Cooking Ladies: Recycle, Recover, Reuse at Ropas

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April 3, 2012

Delicious Slow-Cooker Pork & Kraut makes a delicious, one-pot meal.

We discovered Ropas recently in south Texas. Leftover used clothing is purchased from charitable organizations and churches all over the USA and Canada, shipped to warehouses in the southern United States and sorted, baled and transported to all parts of the world. These warehouses are often open to the public.

Veteran shoppers climbed up onto the huge stack of fabrics and colors that looked like a tornado had just passed through. We novices watched as a picker pulled a pink sleeve from the pile and then dug through layers of clothing in order to see the rest of the garment. Wrong size and it was tossed back onto the heap. A tug on a blue ruffle produced an evening gown with sequins and lace. Someone found a wedding dress. A woman was accumulating material for a quilt. Mothers sat in clothing trenches, with their young children around them, sorting shorts, shirts, and bathing suits at record speed.

We wondered whether a tug-of-war would erupt if two pickers each grabbed a sleeve, pulled, and discovered it was attached to the same garment. Unable to resist any longer, we waded in. At the checkout, treasures were placed on a large scale and purchased for 30 cents a pound.

After you’ve worked up an appetite sorting through clothes, give this hearty recipe a try!

Slow-cookers work well when you want dinner ready after a long day of shopping. In this recipe,  the flavors of tomato and sauerkraut blend with the meat and potatoes.

Slow-Cooker Pork ‘n Kraut

(Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
28 ounces (850 mL) sauerkraut with juice
6 medium-size potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 medium-size sweet onion, diced
3 pounds (1.36 kg)boneless pork loin roast
10 ounces (284 mL) tomato soup, undiluted
1 tablespoon (15 mL) prepared mustard

Directions:
Spread the sauerkraut and its juice evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker bowl.  Nestle the potatoes, flat side down, into the sauerkraut.Sprinkle the diced onion over the potatoes and sauerkraut.

Trim the pork loin of any excess fat and place it on top of the onions. Combine the undiluted tomato soup and mustard in a small bowl. Mix well. Pour the mixture over the tenderloin, potatoes and sauerkraut.

Slow cook on the low setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Remove the pork to a cutting board for slicing. Use a slotted spoon to lift the sauerkraut and potatoes to serving bowls.

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  • Donna Farrell

    I love your recipes. You girls are close to my heart! Not to mention who else would talk about a south Texas tradition as mountain scaling a 20ft pile of clothing

  • lucinda monger

    This is a dumb question–I know. I live in Weslaco, Tx –near McAllen–how do you know if they are ones that the public has access to?? I want to get some clothes to cut up for material. During the winter several ladies make cloth stuffed animals to give to charity while we are listening to the music jam on Monday afternoons. Thought I would work on getting some ready to go in the fall.

    • The Cooking Ladies

      Hi Lucinda. We suggest D’Gala Ropa Usada in Hidalgo, Texas. What a great idea to go there for supplies to make cloth stuffed animals for charity. We think you will have lots of fun at the Ropas. ~The Cooking Ladies

  • Pat

    I made the mistake of looking at this receipe while waiting for my dinner. Am even hungrier now! Will have to try it.