The goodness, that is. I found myself sitting at the table last night for five full minutes, just revelling the goodness of dinner. Crumpled napkin in my hand, heat dancing on my tongue from the slightest touch of chili paste in the marinade I made for the pork tenderloin. The simplicity of it all.
It was a rainy, grey, cold Monday in Georgia, friends. And it was the first Monday back to work for many after a long and luxurious break. 6 am was kind of chuckling at me and the five hours sleep I got Sunday night. I played substitute teacher at a fabulous school, where I get to see loads of the children I taught in third grade. Made meaningful connections with kids, and felt glad to have the flexibility to “guest teach” and stock up on hugs.
And then I put on my Plan to Plate hat. Ran to the Farmer’s Market and collected a beautiful array of fresh ingredients for a client couple of mine. It was empty in there- the cashier from some really faraway country told me, “It’s after the holiday. Very slow.” Came home and, as my mom would say, launched into a cooking frenzy. Prepared turkey meatloaf with a homemade roasted red pepper and tomato puree- because I reFUSE to put ketchup on my meatloaf (or on my clients’ meatloaf). Or on anything except for cheeseburgers, really. And swirled around my kitchen cutting, stirring, and whirring, for about 2 hours. Delivered ingredients to the kindest clients on earth and then, it was time to melt.
But of course, I was starving!!!!!!!!!!! As usual. I’m sure you’ll see that soon enough. Some sort of tapeworm maybe- or just the love of food, but it’s a constant. We had planned to cook a citrus, garlic, and herb marinated pork tenderloin, simple and delicious- provides leftovers for lunch away from home sweet home. Thankfully, we had a few locally grown sweet potatoes from Turtle Bend Farm. http://turtlebendfarm.blogspot.com/
These beauties are unlike any sweet potato I have ever tasted. That’s the overwhelming gift of getting your vegetables fresh off the farm. Unparalleled taste. Got those into the oven and chillaxed for half an hour with my honey. Then, it was time to get the pork into the pan, and I realized- hey, we have some excellent Georgia apples and half an onion in the fridge just waiting to find their home. Got them into the pan too.
And then, just sauteed up a bit of spinach to round it out. The result was a perfect balance- there were layers of gentle sweetness from the apples and onions caramelized in the pork juices. The brightness of the sweet potatoes played so nicely against the savory, succulent, cut it with a fork tenderness of the pork. We were very quiet as we ate and enjoyed, except for a few “mmmmm”s.
And after my five minutes of reflective bliss that I spent listening to my husband clean up our kitchen, I was able to truly melt into the couch and let go of the rainy, yucky Monday. I am thankful for the goodness of food.