Pork chops make mouths water

After returning from a week-long trip to the beach, I told Brad I needed to come up with a recipe I could prepare for this week’s column.

Sarah Condley

As he was skimming through Facebook, Brad found this recipe (facebook.com/juliedoesawesomecooking).

Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops

— 1 package pork chops

— 1 can cream of chicken soup

— 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

In a slow cooker, layer pork chops, add the cream of chicken soup, sprinkle dry ranch dressing all over.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

After Brad read the recipe, it sounded simple enough so I went to the freezer and found a package of pork loin chops. I typically purchase pork loins when they are on sale and slice them up myself for pork chops.

I put the frozen chops in the refrigerator and debated whether I wanted to fix them for lunch after church Sunday or wait and have them that evening.

After a little thought I decided I’d rather have the pork chops for supper.

After church Sunday, I removed the pork chops from the refrigerator and gathered the other two ingredients.

I climbed up on my kitchen ladder to fetch my vintage CrockPot. I like my vintage one (probably from the early 1980s) because it cooks very slowly and my newer ones seem to cook hotter and faster.

Rarely do I cook anything in the CrockPot on high. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever used the high setting on any of my slow cookers. I’ve always thought lower and slower is better. I mean that’s why you’re using a slow cooker, right?

I sprayed the interior of the cooker with cooking spray then layered the pork chops (I had five loin chops). Then, instead of following the recipe exactly, I mixed the cream of chicken soup with a packet of dry ranch dressing. I poured the mixture over the chops and lifted the chops with a fork so the soup/dressing mixture would coat all of the pork chops.

I put the lid on, turned the dial to high, put some home-canned green beans on to cook and laid on the couch for a short nap.

When I woke up after about 45 minutes, I could smell the chops cooking. I headed to the kitchen and peered into the pot. Things were looking good. I checked the beans and they were coming along just fine.

I seem to have real issue when it comes to cooking pork loin of any kind. It seems to always be a little tough, so I was definitely anxious about this recipe especially since I was shooting for the faster cooking time on the high setting.

If the meat cooked for four hours that meant we would be having supper between 5:30 and 6 p.m., depending on when I got everything else ready.

At about 5 p.m., the meat was really smelling good and I peered into the CrockPot again. I could hear things sizzling and thought “Oh no, I’ve burned this stuff,” so I turned the pot off and turned some potatoes on to boil for mashed potatoes.

I knew the heat from the CrockPot would keep the meat warm for a while.

After the potatoes were cooked and mashed, I lifted the lid to the CrockPot and removed the pork chops. Thankfully they were not burned and they looked good.

Brad helped me get everything on the table for our meal, we sat down, he said a prayer and we began to eat.

Before I could event take a bit, Brad said, “This is really good.” I was so glad to hear that and after my first bite I had to wholeheartedly agree.

Brad added the chicken soup/dressing mixture to the top of his mashed potatoes and said it was really good too.

We gobbled up this meal and were both surprised the pork chops turned out so tender. You could cut them with a fork and they practically melted in our mouths. Yum!!

The recipe definitely will go into my self-made cookbook.

The only thing left to say about this recipe is I nailed it.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.