Good, home-cooked food can take a day from ordinary to extraordinary

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk/Flavor 574

Today has been a pretty regular day. And I’m OK with that. After a good seven hours of sleep, I stretch as my dog has taught me to do and rise to light skies.

She and I take our morning walk, sniffing out the neighborhood. It’s more quiet than usual this morning with school spring break in session.

I slowly wake to this new day and by the time we get back to the house, I am ready to enjoy our routine breakfast: granola, yogurt, a glass of orange juice and the icing on the cake, a piping hot café crème. I like this every day life.

Now, it’s off to work. The kitchen is quiet for that first hour before anyone else joins me. I turn the music on, a little bluegrass, a little soul, plan out the day and start in on some baguette dough.

The mixer sings out a song in its very own rhythm. I’m in a groove: measure, mix, knead, grease, slap, cover.

As my hands move, my mind wanders. I bring it back to this: the ordinariness of this daily work and the joy derived from it. This is my every day.

My coworkers soon arrive. As the day unfolds, we catch up on our lives, cry over cut onions, discuss the latest news, stir the soup, tell stories, roll out butter.

Though we make food for others, we are also making it for ourselves. We are not separate from it. What they will eat, we will eat also. It is a sharing of sorts.

What is talked about in the kitchen as we prepare, our mood as we cook and bake, these are the things that we also pass on. And I know that everywhere in the world, there are others using these same gestures and motions as a part of their every day.

Lunch comes and goes. I finish the last shaping of bread, the last roll of croissant. The kitchen is clean again and ready for another day tomorrow. I spend an hour talking with Dave, who is here to ask about the bakery. The day winds down.

With the warmer weather, we head for a longer run at the park, dog in tow. This is what we do every day. Life has this certain routine. We get home and it’s time to cook supper.

I pull out a pork tenderloin, brush it with olive oil, cover it with fresh rosemary and thyme, wrap it up in prosciutto. Jim cooks a couple of ears of corn. I steam some Brussels sprouts. We pull out a more expensive wine. I smell the flavors roasting.

All of a sudden it hits me. This meal is going to turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary day, just like that! And sure enough, we sit down to eat and we are living at a whole new level. Food can really change me and my day!

Here is the recipe. It is especially good with rice and an apple chutney.

Herbed Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 lb. pork tenderloin
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 thin slices of prosciutto
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. Dry the tenderloin with a paper towel. Slather with olive oil, cover with fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. You can put it in a plastic bag overnight for extra flavor.
  2. Wrap with the prosciutto, by tucking each slice around the bottom. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, turning the pan once, until meat thermometer reaches 150 degrees.
  4. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for fifteen minutes. Slice and serve.

 

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