Thursday, April 9, 2020

Cooking From Memory

In my new normal I've started using online ordering for groceries. We have one source for this service in our county. My older daughter has been doing this for years and likes shopping that way. When Baby Girl was even smaller it was easy to pick up groceries without having to take a toddler into the store. I have not had a particular need to do so, but now it seems to be a prudent way to get my groceries. 

Using the grocery shopping app has been simple. Finding a delivery time has been harder. Looks like everyone else in our county is using this service, too. Overall I have been happy shopping this way. I haven't always gotten everything on my list. But that's okay. I did check the box to allow substitutions. And that's okay. This is not a time to be too picky. I've had different brands than my usual choice. I've used more store brands than normal. 

In this "happy to get anything" world I was delighted to see that the pork loin roast made it into my cart last week. The item description said it was 2.5 to 3 lbs. When I unpacked the groceries the pork loin looked tiny. It was less than two pounds. Again, glad to get anything. That was still plenty for the two of us.

We cook pork tenderloin all the time. A pork loin is a different cut. I looked quickly for a recipe for a glaze or a rub before I cooked it thinking it might need a flavor boost. Again, everything now is based on ingredients on hand. Earlier in the day I read one recipe that sounded like a good one. By late afternoon I couldn't remember where I found it, so I used the parts of the recipe that stuck in my brain. It was like one of those memory tests where they show you a group of items and then later ask you to write down all you remember.

The part I remembered is worth doing again. So I'm adding the "how I did it" here on the blog for the next time I cook a pork loin.

There are no precise measurements here because I didn't remember what they were. You really don't need them. Trust me. Trust yourself.

pork loin roast
olive oil (or other cooking oil)
freshly ground black pepper 
about 2 tablespoons brown sugar
about 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I use the jarred kind)

Pat the pork loin dry. Put pork in a pan or bowl and pour a little oil oil over the roast. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and paprika. Spoon a couple of tablespoons brown sugar and a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic onto the roast. Then rub this all over the roast. Transfer to a baking dish and cook, uncovered, according to the directions on the package. Let rest about 5 minutes before slicing.

My package said to cook at 375º for 27 to 32 minutes per pound, until internal temp reaches 145º to 155º. 

We really liked the hint of sweetness from the brown sugar that complemented the garlic. The paprika gave the cooked roast a beautiful color. The loin cut isn't quite as tender at the tenderloin and it takes a little longer to cook. But it was so easy. And now we have plenty of leftovers. I'll vacuum pack some slices and freeze them for later. There is an easy Lo Mein recipe that I want try soon. I'll add a little pork to that "meat optional" dish.


  1. I have never tried the pick up option at the grocery store. We're trying to go only every 2-3 weeks to resupply. We like pork tenderloin occasionally, but I usually just make it in the crock pot with sauerkraut and use leftovers for barbeque which I can freeze. Glad you're well and your family is healthy.

  2. Just got our first grocery delivery yesterday. Happy to get whatever we got. Only a few items short -- water and toilet paper. Those would have taken a miracle and we can make do for now. I remember my grandmother's pork loin being pretty moist. It might take some special coddling. But your improvised spice rub sounds delicious! And I already have all that stuff. I consider myself very lucky to have a roof over my head, a spouse to share things with, and enough money for food. The new normal is occasionally frustrating (all those scrapped plans!) but also an occasion to improvise, be creative and stop all the running around I tend to do. Looking forward to hearing more of what your grocery deliveries force out of you! (And finally started Deschain. Yours is beautiful.) Chloe

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