post highlighting the amazing weekend experiences she offers at this Ohio hot spot!
In the meantime, here is Chef Rachel’s recipe:
Honey Oregano Pork Chops
4 boneless skinless, pork chops
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 lemon zested and juiced
½ olive oil
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine all ingredients and marinate for 4-6 hours. In a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil and sear pork chops for 4-6 minutes per side. Remove from pan and serve immediately.