Monday, May 27, 2013

Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork.....

What do you have to feed a "Texas-sized" appetite for a recently returned Missionary from Houston?  What about some Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork (Copy Cat)?  Our son has been home a few days now.  As is the custom in the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", the returned Missionary speaks in church on an assigned topic.  Family and friends often come to welcome the missionary home and to hear about his/her experiences.  This was the case yesterday.  We invited family members over to our home following the block of meetings.  As it was Sunday, I decided that I wanted something that would feed a crowd without requiring a lot of effort.

I needed some "Pork Seasoning Mix" to use as a rub on the Pork Shoulder Roasts.  So, I opened my spice cabinet.

Using the spices and some of my own dehydrated herbs, I made the Pork Seasoning Mix in minutes.

Next, I rubbed it into all the surfaces of the roasts (I made 2).  I do use gloves when handling raw meat.

I had planned to use my Roaster Oven as I could put it on my buffet for cooking and for serving.  The recipe instructs you to put the Roast on a rack in a Roasting Pan and over with foil.  I went to get my foil...and I had 6 inches on the roll.  I didn't even consider getting more foil on Saturday.  So, I had to improvise....and I really love how it turned out!  I had one Turkey Cooking Magic bag.  I put the rack inside of the bag and put both roasts on it.  I then put the water with the liquid smoke (called for in the recipe) in the bag and closed it up.

I placed the entire 'thing' into the roaster and turned it on 250 degrees F.  It cooked for about 7 hours.

I also made the Texas Roadhouse Barbecue Sauce (copy cat- I also doubled the recipe) in a small crock pot that also cooked just as long as the meat.  When it came time to serve, I poked a small hole in the bag and drained the juices into a bowl.  I put the roasts back into the oven and used 2 forks to pull the meat apart.  I then poured the sauce into the meat and stirred.

How did it turn out?  Take a look!

It is delicious on a bun or just by itself.  I will do this again for a family gathering.  Just a little prep time and a great result.

Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Ingredients (From Copycat Recipe Guide)

§ 6 pounds pork shoulder

•  2/3 cup pork seasoning salt

•  1 tablespoon. black pepper

•  1 cup water

•  2 tablespoons hickory liquid smoke

•  3 cups Texas Roadhouse BBQ sauce

Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Equipment

§  Roasting pan

•  Roasting grate

•  Aluminum foil

•  Small mixing bowl

Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Recipe

1.   Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.   Place a large piece of aluminum foil on your counter.

3.   Place the pork shoulder in the middle of the aluminum foil with the fat side up.

4.   Mix the seasoning salt and black pepper together in a small mixing bowl.

5.   Take some of the seasoning mix and rub it into the meat. Continue rubbing the seasoning over the top and sides of the meat. Be sure to rub in the mixture, not just sprinkle it

6.   Place a a grate in the bottom of the roasting pan.

7.   Add one cup of water to the roasting pan.

8.   Pour hickory liquid smoke into the water mixture.

9.   Place seasoned pork shoulder onto the grate in the pan with the fat side up.

10. Place aluminum foil over the top of the pan and seal well around the edges.

11. Cook the meat for about 5 to 6 hours.

12.  Take the meat from the oven and pull it apart into about 3 sections.

13.   Allow the pork to cool slightly for about 15 minutes.

14.   Shred the meat into long strips with your fingers or with a long tinned fork.

15.    Heat the barbeque sauce until warm.

16.    Mix in the barbeque sauce and stir until all pieces are evenly covered.

Texas Roadhouse Barbecue Sauce Ingredients (From Copycat Recipe Guide)

§  2 tbsp. canola oil

•  1/2 cup vinegar

•  1 1/2 cups water

•  1/2 cup tomato paste

•  1/2 cup sugar

•  1 tbsp. onion powder

•  1 1/2 tablespoons molasses

•  2 tbsp. honey

•  1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

•  2 tsp. salt

•  2 tsp. vanilla extract

•  1 tsp. liquid smoke

•  1/8 tsp. paprika

•  1/4 tsp. garlic powder

•  1/4 tsp. pepper

1.   Place canola oil in a medium pan and turn on medium high heat.

2.   Add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, honey and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

3.   Measure and add onion powder, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, vanilla and tomato paste.

4.   Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

5.   Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour uncovered until the sauce thickens.

6.   Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool, unless you will use it immediately.

