I had the best roommate in college. She didn’t mind any of my crazy cooking experiments, from roasting a chicken in a crock pot in our dorm room (it made our room, and our entire hall, smell delicious) or using a hammer to break up candy to make peppermint bark (though the residents of the room directly below ours did venture up to complain about the racket- we were getting out a lot of aggression on that candy).
My roommate taught me how to recycle. Now, it’s not that I didn’t recycle before- I just didn’t recycle to the degree that she recycled. Our school at first didn’t have a lot of recycling, so she would lug home glass bottles instead of just throwing them away.
Our campus, however, did have paper recycling. Now I had never lived in a place that had paper recycling, but I quickly learned to start doing this after my roommate gave me a sad look when I nearly threw away a piece of paper.
We had a brown paper bag (of course) for our recycling every week. Now, the guy I was dating at the time thought that recycling was silly, and was especially amused by my roommate’s devotion to it.
We were all hanging out in our dorm room that night, when the guy in question decided to grab the bag of paper to be recycled and took off towards the trash room.
My roommate took off after him. Naturally, I took off after her.
When I arrived at the scene, I could hear the guy I was dating inside the trash room, yelling that he was going to throw the paper away. My roommate was trying to pull open the door (he was holding it from the inside). Then she said perhaps the funniest thing I ever heard her say, in the most desperate voice,
“Don’t take the recycling! Take me instead!”
At that point we were all laughing so hard the door opened and she got her brown paper bag of paper back. No one ever tried to steal her paper again.
Recycling-Friendly Stuffed Pork Chops
Ingredients (per person)
- 1 pork loin chop
- 1/2 oz smoked gouda (or whatever other cheese you have on hand- about half a slice works)
- 3-4 slices granny smith apple (you can also use peaches, pears, or plums- nearly anything in your fridge!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In each pork chop, using a paring knife to cut a pocket in your pork chop- insert the knife into the middle and then cut all the way to the edges but not through.
- Stuff pork chops with fruit first, and then stuff cheese on top of fruit. If needed, use toothpicks to close pocket. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Heat an oven-safe frying pan (I prefer cast iron) over high heat, then reduce to medium.
- Place pork chops into the pan, cheese side down. Sear for 2 minutes. Season uncooked side with salt and pepper.
- Flip pork chops (using a fork works well) and seat for another 2 minutes.
- Place pork chops and pan in oven for 20-25 minutes or until pork is cooked through and fruit has softened (20 minutes for thinner pork chops, 25 minutes for thicker chops).