Today, I made pork chops for the first time in my life. I’ve never been a big fan of pork, so learning to cook it has been low on my priority list. Unfortunately, it shows.

I tried to make them with some barbecue marinade thing I found on the internet. The sauce sounded good, and tasted pretty awesome before the cooking-with-pork commenced. Afterwards, not so much. It was sort of like vinegar and ketchup soup with onion chunks and giant globs of pork in it. I personally prefer my vinegar and ketchup soup creamier and vegetarianer. Why oh why didn’t I use the BBQ sauce from a bottle? I mean, I know why; I wanted to differentiate my new pork chops recipe from my pulled pork sandwiches (which are actually pretty good. I’m sure this is mostly due to the fact that I use the sauce from the bottle). I’m seriously considering making that difference be which brand of bottled sauce I use.

Part of the problem may also have been how long I cooked them. When I looked it up, the Interwebs told me 170° for pork products. So I pulled them out 4 or 5 times expecting them to be done, only to find that they were around 100° pushing towards 125°, but wouldn’t go past that. Eventually, Papa T. was able to confirm that the chops were fully cooked despite my meat thermometer claiming they needed at least another 2 days in the oven.

Papa T. is very valiant about eating my failed experiments as long as he’s pretty sure they won’t kill him or make him throw up in his mouth. Which I think is reasonable. My parents had a rule that if you didn’t like what they cooked, you could have cereal. Since I don’t stock my pantry with cereal, it took the two of us a while to find an alternative rule that worked for both of us. If it won’t kill him, he’ll usually eat it without too much complaint. I get comments like, “You bought inferior pork chops. A pork chop should be thicker than this,” but he’ll rarely declare a meal categorically inedible. When he does, it really is. On nights like tonight, when the meal is edible but sorta blechy, he’ll eat one pork chop and then declare himself full. 15 minutes later he’ll be making a PB&J, but my fiction of having created an edible meal is upheld and I’ll pretend not to notice. A good marriage requires good communication, the ability to compromise, and the willingness to forgive. But it also requires knowing when to pretend there’s no one in the kitchen making a PB&J.

I guess I’d better start buying cereal by the time we have kids.