Twice in my life my extended Posse has come to my rescue with meals to help my family through difficult days. All of the meals were unique, delicious and inventive. I tried to keep a list of them, thinking the menus and recipes would come in handy, but alas the daily challenges of cancer treatments got the better of my good intentions. Bringing a meal to a person in need is a ministry; whether you are a home cook or a maintain a good list of take-out items, your efforts truly help to heal the body and the soul.
Recently I had a joyous occasion (a baby!) to deliver a meal. This menu combines home cooking and prepared foods from the grocery:
BBQ and Bourbon Pork Tenderloin1 jar BBQ sauce of choice (I prefer Weber’s Original) 1/2 cup or more bourbon – medium quality, not the good stuff 1 pkg of pork tenderloins (usually 2 come in a pack)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a 1 quart measuring cup, pour approximately 2/3 of the jar of BBQ sauce. Add bourbon a little at a time, using a whisk to thin the sauce with the bourbon. Use your judgment as to how thin or thick you want the sauce to be. The quantities here are very forgiving. Keep adding a little sauce or bourbon until you like it. Whisk the two until completely blended.
Using heavy duty foil, or two layers of regular foil, lay the tenderloin pieces on top of the foil, then pull up the sides of the foil to make a “boat.” Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over each tenderloin, dividing sauce evenly. Seal the foil packets so that the meat has room to breath. Bake for 3 hours.
Remove tenderloins from oven. At this point, the meat is ready to deliver. Just wrap in newspaper to keep warm enroute. To serve the meat, open packets, pour off liquid into liquid measuring cup or creamer. Pork should pull apart or slice easily. Serve with reserved sauce.
The rest of the menu is a cinch. You can use prepared foods or home-cooked interchangeably.
Slaw - I love to combine bagged shredded cabbage with prepared cole slaw. Sometimes I’ll add a little vinegar and mayonnaise if I think the slaw needs a little more.
Cornbread – Although I make my own cornbread using two different recipes, when I’m delivering a meal I’ll usually purchase cornbread at the grocery.
Fruit Salad – Healthy combination to serve with the BBQ and slaw. Any combination of fruit will do, or pick-up a prepared bowl of fruit from your grocer.
Chocolate Chip Cookies – I make mine from the Original Tollhouse Cookie recipe, but I substitute an equal amount of shortening for the butter and omit the nuts.
The most helpful hint I can give when packaging your meal is to use containers that don’t need to be returned. Although I would like the presentation of the meal to be Pinterest-worthy, it’s challenging for your recipient to keep track of and arrange for the return of your dishes. I try to use ribbons and notepaper to beautify my throw-away or recycle-able packaging.
Lastly, this menu is easy to double and serve your family the night you deliver.
Nothing says “I care” like a meal from the heart.