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Pork Nests with Apples and Onion Confit, or, How Dave and I Became Engaged

I could tell you a tale of pork nests, and I have included a recipe below. This is a food blog, after all. But instead, there is something even more important I would like to tell you. (This is actually not the big news I was alluding to a few weeks ago. I will disclose that news soon, I promise.) This is too important for a post about pork nests, really, but that is how the timing seems to have worked out.

I woke up absurdly early this morning, and leaned over to wake Dave up. He puts up with my tendency to do this only because he falls back asleep so easily every time.

“Happy anniversary of one year living together,” I said.

“Would that be our aptiversary?” he asked. (We’ve been using January 23rd as our approxiversary. And the date we got Katya is our kittyversary. Why not have an aptiversary, too? For apartment, not aptness, of course.)

I agreed. Why not?

“Now that my crazy has been dealt with,” he continued, referring to our living together at least one year, “will you marry me?”

Of course. Of course!

We will not be setting a date anytime soon, mind. We do not intend to get married in any jurisdiction that doesn’t also allow for same-sex marriage, and I am not leaving the country to have a wedding that none of my friends would be able to attend. So, we expect to wait a while before we can actually set a date and have a wedding.

There was no engagement ring. Dave knows I hate wearing rings, because I find them very physically uncomfortable. Instead, he gave me a pendant his father once gave his mother. It’s a placeholder, he explained, until we can find the right signifier to use instead.

We are trying to figure out what sort of signifier to use instead of a ring. Pendants? Well, I have a lot of pendants and necklaces that I like to switch around and wear regularly. Matching earrings for both of us? Bracelets? I am not sure. Do you have any suggestions?

This is not an April Fool’s joke. This is for real.

Pork Nests with Apples and Onion Confit
For the onion confit
2 gigantic onions
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 C chicken (or chicken and pork) stock
For the rest of the nests
1 lb ground pork
2 small apples (we used empire)
Salt, truffle salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Puff pastry

Cook the onion confit ingredients together gently, mostly covered, for 4-5 hours. When it’s done, scrape it all to one side and incline the pot when chilling, to make defatting easier. Remove the fat once all is well.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Peel the apples and chop them into large-ish chunks. Stir the pork in with the onion confit, then add the apples.

Butter and flour a muffin tin, and line each compartment with a square of puff pastry. Blind-bake the puff pastry for about 25 minutes, or until done.

Stir fry the mixture in a pan until the pork is no longer pink, and drain off the extra fat.

Fill the pastry cups with filling, and serve promptly.

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25 Responses to “Pork Nests with Apples and Onion Confit, or, How Dave and I Became Engaged”

  1. Alanna says:

    Whew, for a minute you had me wondering, What? Haven’t they been married like 20 years already? You’ve got some nerve, posting big news on April 1! Best wishes to you both!

  2. Anita says:

    Congratulations and best wishes to you! I love the bit about the kittyversary and the aptiversary!

  3. Aoife says:

    What great news! Congratulations!

    As for the token, I think I’d go with an engagement tiara.

  4. Ellie says:

    Woah, congratulations on the engagement! And I’m liking the earring or bracelet idea :) Me being me, I’d probably go for a little custom-designed tattoo, but I know that body art isn’t for everyone :)

  5. siouxiequeue says:

    mmmmm…. I’m thinking hard about making this with mushrooms so I can share it with my vegetarian sweeties… porcini and morels perhaps…

    as to token, our ‘going steady rings’ are earrings for which we got an extra piercing in the top part of the ear… subtle, but very nice. currently ours are black pearls (they started out as emeralds, but after 15 years I lost mine and replaced with the more beloved stone…)


  6. Brilynn says:

    As soon as I read that you were engaged I couldn’t help but think “they are going to have the BEST food at their wedding…”

  7. Debi says:

    That’s wonderful news Danielle! Best wishes to you both.

  8. Kristen says:

    Oh wow! Congrats to you!! Very good news.

  9. Tanna says:

    Now that was taking a leap of faith on April 1st! but much of marriage is a leap of faith.
    Congratulations! I think the many anniversaries is a wonderful idea!
    The little nests are very nice!

  10. Dolores says:

    Congratulations and best wishes to both of you.

  11. Lydia says:

    Many many many congratulations! Such a romantic way to “celebrate” April Fool’s Day!

  12. Andrea says:

    Wow, congratulations! Best wishes and hope you have lots of fun planning the big event.

