What a Crock!: Pork chop memories _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Black beans are an unexpected addition to slow-cooked Pork Chop Spaghetti.

Sometimes a scent or a random thought from childhood sparks new ideas. A package of uncooked pork chops in the freezer turned into a memory of a pork chop casserole topped with tomatoes and cooked rice, a recipe my mother cooked many times.

Although I have not tasted that recipe in many years, it was amazing how vivid the recollection was, down to the details of our kitchen, the table it was served on, and the fact that it really wasn’t one of my favorites at the time.

I don’t have the recipe or remember all of the ingredients she added, but I do know how to adapt recipes — combining what I do remember with other ingredients that I like.

It’s nice to take a momentary daydream over something as ordinary as pork chops to give us comforting memories and, for a moment, to bond over a food memory with those closest to us.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.