Sunday evening eats

There were many Sundays that my mom made a big dinner for the family, probably because her mom always did it and it was one day a week that (at least when we got older) we’d be home for dinner. I remember her making a lot of roasts and baking fresh bread and occasionally some desserts too. I haven’t really carried on that tradition too much, because sometimes Sundays are far from the relaxed days that I remember from my childhood. (As I got older, Sundays were when I crammed in all my homework, science projects, or English papers that I’d probably waited until the last minute to complete!) Since we have our homeschool group on Mondays and I’m a tutor, Sunday afternoons and evenings are usually taken up by prep for the next day, along with the kids working on their presentations. We have sort of evolved into our own Sunday night tradition of having breakfast for dinner: it’s easy, it’s quick, and it doesn’t take me away from getting my ducks in a row for that early Monday morning.

Since Todd and the two oldest were gone this weekend, though, I thought making a big (or at least more involved) dinner would be a good idea. When dinner wasn’t served until after 7:30pm, however, I had to wonder if they would have all rather I just made sandwiches or given them cereal and called it a day. I have a great recipe for grilled tenderloin which comes out fantastic every time, but the recipe calls for a 1 to 1 1/4 lb tenderloin and I had one that was considerably larger. Working that into my allotted grilling time, I thought I had it all figured out…until the potatoes were done in the oven and the pork wasn’t even close to the temp it needed to be. So much for being on top of everything! Thankfully the potatoes kept warm in the oven pretty well without getting mushy or burned, and the roast–though it took considerably longer to finish–still turned out great. Next time I think I’ll either start with a smaller cut or cut it in half before I grill it. I wish I had thought of it earlier! Responses were more than favorable, but when you make people wait until almost 8pm to eat, you may be able to serve them just about anything.

The menu consisted of:
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Parmesan Potatoes
Homemade Cole Slaw
Raw carrots and dip

The recipes for the pork and potatoes can be found below, along with pictures.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

2 pounds medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1.Heat oven to 400° F. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes, thyme, Parmesan, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

2.Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes.

7-6-5 Grilled Pork Tenderloin
(taken and adapted from

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Brine the tenderloins
In a medium bowl, mix salt and sugar with 1 quart cool water until dissolved. Trim the tenderloins of excess fat and silverskin and submerge them in the brine; let stand about 45 minutes. Remove the pork from the brine, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.

Season and grill
Marinade the brined tenderloins with your favorite seasonings. Heat a gas grill, turning all the burners to high until the grill is fully heated, 10 to 15 minutes.

Put the pork on the hot grill grate. Close the lid and grill for 7 minutes. Turn the pork over, close the lid, and grill for another 6 minutes. Turn off the heat (keep the lid closed) and continue to cook the pork for another 5 minutes. At this point, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest end of the tenderloin should read 145° to 150°F. (If not, close the lid and let the pork continue to roast in the residual grill heat.) Remove the pork from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Cut across the grain into 1/2-inch slices and serve immediately.


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