Foodbuzz 24x24: Helping To Heal With Food
It's another Foodbuzz 24x24 event, and this time I've turned the tables. You may remember the lady sporting those fantastic onion goggles from another happening where she blew me away with our dollar store dining showdown. This time around she is the main event.
This is my friend Jamie. Not only does she make a fantastic goggle model, but she continually astounds me with her desire and drive to find a way to help out other humans. Ever since I've known her she's been willing to give her time and self to people that otherwise would be forgotten. In all honesty here, at times I would think the girl crazy. She would talk to just about anyone and I was always much more cautious and well, scared of talking to just about everyone.
She's graduated with a degree in sociology, a field that I believe most people wouldn't like to dip their toe in unless they either thought they would be getting paid good money, or have a heart like Jamie's. While she's pounding the pavement finding jobs she's also found a place dear to her heart to volunteer at. The Sojourner center is a local center that aides woman who have faced abuse. It's an amazing organization that not only provides refuge and shelter for women during such a trying time, but have many other programs to help women recreate their lives and begin to live again.
Recently Jamie has developed and signed up to teach some of the women a beginning cooking class. The class centers around preparing one meal that can easily be used for other meals during the week. I was so impressed with this idea. I think at times I take for granted the fact that someone took the time to teach me how to cook. Or that my husband encourages and appreciates not just the meals on the table, but the joy it gives me to tinker with food. I can see Jamie's class giving women a similar sense of self and control.
Teaching this class means that Jamie has to come up with almost all of the supplies and food out of her own pocket. Most of the women enter the facility having left everything behind. We decided to purchase a few basic supplies to help fill in what the center could supply and what some of the women may have. First stop - Sur La Table and Cost Plus world market.
Ok, so much of the stuff pictured is for drool purposes (I love the ceramic berry boxes at Sur La Table). Spatulas, whisks, measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoons, and hot mitts are essential for learning to cook. So are little boys playing with kitchen wares.
Eric is so useful for showing one exactly how to use a pizza peel.
With the essentials taken care of it was now time for Jamie to do a mock run through of one of her classes. Since her class couples basic cooking techniques and two for one meals, the plan for a couple of the classes is teach them how to break down larger cuts of meat to use for different dishes. The class she wanted to practice highlights pork loin, and she made a dish of roasted pork loin with potatoes and apples.
She began with a 4 lb pork loin and cut in half. Half of the loin was used in this recipe, and the other half she'll deal with later. She rubbed the loin with butter, salt and pepper and it was ready to roast. . . .
Almost ready. Next she diced 1 red onion, and quartered 6 new red potatoes. She heated up 4 Tablespoons of butter in the roasting pan in the preheated oven and then tossed the potatoes and onions in the butter with salt and pepper. Such a neat little technique. Of course we also had to test a little drinky drink I made (perhaps that will appear in a later post).
While we waited for the roast she demonstrated how to break the rest of the loin down into larger chops, and smaller breakfast chops. If you freeze the cut for about 20 minutes slicing becomes much easier especially for the smaller chops.
After the loin and potatoes roast for 20 minutes at 350º, she added four cored and cut apples to the pan. The whole thing roasted for another 40 minutes until the internal temperature of the loin was 140º. She took it out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes, then I was so hungry I took matters in to my own hands and started slicing up pieces for her mock class.
My house smelled amazing and we were ready to eat.
This meal was 5 ingredients, quick, affordable and there are plenty of leftovers. I think Jamie's class will be impressed.
I started dreaming of different ways to use the leftovers - Make a quick roasted potato salad by adding some mayo to the potatoes and serve it up along side a pan seared piece of loin. A quick hash in the morning of diced pork, apple potatoes and a nice little fried egg on top sound perfect.
The other cuts of meat are also ready and waiting to be used. I'm new to the idea of pork chops for breakfast but this simple recipe has me ready for the morning, and I'm all about trying out this strawberry breakfast chop for my next brunch.
Need an idea for those thick cut chops? My friend Maranda has it covered. The flavors are similar to the roast, but the addition of sharp cheddar sounds heavenly. I've also tried this recipe before and I loved how simple it was with such big flavor in the end.
I decided to whip up some recipe cards for Jamie to print and give to her class for writing down extra recipes. I thought perhaps it would make a nice little download here too.
Jamie has great menus planned for the rest of her class, and I'm so inspired by her actions. I think that taking something you love and using it to be of some help to other people is perhaps the best way to give. Food can be a bridge between so many places, whether it's connecting with friends, or giving someone a greater sense of self and power.
Thank you so much Foodbuzz for selecting my proposal. You have made it that much easier for someone to give and reach out to people. I'm so blessed to have this blog and friends and family that support me in all my life. Good luck Jamie with your class, and thank you for all your giving - you've taught me that sometimes that conversation with crazy makes all the difference.