I was cooking dinner last night, and suddenly I was transported from my kitchen, back to the one I grew up in.  No, I am not going crazy.  And no, I do not own a time machine.  What I meant was- my MIND went back in time.   Okay, now that we’ve got that straight-let’s get back to my trip down memory lane.

There I was, sitting beside my sister, and across from my dad, at the kitchen table in the old farmhouse. 
Mom was at her usual spot for that time of day- in front of the stove. (She was always easy to find because she had a daily routine that rarely changed.- Milk house in the early am for chores-sink doing dishes after breakfast-basement doing laundry after that….and so on and so forth.)

At the time, I didn’t know, or, for that matter, care, how much time and effort she put into taking care of us all.  In fact, on that particular night, I was impatient to get dinner over, so that sis and I could watch our favorite show, “CHIP’s.” (Wow! I think I just dated myself!)  When mom put the casserole dish down in front of us, I didn’t even pay attention to what was in it.

But dad sure did.  “Is this one of those ‘new’ dishes you were talking about?” he asked.  “Yes it is,” mom said, her smile beaming from ear to ear.  “I hope you like it.”

Long story short-dad hated it!  Truth is- when he found out it had mushrooms, he barely touched it. I can still remember mom’s face, as she watched dad slowly scrape the mushroom gravy off his pork chop.  She was heartbroken for sure.  That night was the last time mom ever tried a ‘new’ recipe.  Instead she shoved that recipe for pork chops, into the back of her recipe box, and went back to making the usual fare that dad was used to.

It wasn’t until years later, after I’d moved out and had started my own family, that I decided to ‘reinvent’ that very recipe.  To be fair-it’s still the basic recipe that mom used that night-I’ve just ‘added’ a couple of ingredients to make it my own.

So, let’s get started.

First, you’ll need a good cut of pork chops.  I picked up these center cut (extra thick) chops at our local grocery, along with a pound of mini portobello mushrooms and a can of cream of mushroom soup.  ***Note you can use up to six pork chops for this recipe-but since it’s only hubby and I, I used two.

 I sliced these plump mushrooms thinly-(I only used 5 for our 2 servings) and minced up 1 clove of garlic-(about a tsp).  To saute- I added 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and allowed it to get hot before adding the mushrooms first.  I let them cook down for 1 min, and then I added the garlic-stirring constantly for 1 min.

Remove the mushrooms and garlic and set aside.  Season pork chops with salt and pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your hot skillet and add chops.  Right about now you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350.

While the chops are browning on one side (about 3 minutes), thinly slice a small red onion. Add these to your skillet.

Scoot those onions off to the side so they can caramelize a bit, and flip your chops over.  Let them get nice and brown  for another 3 min and remove from heat.    In a casserole dish whisk the cream of mushroom soup with 3/4 cup of milk.  Stir in the mushrooms and garlic.  ***Note for my two servings I used an 8/x10 casserole just to give the pork chops room to cook evenly.  I would recommend a 9×13 if you add more chops.)

Place the pork chops and onions into the casserole-making sure you cover each chop with some of the creamy deliciousness! 

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops.

These chops come out moist and tender every time!  And the gravy is so delicious that usually I make mashed potatoes, just so I can smother them with the gravy. (I know-it’s soooo  naughty!)
So this time I decided to make twice baked potatoes!
These potatoes caused yet another trip down memory lane. But don’t worry-I’ll spare you the details (LOL) and just leave this link- Print Twice Baked Potato Recipe!
I hope you enjoy these recipes-and thanks for listening to my sentimental journey down memory lane.  No, it wasn’t a happy ending back then-but times have changed!  Mom is back to making all things NEW, and I’m so proud to be one of her ‘go to gals’, whenever she’s looking for a recipe!
***I’ll be back later today-with two very special recipes!  Just in time for Valentines day!

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