Pork tenderloin

(Wikipedia)

Creole mustard-crusted 

and stuffed pork tenderloin

2 tbsp raw bacon, finely chopped

1/4 cup yellow onion, minced

1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup small diced Granny Smith apples

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1/4 cup Calvados

 

2 tbsp cup honey

2 tbsp creole mustard

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 cup coarse bread crumbs

 

1 pork tenderloin, approximately 16-20 ounces

1 /4 cup Creole mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

• Preheat oven to 400.

• Place bacon in a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat until brown. Add onions, mushrooms, apples, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 7-10 minutes. Deglaze with Calvados and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add honey, mustard, thyme and breadcrumbs. Cool mixture completely.

• Lightly oil a large piece of foil, large enough to wrap the pork loin completely.

• Using a sharp knife, make a 1 /2-inch cut down the entire length of the pork loin. Fold the wider part away from the incision, and repeat the same cut two more times. At this point, the pork tenderloin should lay flat.

• Spread apple mixture over the flattened pork. Roll the pork loin tightly and place on the oiled foil. Rub outside of the pork with Creole mustard and season lightly with salt and pepper, and wrap the entire roll in foil.

• Place wrapped pork on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 275, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

• Remove from oven, and allow the pork to rest for 8-10 minutes. Gently remove the foil, and slice thin on a diagonal and arrange on a platter.

Yield: serves 6-8

A man once said, “You can call me anything you want, just don’t call me late to dinner.” It’s an old joke that’s been around since the 1830s. It’s not a very funny joke and no one truly knows the origin of it, but I can relate to the statement on several levels.

No one has ever called me “late” for dinner, lunch or breakfast. Ever. So, in my case, that is a true statement. I consider myself a punctual person. I have a lot of faults, but tardiness is not one of them. If a meal is involved, I am going to be early.

As far as the “you can call me anything you want,” portion of that joke, I can definitely relate. My name — which seems pretty straightforward to me — is apparently a booger to remember, pronounce or to get right half of the time. You might never call me late to dinner, but one out of every 20 people are going to call me “John.”

I love my family, unquestionably. And I treasure and respect my “family name” in the sense that the men who came before me lived good lives and earned respectable reputations. I appreciate the family legacy and the St. John name my father passed down, his father before him and his father before him. My grandmother traced it all of the way back to England to a bunch of people I know nothing about. Somewhere along the way — and for a reason no one knows, as I seriously doubt that I am a direct descendent to the famous sainted John in the Bible — one guy chose the surname St. John.

Once I had been “St. John” for more than 15 years, I began having trouble with the moniker.

 There’s just way too much going on in my last name. There are three major problems: It’s two words, it has an abbreviation in it and it has a punctuation mark. That’s more than most last names and just a little more than some people can handle.

I’ll tackle those three issues in reverse order. The punctuation mark is an endless hurdle when filling out an online form. Computer systems all over the world don’t know what to do with a period in the middle of a last name. It’s so bad that when Y2K came around, I thought all traces of my name and me would be wiped from the face of the earth for all of eternity. What then, would my great-times-20-grandfather think? If I had a dollar for every time my last name was rejected on an online form, I’d have enough money not to have to fill out any more online forms.

 Hotels also have a hard time with the period in the middle of my last name. I always have to call the front desk when trying to log on to the hotel room’s Wi-Fi to ask, “Please tell me how my name is listed on your guest directory, because I can’t sign onto the internet. “Hold on, Mr. Sunshine, let me check.”

The abbreviation in my last name is also a constant dilemma. It makes alphabetizing a nightmare. Technically, according to the International Rules of Alphabetizing (I just made that up) or whatever governing body decides such things, I am supposed to be alphabetized under the “Sa”s, even though it’s abbreviated to “St.” Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is. 

“Mr. St. John, I can’t find your name in our voter roll.”

“It should be under the ‘Sa’s, but it’s probably under the ‘St’s, can you look there.

It’s not there either. “Oh, here you are, under the J’s. Here’s your ballot, Mr. John. Have a nice day.”

People call me John all of the time. Seriously. They don’t call me John trying to shorten my last name. They mistake John as my first name, even though “Robert” doesn’t sound anything like “John.” It happens all of the time, don’t ask me why. I had teachers in elementary, junior high and high school who would occasionally call me John, in March or April after having called my name from the roll almost an entire school year. In one of the restaurants or somewhere else out in public, they say, “Hey, John.” Sometimes I correct them. More times than not these days, I just let it go.

 The following is a real conversation I had with my wife a few days before our son was born. “Let’s call him John,” I said.

“No. That’s stupid,” said she.

“They are going to call him that anyway,” I said.

“I am not naming our son, ‘John St. John.’”

“You’d be saving him a lot of trouble if you did.”

No need to tell you who won that one, and as of this writing, no one has ever called Thomas Harrison St. John, “John.” He looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked him, “Has anyone ever called you John?” I don’t know how he has avoided it, but he’s in for a treat when he finally gets to vote, signs up for something online or checks into a hotel room.

 In conclusion, I think I would much rather be called late to dinner than to be called Bob St. James, Rob St. Claire, Robert Sunshine, St. Claude, St. Pete, St. Croix, John St. Johnson or just plain old John.

 Onward.

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