7.   Put sauce in a jar or squeezable container once sauce is cool.

8.   Place container in refrigerator overnight to enhance flavor if possible.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I've been a Little Preoccupied lately.....

I think I will glue this picture, this emotion, this moment in time to my brain forever.  My son returned home from his mission yesterday.  His plane was late,  and after it arrived he didn't descend on the escalator for what seemed forever.  Many passengers who came down the escalator and saw all of us anxious parents waiting.  They smiled and then reported that "They are going to come down as a group.....but they are coming".   Then we waited some more.  Finally, finally, my Elder-Son descended down the Escalator...

Squeals of excitement ensued.....(not just mine)!

Hugs were given all around....our Missionary was home!

His former Mission President came to greet him. That was so very touching to both of them.  More hugs, lots of pictures and lots of questions were asked.

Soooooo, although I am very excited to have my missionary home again I am going to make a few suggestions to the missionary parents who may be anticipating this event.

  1. Be Patient:  There are so many things that you have to wait upon.  Travel Itineraries, admission to school, transportation for our missionary after he comes home, insurance, etc.  I was doing pretty well with all of this until we were at the airport.  He just wasn't coming down the escalator....we finally sent my Son-in-law with my grandson to 'accidentally' scale the stairs and watch for him. My middle son and is boy did the same. (There were strict instructions that Mom gets the first hug though!)  When they saw him coming, they quickly came down the stairs.  Where had he been for those many long minutes?  He was doing just what he should.  Because the of  Tornado activity yesterday (which he was totally unaware of), the plane was delayed and some of the missionaries in his group missed their connections.  He stayed to ensure that all of them were taken care of with connecting flights etc. before he left them.  Who wouldn't want their son to be so caring and responsible?
  2. Give him or her time:  This is a cultural shock to leave the life of a missionary and then all of a sudden come back home.  We all had questions for him.  One (which I thought was so simple), was too overwhelming for him.  "Where do you want to go eat?".  He said he couldn't even think that far ahead.  This is a huge clue.  Try not to bombard your returning missionary with questions such as "What type of cellphone do you want to get?", "When do you want to go visit ______", etc.  It was just too much for him.  He kept saying things like, "We should go teach someone tonight".  
  3. Getting into the house:  Try to have favorite foods or requested items.  Have something for him to wear....these guys often grow and develop over the two year span.  
  4. Let him/her enjoy every minute of being a missionary:  Before our Stake President came to release him, he referred to his impending release as a "Missionary killer" moment and dreaded for it to come.  The Stake President, after he arrived, asked our Elder to bear his Testimony to his family one more time as a missionary.  I thought I had shed enough tears before, but with this sweet Testimony, they came freely.  The Stake President then gave us all advise and counsel.  Finally, he asked me to do something I hadn't been asked to do with my other two missionaries.....he asked me to remove my son's Missionary Badge.  That was bitter-sweet for him.
  5. Beware of a time change:  Your son/daughter most likely will not be used to your time zone.  If you have had an international missionary, you may want to check with your physician about how to regulate sleep cycles to help you missionary adjust. 
It has only been a few hours, but already as a Mother, I feel whole again.  All my chicks are around or are in a place that I can call and talk with them at a moment's notice.  I think I am going to like having to trip over an extra pair of shoes again.....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A note about your son.....Elder (Rooster Junior)

Happy Mother's Day to all you sisters who have children/grandchildren and also to those who love and support children as extended family members and friends. Having been an 'extended family member and friend' for several years of my early adult life, I understand the mixed emotions Mother's Day can bring.  However, I would encourage you to accept the thanks and appreciation from loved ones today....right along with those how are called "Mom" as well. 

I have been very blessed this year, and it is only the morning!  Today I am anticipating a phone call from my Missionary who is serving in Friendswood Texas.  I have been wishing for the days to go faster, but we all know that Heavenly Father has his own timeline for everything.

My other children and Rooster Senior have been gracious enough to call, write, send flowers/cards/gifts, and my son who graduated from College a few days ago gave me his tassel...which will be a treasure for years to come!  I am grateful to be remembered by those who I love.

I received an unexpected text from a YSA also wishing me a Happy Mother's day.  That was very unexpected but also touching.

