Although he enjoyed grilling out in the summer or going out to eat with friends and family, Papo Lashbrook usually preferred to eat meals Grandma Iva cooked.
"Iva might have the temperament of a demon sometime," he would tell people. "but she cooks like an angel all the time."
The only time Papo came around a stove was Euchre night with the guys.
Papo and seven of his friends would get together twice a month, one time early in the month for only the guys and once later in the month with the wives. The game traveled around eight different homes, with each host serving their best culinary efforts at least three times a year.
"There's nothing like playing cards, drinking a few beers and eating pork chops with your friends," he would say while making his "guy night" specialty, Beer Pork Chops.
When the gang came to Papo's, he took over the kitchen to cook for the guys. (Grandma Iva did the cooking for the couples' night.)
Papo started with eight of the largest pork chops (with the fat on) he could get at the butcher's shop. Once home, he would sprinkle each side of the chop with salt, pepper and cayenne seasoning before laying them flat in a container with a bottle of beer poured on top. Papo let the chops marinade for approximately 4-6 hours.
When ready to cook, he would take the chops out of the marinade and let the excess liquid drain off.
With one cup of flour seasoned with one tablespoon each of garlic powder, salt and pepper inside a paper bag, he would shake the chops inside until each one was lightly coated with the flour mixture. (Save the flour mixture for later.)
The chops, three-four placed in Grandma Iva's largest greased cast iron skillets with three tablespoons of hot melted butter, were divided and cooked on medium-to-high heat until brown on each side (160 degree internal temperature).
While the chops cooked, Papo sliced a handful of green onions, two medium sized red onions, one sweet yellow onion and a red mango pepper into thin slices. When done, he'd throw them in the paper bag and shake lightly.
When the pork chops were removed from the pans, Papo dumped two more tablespoons of butter in the pans along with the onions and peppers. Frying until light brown and then returning the chops to the pans. Pour one 12 ounce can of beer into each pan and let braise, turning the chops and stirring the onions. Should take about 30 minutes until the beer is almost gone, leaving a nice brown glaze behind to drizzle on top the chops.
He would put a chop on an individual plate, spread the onion/pepper mix on top and serve it with garlic butter or homemade hot mustard (I'll share that recipe later.) and a steak knife.
With fresh loaves of rye and pumpernickel bread on the table, it usually took the guys an hour to eat all that meat while playing cards.