Porkin’ It Up: A New Year’s Tradition!

Porkin' it upWhat a wonderful way to spend New Year’s Day … sitting in front of the television watching football and eating a hearty plate of pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes! And this recipe is one of the best because it includes bacon! It’s a Henderson tradition on New Year’s Day and one we really enjoy.  I hope you enjoy this delicious meal as much as we do!

Roasted Pork Loin and Sauerkraut with Bacon Onion Bundles

Ingredients:
5-6 Lb. pork loin
2 garlic cloves cut in half long-ways
2 teaspoons of seasoning salt
pepper
8 slices of bacon
2 medium onions
4 32-oz jars or bags of sauerkraut
16-32 ounces of chicken broth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub the pork loin on all sides with the flat sides of the split garlic cloves, and then rub with seasoning salt and sprinkle with pepper. Place in a roasting pan. Cut the two onions into quarters and wrap each quarter with a piece of bacon. Place the bacon-onion bundles on the pork in various spots and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, carefully move the bacon-onion bundles to the side of the pan, flip the pork loin, replace the bacon-bundles on top of the pork loin and bake another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, drain and rinse half of the sauerkraut (2 of the 32-oz jars). After the additional 30 minutes of baking, spread the drained and rinsed sauerkraut as well as the other 64 ounces of undrained sauerkraut beneath, around and on top of the pork loin. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and cover with an aluminum tent. Bake for 1-1/2 hours and then add enough chicken broth as necessary to moisten. Bake for another 1-1/2 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:

I don’t know if you’re like me, but often when a plate of my favorite food is placed before me like this one, it is usually followed by seconds, and sometimes even thirds!  It’s like “help me! I’ve started eating and I just can’t stop!” Sadly, this frequently happens during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays when surrounded by foods and desserts that I believe may be exquisitely satisfying! The end result? Indigestion and a bloated stomach, weight gain and water retention, clothes that no longer fit properly, poor body image and feelings of failure. Complete misery.

The sad thing is I know beforehand this will probably be the end result, but the temporary gratification of a satisfied palate seems to far outweigh any future ramifications. That is, until that future ramification arrives and all I can do is berate myself for being such a porker!

Similarly, in a spiritual sense, Christians do the same thing on occasion. We knowingly do things that are outside of God’s plan and purpose for us. We choose to be satisfied rather than crucified in Christ because we believe the gratification from the momentary fleshly pleasure will be worth the trade-off. It never is.The end result is we’re left with disappointment, regret, and sadness, knowing we were created for much more, that we could have and should have chosen that which would have glorified Jesus, but instead we chose to satisfy our flesh. And we’re filled with feelings of failure. Thank God for the conviction of the Holy Spirit and that our hearts are not too hardened to feel His touch. Thank God for the mercy, grace, and forgiveness provided to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Thank God for second chances!

We will soon be entering a New Year! What a perfect time to step away from filling our lives with things that aren’t spiritually good for us and, instead, rededicate our days to the One Who Is! We can stuff ourselves with things of the world and become so accustomed to a diet of fleshly pleasure that it’s difficult to stop. Or we can revive our spiritual health and choose to continually “taste and see that He is good!”  A new day.  A new year.  A second chance to live spiritually healthy and in His perfect plan and purpose for our lives!

Another celebration
of another New Year,
a perfect time to ask again
just what am I doing here?
Is my life as completely surrendered
as Jesus intended it to be,
or am I gliding on grace, taking the easy road,
and manipulating His mercy?
For such a time as this, Lord,
I was created to bring you glory;
am I truly following your purpose and plan
or have I made this life about me?
My comforts, my desires,
feeding my flesh like a swine,
following an annual tradition
of me, myself and I.
Let me break the man-centered tradition,
and selfish longings be crucified!
I resolve now my days will be different;
in all I do, Lord, be glorified!

–Cheri Henderson

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