See, I told you today was off to a nice start. However, I received an unexpected email from the Ward Mission leader (a ward is a synonym for a local church congregation) this morning.  The subject line read "A note about your son, Elder _____".  I have to admit, my heart sank for a moment as it is very unusual to hear from anyone but your Missionary or the Mission President when your child is serving as a missionary.  I opened the email hoping that everything was alright. really was. This kind Brother wrote my husband and I a note expressing his appreciation for the service my son and his companion were providing to the ward.  Our son, (who I lovingly refer to as 'Rooster Junior') has been serving in that particular ward for about 9 months.  My husband and I had to wipe away the tears as we read this unexpected, but welcome gift this beautiful Mother's Day morning. Here is an excerpt of this touching email:

We, the members of the _______ Ward want you to know how much we appreciate your willingness to share your son with us in the service of the Lord.  We thank you for raising a young man who stands tall and is a shining example of what a missionary is and what a missionary should be.  He has blessed all of our lives and it is with a great deal of mixed emotions that we will have to say goodbye to him in a few short days. 
As a parent who has had five children serve missions (one of my daughters is serving now), I know that it is a time of great blessing for your family when you have a son or daughter serve a mission.  I also know that you are very anxious to be reunited with your son as he concludes his mission.  Though we will be sad to see him go, he will leave a lasting legacy in our ward and in the lives of the people he has touched, taught, and loved. 
May you and your entire family take comfort to know that Elder ______ has served the Lord with all of his might, mind and strength.  He is a leader and an example to the other missionaries that he teaches and serves. 
May you and your family enjoy the great blessings of the gospel.  May you feel the spirit of the Lord that dwells so strongly in Elder ______.  And may you have a joyous reunion with him.  Surely, he is one of the noble and great ones.  I am sure the Lord is very pleased with his service and will surely say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". 
God bless all of you.  And to sister ______ … Happy Mothers Day!

I think I will need tissues for the whole entire day.  It is moments like this that help me realize that all our efforts as parents, and those of extended family and friends help shape the lives of the rising generation.  It is my hope that as a "Sister-in-the-gospel" that we will never doubt the important role that we play as we serve in our little part of the kingdom both inside and outside of the home.

Happy Mother's Day to you every Sister!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Use a Primary Source......

Image Courtesy of
I follow several blogs and websites to learn what others are sharing.  I appreciate the time and effort that many folks put into their posts in an effort to educate and inform the rest of us.  Having said that, I have been concerned with a recent post regarding Changes in the operation of LDS Canneries East of the Mississippi.

Now, before I 'go on', I want to talk about something that was drummed into my head in college.  I mean 'drummed' into my head.  What was it? When quoting information or making an inference, make every effort to use Primary Source information.  This means that you seek to find the person or organization who may be the original source to ensure as much accuracy as possible.

I have no doubt the author of this information was attempting to share important information from her standpoint, but you would not believe the concern I personally have heard and seen just in my circles.  Because the LDS Church has a newsroom where they report information and/or they often use KSL/Deseret News as a news sources to report information, I decided to wait for clarification.

The following was reported in the Deseret News on May 6, 2013:

Contrary to a published report, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not closing its food production canneries and is not limiting the variety of goods that are available to church members for consumption and storage.
"Over time, we will be reducing the number of facilities where the packaging of dry goods occurs," LDS spokeswoman Ruth Todd said Monday. Even then, she added, the church's "home storage centers will offer the same or additional commodities in pre-packaged form, at no additional cost."
The statement comes as a result of questions from a number of different media sources following a blog post asserting that "LDS canneries east of the Mississippi will no longer be canning any food at their facilities beginning June 27, 2013."
That, Todd said, is not accurate.
"The church is not closing canneries and is not limiting the variety of goods available to church members," she said. The only thing being reduced over time is the number of locations at which members can purchase bulk foods and can them themselves.
There are currently more than 100 LDS home storage centers across the United States and Canada at which church members can obtain food items for personal and family use. The home storage centers are part of the church's massive welfare program that includes canneries, meat-packing facilities, thrift stores, farms, ranches and storage facilities for food. Latter-day Saints are encouraged by church leaders to keep a three-month supply of food on hand in case of physical, natural and economic emergencies as part of the LDS practice of self-reliance.
“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices," LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson said. "It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.”

Addendum:  The following information was posted to clarify this situation at the following link:  The Author of the blog post states that there will essentially be  a re-write of the Deseret News Article that will be posted tomorrow.  I look forward to read the upcoming article.

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