There are feasts celebrated within the Church calendar that have been established by the Church – the celebration of a Feast Day for a particular saint comes to mind. Saint Patrick and Saint Nicholas are probably the most recognized Feast Days even among non-Catholic communities.Continue reading “Divine Mercy Sunday Family Supper”
When I was a girl, I remember one evening out in the corn field, picking the last of the corn with my Dad. The moon was so bright, and so big I felt I could easily reach up and touch it. I asked my Dad about the moon. (Like all young girls; I believed my Dad knew everything). He said it was a harvest moon. When I asked why, he spread his arms out and said because you can harvest by the light of the moon. It was something I have never forgotten. (In case you were wondering, a harvest moon is an annual event. It is the first full moon closest to the fall equinox – usually mid to late September or very early October). This year, tonight will be the Harvest Moon. I might just need to stand in my little garden and bath in the beautiful light of the Harvest Moon.
I know, I’ve hinted in the past that I’m a cranky old lady, but I’m not old enough to have any first-hand memories of the attack on Pear Harbor 77 years ago. My parents were just children in 1941, living worlds apart. Yet Pear Harbor had an impact on my life. Growing up in Central California, the scars of Pearl Harbor remained just below the surface. We lived just outside the farming community of Florin. Before the war, Florin was once the Strawberry capital of California thanks to the Japanese who worked the rich lands. The internment of the Japanese community forever changed the landscape of this sleepy little town. While the resentment and hostility were not in the forefront when I was a child, many people remembered the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the term “Jap” was still a part of everyday language.
A few years back, there was a miscommunication with regard to Easter and who was hosting the event. Typically, my youngest sister plays hostess to a potluck Easter feast. I’m generally in charge of the appetizers and desserts, while my sister and her family provide the main attractions – the ham and all its beautiful trimmings. I assumed we would be going to my sister’s house, as we had in the past.
You know what they say about the word assume, right? Ass-U-Me. A few days before Easter as I put together the shopping list for the week, I shot my sister a quick email to ask what time we should be at her house. For whatever reason, my sister FORGOT that we usually gathered at her house for Easter Supper, so she and her family had accepted another invitation. Oh my! No worries. I immediately called my Dad. He and his wife had no plans for Easter. Great – we’d move everything to the farm instead. And with a smaller group, there was no need for a big ham dinner. I knew the perfect alternative to ham – beautiful, festive and sure to please. This spectacular Pork Tenderloin is great for entertaining a few friends for dinner. The presentation alone is sure to get plenty of wows and praise.
Brown Sugar Pecan Glazed Pork Tenderloin
3 1/2 pound pork loin roast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup roughly chopped raw pecans
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Trim the fat from the roast, leaving only a quarter-inch of fat on top that will melt away, creating a nice golden under crust while basting the meat in its flavorful goodness.
Season the pork loin with salt and pepper. Place pork on a roasting rack over a shallow foil-lined rimmed baking pan. (Easy clean up). Roast pork in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. (It doesn’t hurt to brush the rack with a little olive oil to prevent pork from sticking and to help with the clean up there as well).
While the pork is cooking, combine the brown sugar and Dijon mustard into a paste. Fold the chopped pecans into the paste and set aside until ready to use. (To chop pecans, work in small batches. Lay pecans in a single layer on a chopping board. Chop with a hand-held food chopper – about 5 or 6 “wacks” should give you nicely chopped pecans. My food chopper is from Pampered Chef – had it for years and love it!)
After pork loin has roasted in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the loin from oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Spread prepared baste evenly over the of the top of the pork loin and return to oven.
Baste the roast about every 15 minutes, scooping up the glaze and nuts that fall off back over the top of the roast.
Continue to roast pork loin until the internal temperature reaches between 145 to 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. (That’s about 20 to 25 minutes per pound). The pork will still have a little pink at 145 degrees, which is safe to eat. At 160 degrees, the pork is well-done.
If the glaze starts to burn, simply cover loosely with foil and continue to cook.
Remove pork from oven, tent and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
This roast is especially delicious when served with Rice Pilaf or caramelized apples. A nice green vegetable such as Asparagus or Green Beans adds color to the plate.
Hope you enjoy!