76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure.
I didn't like pork chops as a kid. Growing up in a home where pigs were raised in the backyard, this was often a point of contention at the dinner table. Maybe it was because my trichinosis-paranoid mother cooked them too well done; maybe it was because I slathered everything in way too much applesauce.
One night my father, while searing some chops in a well-oiled pan -- his preferred method -- told an off-hand story that he had heard from his father, who had fought on the German front during World War II. I don't remember the exact details, but it went something like this: My grandfather's division was on an early morning patrol through the French countryside and came upon a farmhouse occupied by German soldiers. After a firefight that lasted about an hour or so, their unit finally took the main house. Out of the kitchen wafted an irresistible, intoxicating smell. An aroma that smelled of home, even though they were a continent away. The German soldiers had been cooking breakfast. A couple of fat meaty pork chops sat sizzling in an old cast iron skillet. My grandfather, wearied and weakened by months of cold meal rations, apparently described it as the best meal of his life.More »