Confession No. 65 — The lies we tell … and fall for (Recipe: Pork Piccata w/ Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes)

We’re all guilty.

We’ve all made promises for life. Offered our concrete oath. We’ve sworn our unwavering affection and attention to that object of our eye. But we tend to fall short, because we fail to look at the obvious.

Puppies grow up to be dogs. And butterflies flutter by.

I don’t ever remember begging for a pet, since there was always at least one cat or dog around the house. But I do remember shamelessly groveling to play football as an 11-year-old.

“Adam, the coaches at this level are dad’s with no experience,” my parents told me. “We don’t want you to get hurt.”

“But I want to play,” I said. “I promise to never get hurt.”

Still, the answer was no. I recall crawling under my bed after hearing the final verdict on the last day of sign-ups. I cried for at least 30 minutes — until my attention was diverted. The matter of playing 6th grade football was never mentioned again.

I also remember begging for a TV in my bedroom.

“I promise that if you get me a TV, I’ll never ask for anything — ever again,” I pledged.

“Adam, you’re eight,” my dad said. “You think that’s a promise you can keep?”

“Yeah,” I said. “There’s nothing left after a TV. I already have a record player and a clock radio.”

The TV was delivered — by Santa. It was a 12-inch black & white. I perched it atop my desk, which sat at the foot of my twin-sized bed. Channels 2-13 were all I would ever need — just like the Commodore 1581 disk drive. After all, it held 1MB of data on little 3.5” disks.

My own children have requested 64GB (that’s more than 65,000 MB) iPods that fit in the palm of your hand and 750GB Mac Book Pros and 1080p (that’s really high-definition) flat screen TVs. They’ve pledged that — in their lifetimes — technology will not advance to the point of needing computer or television upgrades

They’ve also sworn their devotion to critters with fins, shells, tails, claws and paws. We bought it — hook, line and sinker — every time. Inevitably, though, ‘Claws’ the Hermit Crab and ‘Mr. Nibbles’ the Beta Shark always seem to become family pets.

Another forever promise
Before I met my bride of 18 years, I managed to fall in love on a regular basis.

I can now say that I often believed that lasciviousness, ‘butterflies’ and the aroma of cheap fruity perfume were reasons enough to get myself involved in so-called serious relationships.

But, all kidding aside, I’ve bought more than my share of $60 ‘promise’ rings and have written more love letters than your average hot-to-trot guy. What are ‘promise’ rings? Hell if I ever knew. But the local jewelry stores back then — including the chain outfits — did a lot of business selling thin 10 karat gold-plated rings with tiny diamond specks.

And the love letters? Well, let’s just say that I was … efficient. Many of my written messages of affection were polished versions of previous letters.

Aside from coming clean (my apologies, men, for the questions you’ll now have to answer), the point is this: I’ve made a lot of promises to the opposite sex. And I felt that flutter in my stomach many times before 1994. But I never truly felt ‘butterflies’ like I did with my one true love.

By the way, dogs are really much better than puppies, when you think about it. And butterflies? I’ve been feeling their presence  every day for 18 years.

And that’s no lie.


How often do you have those nights when nothing really sounds good — and you’re hungry for something that, perhaps, you’ve never even seen? I have those nights frequently. I developed the following recipe on a night during which I wanted the chew and zing of sun-dried tomatoes, the tang of lemons and capers and the soft bite of artichoke hearts. A pinch of rosemary adds even more depth of flavor, but I don’t add it often because my son (the same kid who eats sushi, canned octopus and large black ants) detests it. Weird kid.

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Pork Piccata w/ Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Pork picatta with pasta and asparagus

Be generous with the piccata sauce. But make sure you save some for the cook.

Pork Piccata w/ Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes
Pork Piccata w/ Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes —
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5
  • 1 lb – Boinless pork loin, sliced into 12 pieces
  • 1 cup – Milk
  • 2 – Eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups – All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup – Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup – Sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 TB – Capers, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can quartered Artichoke Hearts, drained and well-rinsed
  • 3 – Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp – Dried rosemary, crushed (optional)
  • 1 cup – Chicken or pork stock
  • ½ cup – Dry white wine
  • 1 TB – Fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (4 TB) – Butter
  • ¼ cup – Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Season the pork moderately with salt and pepper.
  2. Place cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap and, with a meat hammer or rolling pin, flatten to about ¼ – inch thickness.
  3. Marinate cutlets in milk for at least an hour and as many as 4 hours.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and 1 TB of the butter to medium high.
  5. Drain cutlets, discarding milk, and pat cutlets dry.
  6. Dredge each piece in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg; dredge in flour again.
  7. Fry each piece until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. Place browned cutlets on a plate and cover with foil; repeat until all pork cutlets are cooked.
  9. Add 1 TB of the reserve (dredging) flour to the skillet and whisk constantly for about 10 seconds. Gradually add chicken stock while continuing to whisk.
  10. Once stock is incorporated, add wine, lemon juice, capers, artichoke hearts, garlic and rosemary (if using).
  11. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Stir in 3 remaining tablespoons of butter and fresh parsley; season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired.
  14. Serve generous amount of sauce over hot pork cutlets.



  1. Such a wonderful combination of flavors – this is exactly my type of meal 🙂

  2. Oooooohhhhhhh, that looks delish! Super delish! I may even get out of bed now and go cook something.

  3. Lovely life lesson Adam. Excellent looking plate of food too. I can taste the sun dried tomatos. Delicious.

  4. juanitascocina says:

    My wife makes a chicken piccata that is my favorite meal that she makes. So, yours looks *almost* as good. (I hope you realize that is a HUGE compliment)

    P.S.~ Did you use the radio voice to sweet talk the ladies?

  5. The Mom Chef says:

    Bravo, Adam. I applaud your pledge of love to your wife. Dudette is living a life of what we can afford, so she gets to enjoy the tube tv in the living room. Funny how she’s surviving just fine.

  6. Funny that your post is about promises! I am taking delivery this week of 2 senior citizen Miniature horses, one 28 years old, the other 29, because of a promise I made 10 years ago. I have a good friend who is now in her 80s & in failing health. In 2002, she had 3 lovely aging mares, she had been diagnosed with emphysema and so I promised her that if any of those mares were still alive when her health failed to where she could no longer take care of them, they would have a home with me.

    One mare was euthanized several years ago due to arthritis that left her unable to get up on her own. The other two have carried on, placed first with my friend’s daughter (who did not want them in the first place), to another friend, to a friend of that friend, and back to the daughter’s. Three weeks ago my friend called me & asked if I could take them.

    I have spent several hundred dollars and LOTS of time & sweat, turning part of my feed room into an extra stall (I had 7 horses & 8 stalls), so that I would have enough stalls for the two lovely old ladies. Drove in the last screw Friday. They are due to arrive later this week. (I can’t wait!)

    I know you’re probably not interested in my horse story, but I had to laugh when I saw your post was regarding promises kept & not kept. Glad I could keep this one for a friend who has done a lot for me in years past!

    Thanks, Sunny H When I am Old… I shall wear diamonds And a wide brimmed straw hat I will shovel and sweat and Wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel. And I shall sit in the alley of my barn And listen to my horses breathe.

    Written by Patty Barnhart

    • I think everyone is fortunate that you are able to keep your promise of 10 years. I’ve know people who made promises when they were young — and tried to fulfill them when they weren’t so able. I’m glad you stopped by. Enjoy your new miniatures!

  7. It looks delicious!

  8. Yum…

  9. Can you come to our house and make that for dinner tonight? You can have all the bourbon you want or “curshers”, I promise.

  10. But you know I can only cook on the grill….


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