Twas the Month Before Christmas

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November 8, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

We’re one week into November and here in London it’s Christmas central. I went to Starbucks this week to type up recipes and overnight, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are out. Gingerbread and Eggnog are in. Oxford Street is illuminated with giant twinkling ornaments. The other day I popped into one of my favorite shops, The White Company (amazing for gifts and indulgences), and the display window greeted me with “’tis the season” while the stockings were already hung by the faux chimney with care.

To be honest most of the stores didn’t even wait until November. They were dedicating a few shelves to holiday cheer even before Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and all things winter, but it’s not time yet! I guess this is what happens when you don’t have Thanksgiving in the interim.

I also think the abundance of Christmas so early might have something to do with mustering up holiday shoppers since the UK doesn’t have the insanity of our Black Friday. Did you guys hear that K-Mart is going as far as to open at 6am on Thanksgiving day now?? I feel like they should start calling it Blue Thursday, both for their infamous blue light specials and the sentiment of all the poor employees who have to be away from their families so that some schmo can get an extra $5 off his Xbox.

I’ll go Christmas crazy soon enough. But for now I’m sticking with my pumpkin candle holders, corn instead of evergreen on the door, and autumn flavors for a few more weeks. And what better way to celebrate the season than serving up a perfect fall platter: Maple Apple Thyme Topped Pork Chops with Cabbage & Mustard Spaetzle.

Maple Apple Pork Chops and Mustard Spaetzle - A Perfect Fall Feast: A Broad Cooking

I served the pork chops with Michael Symon’s Spaetzle which was tasty but definitely not as easy as he made it look on The Chew. The batter came together easy enough.


It was more an issue of cutting it off the board and into boiling water without it sticking and getting everywhere.

Making Spaetzle: A Broad Cooking

I did use fresh sage in the cabbage and leave out the parsley, but otherwise followed the recipe verbatim.


In the end though, it was a perfect accompaniment to the grilled pork with roasted apples and onions. Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the entire platter to add some brightness.

Maple Apple Thyme Topped Pork Chops: A Broad Cooking

Maple Thyme Apple Topped Pork Chops

Serves 4

1 large red onion

2 small gala apples

2 tsp fresh thyme

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp maple syrup

4 pork chops

½ lemon

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Peel and halve the onion then cut into small wedges. Core apples and cut each into 8 wedges. Toss with thyme, olive oil, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and grill for 2 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Serve pork topped with roasted apples and onions. Drizzle with lemon juice.


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