SOMETIMES DOUBT sneaks up on us. You would think that after having hundreds & hundreds of people in our home and writing a book on hospitality that I would never doubt its worth. But I confess there have been moments when I’ve wondered, “Does this really matter? Does it really make a difference?”
Last Saturday night we welcomed my husband’s friend “Jorge” to our table. It was just the three of us. As we ate Island Pork Tenderloin our NFL-size guest lingered over every bite. I can still see in my mind’s eye the moment he held his fork in midair saying, “I don’t want this meal to end.” Perhaps you’ve heard the slogan, “Love people. Cook tasty food.” There was no doubt that Jorge was feeling loved that night. But this was more than a tasty meal.
Jorge’s marriage is in chaos. He’s gasping for hope and examining his heart. This was a night to trust the arms of friendship. After dinner I quickly mixed & baked brownies from a box as the guys moved to the couch and kept talking in between catching snatches of a pre-season football game. After brownies and vanilla ice cream Jorge was bone-tired-ready for our guest room in the basement for a good night’s sleep.
A few days later Roger called Jorge who had returned to his empty apartment in another town. Roger called but Jorge talked. Whatever he was saying I could see on Roger’s face brotherly joy & a wash of hope. “Roger, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never seen anything like my time in your home last Saturday. I’ve never experienced what it’s like to be a real family around the table. I felt so refreshed. I felt like I was in a safe place.”
Really, Jorge? You’ve never experienced what it’s like to be a real family around the table? Yes. Really!
This simple night of living out the gospel call to practice hospitality reinforced my belief that the ORDINARY practice of welcoming others to our tables is EPIC. Believe it!
And while you’re at it, give this Island Pork Tenderloin a try.
ISLAND PORK TENDERLOIN (original source: Epicurious)
Pork Rub Glaze
2 tsp salt 1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp black pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tsp ground cumin 1 tablespoon tabasco sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon 2 Pork tenderloins
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Stir together dry ingredients for rub. Coat 2 pork tenderloins with this spice rub. Heat oil in heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Stir together the glaze ingredients and pat on top of each tenderloin. Roast in middle of oven until thermometer registers 140 degrees. (About 20 minutes.) Let pork stand for 10 minutes before carving. Deglaze pan with water and heat then pour over meat.