Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
5 slices bacon (or a few more~~smile~~)
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb.)
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
¼ c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. apple juice
1 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
Dash of ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400° F. Wrap bacon around meat. Place in a foil-lined pan sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135°F when tested in the center with a meat thermometer. Meanwhile, bring remaining ingredients to boil in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Brush meat with glaze. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145°F. Cover loosely with foil. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. If your tenderloin is 2 lbs., double the recipe and allow for more time in the oven.
~~APRON STRINGS COMMENTARY~~
My family loves pork. We have a fairly predictable schedule of animal products from the barnyard on our table: chicken, beef, pork, turkey, beef, pork, chicken. Keeping the recipes fresh and the content healthy is a pleasant challenge for this amateur cook. I love pouring through recipe books (yep, the ones with PAGES). I particularly like the old cookbooks my mom used “back in the day.”
My mom made little notes along the sides of the recipes on each page. She’d write “good, make again,” or “add a tablespoon of sugar.” Special notes about how many potatoes it takes to feed 15 people mashed potatoes or how long to thaw a turkey were sprinkled inside as well. I love these books. My mind wanders to a time when she would shoo me out of the kitchen as she wielded the spatula in one hand and the paring knife in the other. Those recipe books strewn across the counter. We ate pretty well. Nothing fancy. We did, however; eat AT the dinner table for every meal. Food was always in a serving dish (no pans allowed on the table).
We rarely ate out. On occasion (and I mean only on special occasions) we made the big trip to the pizza place with the red hat. Oh my was that pizza good! But I suppose I’d reflect on the way home, with my tummy full, the idea of eating out is what probably made the food taste even better. Frankly, my mom’s pork chops were to die for. And her beef stew – OMGosh!
The bacon-wrapped tenderloin makes me travel back in time to when my life was simple and I lived in my parent’s home. Oh, there was homework and tests and sports and, okay, boys. But that stress is nothing like what us now-grown-up moms deal with today. (Though I’m sure my mom might argue my point.)
Simply take a look at Facebook. Mom#1 just ran a marathon while pushing her kid in a stroller. Super mom made homemade valentines and rice cereal sculptures of cupid himself. Their family took their fifth vacay of the year to some exotic location and look supremely happy in the 32 pics they posted. Oh, and add the whole pressure of the Hallmark moment. Who ARE these people on the Hallmark Christmas cards??
I burn pizza. I buy boxed Valentines. I get speeding tickets and call the wrecker service when the snow pile was slightly larger than the ol’ mini van could handle. Once I bought a potato salad at the store and put it in my own bowl for the church potluck. Yep. I did that.
My kids pretty much think I’m okay. My oldest says, “mom, its good enough.” Yet I strive for things to be “good” and “great.” What mom doesn’t want the other moms to bite into their made-from-scratch-vanilla bean-cupcake with strawberry-infused-buttercream frosting and say “wow, these are the BEST things I’ve EVER tasted and she is an awesome home chef.”
It was the day in the mini when I took the middle daughter for a celebration snack after school at the place with the red button that I realized something. One order of popcorn chicken with ranch dressing. And a Diet Coke for mom. Three minutes later the ranch dip container is flying across the van. AARG! <<insert mom with squinty eyes staring down middle daughter>> But before my mouth could open, I dropped my styrofoam cup of pop. Well. There’s 32 ounces of pure stickiness down the seat and onto the floor. <<insert daughter with squinty eyes challenging me to give speech I’d prepared about being careful>> We looked at each other and just busted out laughing. One memory for the memory bank. It was this day that I realized having the capacity to show grace when little people fail is “great” and the not-perfect Hallmark-fail experience was “good enough”.
I want my kids to strive to do their best… not BE the best. If they are, that’s fantastic. If they are 3rd place or 5th place or no place at all, that’s fantastic too. And its okay if the kids see mommy not being in 1st place or 5th place in the mommy race. Being fulfilled in what you do and feeling valued is what makes life great.
Take a few moments today for this short list:
~exhibit grace when your kid or spouse makes a mistake and make sure they feel valued by you,
~be okay with the store bought potato salad and, instead, be the light in someone’s life – you never know what they might be going through that particular day,
~try a new recipe and share time at the dinner table with the whole family and talk, ask questions, listen.
I hope you have a fantastic day. Enjoy this recipe. Be okay with “good enough” in some things and don’t settle for anything less than “great” in other things. And have the capacity to learn and know the difference between the two. ~~Angie~~