When I was growing up we ate evening meals at our breakfast room table 5-6 nights a week. Obviously, that means we ate as a family around a table, all together, for the majority of our meals. When you only know one thing and that one thing is something you grew up doing, it’s hard to let that sort of thing go. So, for me, a family meal is a Real Thing.
This summer we actually have all three boys home under one roof. Except that they never seem to be all under the same roof at the same time. Because of sports, camps and work schedules my boys’ schedules are erratic, and all over the place, as it can get. That, along with The Husband’s travel schedule, and some evening classes I’m teaching during the summer, makes getting the five of us around the very same breakfast table that I grew up using, for dinner, exhausting. And frustrating. Oftentimes it would be much easier to just throw in the towel and forget about it.
However, I just can’t let it go. So, I start badgering these men for their schedules and pick a night for a Mandatory Family Dinner. I think I’ve gotten the message across, usually via text, that the dinner is pretty non-negotiable. I find that this requires a thick skin to ignore the sighs, eye rolling and huffs that sometime occur. But once it is declared, everyone comes, sits, eats, talks, jokes, makes fun of each other, wrestles around, argues some, brainstorms and . . . . . then leaves to go about their business. And I’m happy to sit at the table amongst the dirty dishes and am thankful that I went to the trouble.
Last night we had one of our Mandatory Family Dinners. About time, too, since it was also a Father’s Day dinner . . . only two days late! Sometimes I go all out and go to a lot of trouble feeding these guys. Last night was a really simple meal that was quick to prepare and a good summer time supper. Sometimes simple is best.
Shredded Barbecue Pork Tenderloin Sliders
Collard Greens (straight from my freezer . . . couldn’t get any easier!)
Fresh Coleslaw ( I wanted to find a recipe like mine to link, but can’t. Stay tuned for a really simple coleslaw recipe with the magic ingredient . . . .)
My Barbecue Pork Tenderloin is so easy it’s embarrassing and doesn’t even need me to type out a real recipe. Take your pork tenderloin. Put it in a Crockpot. Cover it with Barbecue Sauce. Cook on High for about 4 hours, until tender and cooked through. Shred with a fork. Serve. Bam! To serve, I toasted slider buns and heaped them high)
I think the goodness all lies in the barbecue sauce. (In a perfect world I like to make my own. I know what I am eating and what I am feeding my family. There is no extra sugar, nothing processed and I know we can pronounce all the ingredients!) A little tangy, and not sweet. Something like this. . .
2 cups of tomato puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 top liquid smoke
1 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder this time)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce reduces by half.
Let cool and remove from saucepan to an air tight container. Store in the refrigerator.
This is a great sauce to make in a large batch to have on hand. You can also store in Ziploc bags in the freezer for later. (Totally something my mom would have in one of her outside freezers!)
And what’s a summer supper without out a few fresh tomatoes, peppers and, of course, Tabasco?
How often are you sitting down together for meals? Home or out? Is it more or less then you did growing up? Do you think this is more of a Southern thing?
Enjoy Your Day!