  13. Yvo says:

    Congratulations!!! Someone beat me to it, but I was going to suggest tattoos. But that also depends on your view of marriage and whatnot. Do you want it to be something everyone can see? Hmm. Wow I’m so happy for you!!!!!!

  14. Lisa says:

    Congratulations! I really love Siouxiequeue’s way of the special piercing at the top of the ear in lieu of traditional wedding rings. =)

  15. Congratulations Danielle, that’s a wonderful news.

    By the way, I was thinking about making a Malaysian Taro Basket (you can get this in Nonya or Penang restaurants) and your post just basically sealed the deal for me. I need my own basket filled with goodies. :)

  16. mr.ed says:

    Dave’s aunt Liz didn’t want a ring, either. For the last thirty years, she’s gotten Victorian jewelry for anniversary (and other occasions), and I feed her every night. And the cats, too.

  17. mary says:

    Congratulations! It seems I’ve heard about many people opting for something other than a ring lately, and I’m all for that nontraditional sort of thinking. I’ve heard of engagement watches, engagement bicycles, engagement downpayments on a house… I also heard about one couple buying a really nice bottle of wine when they got engaged that they planned to drink on their tenth wedding anniversary.

  18. emily says:

    De-lurking to say congratulations on your news and an engagement pendant is a nice idea. On a not so important note, those pork nests look like winners- might try them this weekend…yummmmm onion confit…
    P.S. did he ask you to marry him before or after you served him the pork baskets? :)

  19. Danielle says:

    Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone!

    Answers, in no particular order:

    The pork nests preceded the proposal.

    Baskets are fabulous!

    I actually have been considering top of the ear earrings.

    I have always loved the idea of tattooed wedding rings, but only as a wedding symbol, not as an engagement symbol.

    Thank you again, for sharing in the joy with us.

  20. novalis says:

    emily, I served her the pork baskets :)

  21. Lisa says:

    It is too bad that you allow PC mindset to affect your own future marriage, wedding. I am not here to persuade you to go elsewhere to get married. Rather, why don’t you just forget the gay marriage business for a day or two? Life must be truly pretty good for you, with food and drink in abundance, if you refuse to get married quietly and without making a fuss. Get married in England? Forget it, they have just excluded teaching Holocaust from their public school curricula. Get married in Canada? Forget it. native people have so many problems there it would not be fair to the natives to host a lavish ceremony there.

    Please do not ask your boyfriend to wear an earring, I will never ever do any business with a man who wears an earring. And many other people will not do so either. An earring in a straight man’s ear says: “I am so liberal I believe marrying your cat is OK and I can be a major pain in the ass”.

    Get back to traditions. Have a normal wedding in a normal place. This time it is about you and not about gays.


  22. novalis says:

    Actually, we’ve had at least one gay friend thank us for waiting.

    I just don’t feel like it would be right to have a nice ceremony and invite my friends and then one of them catches the bouquet and … what then? That’s got to hurt.

    Also, I think if the local wedding industry sees that not having same-sex marriage puts them at a disadvantage, they’ll help lobby for it.

    I wasn’t raised to be quiet when I see injustice. I’m rather glad of that, actually. I’ve improved the world by acting on my convictions, and I’ve improved my own life too.

    I’m not particularly worried about losing your business over an earring. I already don’t meet conventional business standards: I’ve got long scruffy hair, I wear sandals all year round, and I don’t shave as often as I should. I’ve got a nice, stable job saving the world already. And it’s a job where they like me because I’m willing to stand up for what I believe in, that I’m willing to express a contrary opinion.

    Fortunately, I’ve got a fiancee who loves me for these things, or is at least willing to put up with them. And that’s what really matters.

  23. Mowen says:

    Wow, I am a few posts behind the times – congratulations! I say it’s your wedding and your day, so whatever is imprtant to you both be it the politics, the timing, the place, or the symbols involved should be guided to what’s important to you both. Conventions be damned! Best wishes.

  24. Mowen says:

    A few quick questions:
    1. what is blind-baking (my assumption is I fold the square in there, drop in a pie weight or two and go.
    2. Should I chop the onion before I gently bake it?
    3. Is gently baking somewhere in the neighborhood of say 225 degrees?

  25. Shayna says:

    I like the idea of splurging on a set of really expensive watches with some kind of engraving… but then again, i am a sucker for a watch on a nice strong arm…

    Congrats!!! Here’s to love of food, loving each other and happiness to all!

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