Posts tagged In the kitchen
What's your kitchen personality?

My first full-time paid position post-graduation took me to downtown Oklahoma City where I promoted Oklahoma’s pork farmers. Although checkoff programs can be a hot button issues for some (looking at you non-internet using Grandpa Compton…), I was grateful promote the state as a whole instead of one specific farmer. The impact was greater.

Commodity research and promotion programs, also known as checkoff programs, are established under Federal law at the request of their industries. Checkoff programs are funded by the industries themselves, with the goal to increase the success of the businesses and farmers that produce and sell certain commodities.

These programs allow farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders to pool their funds and develop a coordinated program of research, promotion and consumer information to improve, maintain and develop markets for their products. They also yield many additional benefits for public health and nutrition, local and global economies, as well as humanitarian efforts.
— USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

In that first position I learned to lean in before leaning in was a buzzword. My boss[man] pushed me to do more by pretty much throwing me to the ocean and seeing if I was going to sink or swim.

I also learned to work with like-minded humans in similar positions in other states. Cue the most significant professional relationships of my career.

When I joined Charleston|Orwig I tapped those friendships and professional networks because promoting hog farmers is important to me. I’ve seen firsthand how they care for their animals and how their presence in rural America makes communities richer by their contributions to programs and initiatives.

Also, bacon. 

#PinkPork Pinterest Sweepstakes

How can you truly encompass all that is great about perfectly-cooked pork? By perfectly-cooked pork I mean pork that is cooked to 145° F before removed from heat and allowed to rest for three minutes before slicing. Cooking to 145° results in tender, juicy pork that has a blush of pink in the center. (After 5 years, I have this elevator speech on lock.)

Let's cut to the chase. Have you ever wondered what type of kitchen you would be if you were to be a kitchen? Sure you have! Well, you would if a quiz were to exist on site like Buzzfeed. 

It's simple. Take the quiz, pin your results and enter the sweepstakes. For every entry, Ohio's hog farmers are donating one meal of pork to a local food back (up to 25,000 meals!). 

Personality results

I'm a sucker for personality quizzes and assessments. I'm ENTP, Di, Orange and now a rustic kitchen. 

Rustic interiors have a sense of connection to the past that's hard to resist. Which is good, considering that heritage is important to you and you find unique ways to incorporate family heirlooms into your everyday life.
The aroma of Apricot-Glazed Ham radiates from your oven, bouncing from the exposed beams. This, of course, causes your heart palpitations. The love affair you carry on with dinner is evident in each and every serving, filled with love, passion and commitment.

recipe: apricot glazed ham (serves 20)

Not only do you help make a donation to a local food bank and learn about your personality you also receive a corresponding recipe. 

5 pounds full cooked whole boneless ham
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup apricot nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Place ham on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 325°F oven for 1-1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 140°F (about 15 - 18 minutes per pound). 

For the glaze, in a small saucepan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apricot nectar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Brush ham with glaze. Continue baking 15 - 20 minutes more, brushing occasionally with glaze. 

Full Transparency

I worked with Ohio Pork Council on behalf of Charleston|Orwig for this project. I gave this project real-estate on Rural Gone Urban because of the impact the pork industry has made in my professional career. I was in no way encouraged or compensated for this blog post. Although, I wouldn't mind if someone sent me a gift card to buy a few pounds of bacon. 

Sunday Roast

Finding the right church is a lot like dating (hence the description) or job searching.

The Plus One and I have been hitting the church dating scene hard and I think we found the one. 

For a relationship to be healthy (job, friendship, love, spiritual) you need to give as much – if not more – as you receive and that spark should be felt by both parties. Well, this is my guideline anyway, you can set yours however you see fit.

I may be premature in my declaration of the one, but I was so excited I walked my boots right into the kitchen and whipped up a Sunday Roast, complete with an apron that's been in my family for four generations. 

Using Ree’s Perfect Pot Roast recipe as inspiration, I set out to make a celebratory dinner for finding our new church home (fingers crossed).

I’m still in need of a cast iron dutch oven for our urban ranch, so broke out the trust Crock-Pot slow cooker. Slow cookers are the sunsets to my Western Oklahoma. This was the first time I subbed red wine for beef broth, and it was a solid move. My grandma Compton would not be impressed with this, I’m sure, but, she hasn’t had this roast.

In our home, we're light on the salt and pepper. 

For some reason, we had grape seed oil in the cupboard. You won't find insight on if it's better or worse that you're run-of-the mill olive oil, but it did make me feel super fancy. I'm sure the onions loved it.

Instead of whipping up a few servings of mashed potatoes, I added them to the slow cooker. That's what it's for, you know. Less work, more play.

How does someone pick the wine that goest with your roast? No clue. I keep a few bottles of medium-bodied reds on hand. Seemed to do the trick.

I left the roast in the slow cooker for about six hours so I could meet up with a friend to get in my daily fitbit steps. All about those steps.

And this roast.

So much, in fact, there were no photos of the meal.

You'll have to trust T's stomach on this one. He got a third helping. 

The house smells of garlic.

Without a space for projects to occupy my mind after a day at the box staring at a box, I’ve set my sights on the wonder of the kitchen. Although I've dabbled in kitchen foolery before, my heart never sincerely appreciated of the art and chemistry* of preparing a meal. Each Sunday I scour over cookbooks - my mind weighing the value of ingredients based on knowledge of their location at the grocery. Logistics matter, you see.

Recipes, like music, are intertwined in the fiber of our genetic makeup. To me, lasagna screams of celebration, while meatloaf reminds me the toddler version of my now big-little brother.


We, two humans + a dog begging for scraps, gather around the table with our phones facing the hardwood. (Eventually, they’ll be banned. Probably.) Dinnertime is becoming the daily inquisition. It’s for bragging rights, celebrations and ‘did you sees’. It’s to listen, to share, to be.


We may never make it five consecutive meals at the dinner table again, and that's okay; however, I cross my heart and kiss my elbow that we'll make it to the table at least once a week. Even if it's for cereal.

The food is the medium, a necessary guest. Conversations and memories by way of pot-roast, if you dare.

This week on the table: Barbecue Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Chicken Tacos, Pdub’s salsa Breakfast sandwiches: bacon, eggs & cheese. Pot Roast Lasagna

*I made perfect scores in Chem Lab. Thought you should know. You're welcome.