Janissa Portincaso, of Houston, was crowned Miss Maramec Springs.

Family and friends of Donald and Rosalie Baker of Bucyrus celebrated the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary and Don’s 80th birthday with a surprise party Sept. 24 at the Houston Rural Fire Association meeting room in Houston hosted by the Bakers’ daughter, Cheryl Baker, and grandchildren Michelle and husband, Nick, Ranciglio and children Nicholas and Olivia; Gabrielle and husband, Pirro Qirko, and daughter, Natalia, and Nicholas Baker accompanied by Cuc Le. A luncheon was shared by more than 60 guests. Attending were the Bakers’ daughter-in-law, Ericka Baker, with Jim Chervek, Nellie Sturgill Lankford, Norma Sturgill Ebert, Imogene Baker Holland, Gilberta Baker McEntire, Jerry Baker, Nellie Gaither, Joan Kozemczak McCann, Michelle McCann and seven of her and husband Ron’s 10 children, Johna Kozemczak, Janet Kozemczak, James and Carol Kozemczak, Aaron Kozemczak, Kathy Kozemczak, Richard and Danielle Kozemczak-Haegele and son, Nate, Matthew Kozemczak, Michael Kozemczak, Ray McCubbins and daughter, Tracy, and granddaughter, Nova; Barbara Morgan, Janice and Kendall Lundy, Bonita and Lonnie Carter and family, Janetta and Terry McKinney, Jim and Jo Holland and daughter, Jenny, Brenda and Fred Rinne, David McEntire, Jeff and Kathy McEntire, Michael Baker, Ervin Baker, Kerry Martindale, Keith Murray, Ronald Busher, Patricia Murray Gibbs, Kathleen Murray O’Neill, Thomas Murray, David and Patti Murray, Paul Murray, Helga Rienbold and Rob Maschmeier, Steve and Barbara Smith (who brought the guests of honor); April and Michael Daniels, and Ron and Sandy Craven.

Janissa Portincaso of Houston participated in the Miss Heart of the Ozarks/Maramec Springs Scholarship Pageant Oct. 15 at the Leach Theatre in Rolla. Portincaso was crowned Miss Maramec Springs for 2017 and is the first ever Miss Maramec Springs as it is a new title for girls who have not competed at Miss Missouri. She will participate in the Miss Missouri competition the second week of June in Mexico, Mo. She was awarded a $1,500 scholarship along with other services.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Question: If a red-house is made of red bricks, has a red wooden door, and a red roof, and a yellow-house is made of yellow bricks, has a yellow wooden door, and a yellow roof, then what is a green-house made of? Answer: Glass.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

• 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves

• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

• 5 tablespoons olive oil

• One 5-to 6-pound boneless pork shoulder with a fat cap

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 cup dry white wine

• 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

• 4 large carrots, cut into rough 1-inch chunks

• 4 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch long pieces

• 1 large onion, trimmed but left intact at the root end, cut into eighths

• 2 bay leaves

• 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

• 3 to 4 teaspoons cornstarch

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

• Buttered egg noodles, for serving

Directions:

Coarsely chop together the rosemary, sage and thyme, and transfer them to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil, and stir to combine.

Score the fat cap of the pork shoulder in a crosshatch pattern, then rub it all over with 2 1/2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the pork, fat-side down, and brown it well, three to four minutes, then brown it all over, three to four minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a large plate.

Add the wine, garlic and allspice to the pan, bring to a simmer and reduce by about half. Set aside.

Put the carrots, celery, onions and bay leaves in the insert of a 7-quart slow cooker. Rub the herbed oil all over the pork, being sure to push some into all the natural divisions between muscles; place it on top of the vegetables, and pour in any collected juices. Add the reduced wine mixture and the chicken broth, cover and cook on low for eight hours.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board, and tent with foil. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Discard the bay leaves, and tent the vegetables with foil. Pour the juices into a liquid measuring cup, and let them settle for about 10 minutes. The fat should rise to the surface; spoon off as much as you can, and discard. Pour the juices into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.

While the juices boil, make cornstarch slurry: For every cup of juices, mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch into 1 tablespoon cold water until dissolved. Reduce the heat so the juices are simmering, whisk in the slurry and cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce has slightly thickened, about five minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Season with salt if necessary.

Slice the pork against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange on a large platter with the vegetables. Ladle some of the sauce on top. Season the meat with a pinch of salt, and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.

To submit “comings and goings” to this feature, call Wendy Phipps at 417-967-4200 or email wphipps@houstonherald.com.

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