Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Cardboard Shipwright + Korean Style Pork Chops & Pork Carnitas

I am so excited to tell you that I am creating the Two Hands Paperie holiday window display and I am super excited. I feel so thankful and fortunate for this opportunity. IT will be a fantastical night sky with a tall ship, a castle on a cloud and a 1915 style man on the moon. Each of those main pieces will light up. There will also be tons of stars and maybe more clouds. Although it will not be hung until November 22, I am working on the hard, intricate parts now. I love making things with paper; I always have.

Right now I am building the ship. It is slow, but fun. There are not any patterns or books that tell you exactly how to make them, so I am figuring it out as I go. I am very inspired by the handmade boats that Ann Wood creates. I bought the book she wrote, and considered her advice, but what I want is more complex, so the patterns that she sells did not work for my purpose. Here's an example of her lovely work:

{This boat was created by Ann Wood.}

I was going to make my ship out of wire, but I could not get the wire to behave in the way that I wanted it to. After a lot of fusing and thinking about the wire idea, I ditched it and went with cardboard. It is much more familiar for me to work with. It took me about two days to fashion the skeleton as I had to think a lot about proportions, flow and strength. I want the ship to be pretty. I want it to hang gracefully and I want it to last. I don't want it to sag. Thus, I put in a lot of support, especially for the masts.
I made the deck as a separate piece to allow for adjusting or changing out the lights. I am employing a 4' string of tiny LED lights that are powered by watch batteries. This means that you need to have access to the battery part to change them out. To accomplish this, I built a tiny house like structure (that would be the way you get into the belly of the ship) that can be lifted off to gain access to the batteries.

I also made the deck slightly raised so that it does not sit directly on the lights. I also covered the windows with clear plastic (cut from packaging) and then a layer of yellow tissue paper to diffuse the light. Without the tissue paper you ca see the wire and the lights, which is not the look I am going for.

The next challenge, which I am working on now, is to create a skin for the hull. I have applied strips of paper that are hot glued and taped in place. This surface will be covered with the decorative papers. I am just trying to figure out the best way to do this. Should I create a paper mache surface first? Will several coats of Modge Podge be the right product? I am going to have to think about this a bit more, though not too long. I would really like to get this piece done before I return to teaching on Monday.

I love these kinds of challenges. They are a sort of puzzle to me. I told my kids that I maybe in my next life I could be part of the teams that make the model building or bigatures for the movies. They replied that they are tired of my putting my dreams on hold and that I should go for it. I reminded them that I would have to live someplace like Hollywood in order to make those. They said that it is time for me to find a way for me to make those dreams happen, even if it is not in Hollywood, that perhaps I could make the stuff and sell it. It is wonderful that they are so supportive. I think they have the idea that I have put all of my dreams on hold while they were little. I reminded them that being a mom was a dream of mine, too, and that raising them is a wonderful thing. I reminded them that we can have many dreams. I am thankful that my family is so supportive of the art I do.

Now, I need to get back to figuring out the proper way to decorate the hull.

Korean Style Pork Chops
via: Jo Cooks

4 pork chops
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium
2 tbsp honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tsp sriracha sauce
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
In a medium size bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sriracha sauce. Pour over pork chops and let marinade for about 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for medium high heat. Add pork chops, without marinade, and cook for about 5 minutes for the first side, or until it gets a nice brownish color. Flip the pork chops and pour the remaining marinade over them. Cook another 5 min on this side.

Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking them. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until pork chops are completely cooked through.


Pork Carnitas
via: My Kitchen Escapades

(recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, (this is my favorite one!) including the spent orange halves and juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered. Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2. Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan. Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid. Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3. While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces. Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot. Try not to break up the pork any further. Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4. Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat. Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

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