Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Patio life with an outdoor fireplace and a bonus recipe!

 One of the benefits of where we live is that you can pretty much count on being comfortable outdoors three seasons of the years.  That being said, the early spring and late fall usually require sweaters, scarves, long pants and such. 

One of our favorite outdoor activities is sitting on our patio  (patio cocktails anyone?) which requires an actual source of heat part of the year.  After walking around the neighborhood a few times, checking out other peoples patio/backyard situations, we knew what we needed was an outdoor fire pit.

We went shopping.  Lowe's....no.  Home depot.....nada.  Internet.....tooo many choices.  Our local consignment store.....jackpot!

Enter the Preway fireplace.  This beauty was a pretty common addition to the suburban family room in the 60's and 70's. Braxton's family actually had a black version in their basement.

If you live in a smaller city, like we do, with a plethora of homes build in the mid century, you may come across some great deals on craigslist or consignment stores.  Lot's of people have no idea that what they have is actually really cool and sought after.

I believe we paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 300.00 for ours, which is not in perfect shape.  I just found one on 1st dibs for 1,800.00.  Guess who's feeling pretty smug right now?
As far as I know these were never made to be used outdoors, and I would be really careful about where you place such a thing.  We decided since our patio is brick and there are no trees directly overhead we would be fine.  We never use it if we've had a dry spell and Braxton sometimes hoses down the patio and fence before we light it.  We are veeeery cautious like that.
Bottom line....we love it!  It really makes the whole patio experience so much richer.  We've used it to make s'mores and I'm dying to try one of those popcorn gizmos!

Now that you've stuck with me....it's recipe time.

                                          Pork, Pear and Potato Pie....oh my!
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced.
3 cups cubed, cooked, pork tenderloin*
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 32 oz. box  chicken broth
1 tbs butter
1 tbs all purpose flour
1 small hand full of fresh rosemary, chopped
black pepper
1 pie crust ( store bought is fine)

Lightly oil a large pie pan or med sized casserole dish.
Layer the sweet potato on the bottom of the dish, followed by the pork, onion, then the sliced pear.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Make a roux by melting the butter over med. heat in a small sauce pan.  Add the flour and whisk until flour begins to brown.  Slowly add the chicken broth, while whisking, and cook until sauce thickens.
Carefully pour the sauce over the potato, pork, onion and pear.
Cover with the the pie crust.
Place pie pan (or casserole) on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake in a preheated 350/375 degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes.

Can this be assembled ahead of time?  Why yes.  I had a late afternoon skype date with my daughter, so I made the pie earlier in the day, refrigerated it, then cooked it for dinner.
*  I used leftover pork tenderloin that had been cooked with a generous and spicy dry rub.  The spices imparted wonderful flavor!

You are definitely going back for seconds!

Thanks for stopping in!


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