A pig tail

If you look at Goldie's tail you will see long fluffy hair, but not her actual tail. That is because her tail is actually shaped like a corkscrew, just like a pig. It curves around itself and she has what slightly resembles a pony tail. Thinking about pigs got me thinking about pork. Growing up we did not maintain any resemblance to a kosher household. My mother was known for her wonderful baked ham and when we had a home in rural New Jersey we loved getting bacon from the smokehouse. And we always had roast pork on our outings to a Chinese restaurant. That said, my mother never, ever cooked fresh pork - no chops, no roasts. I suppose back in the 40s and 50s there was always concern about trichinoses and since my mother had not grown up in a home familiar with cooking pork, she never attempted it.

I pretty much kept up that tradition until pork tenderloin came into vogue. By then the fear of trichinoses was gone and we were being mindful of the need not to overcook it, rather than fearful of undercooking it. Many years ago I saw a recipe for pork loin in Fine Cooking Magazine that was irresistible and I have been making a variation of it ever since. The original recipe calls for a 2 pound center cut pork loin, carrots, Bosc pears, parsnips, mustard, honey, sage, olive oil, salt and pepper. Since the pear is cut into long sections I like to cut the carrots the same way and if the are thick enough I will cut them into long sticks. I decided I don't really care for parsnips so I often swap out a different vegetable. Sometimes sweet potatoes, today cauliflower since I had a chunk sitting in the fridge. I also did not have Bosc pears so I used the red Anjou ones that I had on hand. The Bosc hold their shape better but the Anjou are quite delicious. I suppose you could also use apples since they go so well with pork. As it turns out I also didn't have sage so I used some poultry seasoning I found in the spice drawer.

Place pork roast in roasting pan

In a medium bowl mix together

11/2 tbsp mustard (I like coarse grain)

11/2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp chopped fresh sage (I rarely have this on hand and use a scant teaspoon of dried rubbed sage - or in this case poultry seasoning. You could start out with a smaller amount and add some till it suits your taste.)

Cover the top and sides of the pork roast with mixture.

Without cleaning the bowl put all the veggies and fruit - any mixture that appeals - in the bowl and pour about 11/2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper over it. Mix thoroughly and place around the roast. Pour in 1/2 cup water.

Roast at 400 for 30 to 60 minutes. Time will vary significantly depending on the shape of your roast and how long it rested out of the fridge before you put it in the oven. You can test with a thermometer. It should read 130.

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