Rick’s “Fathers’ Day” Mixed Grill

Mixed grillWhen we were on holiday in Burwash, East Sussex, way back in 1993, it was our June 12 anniversary, and we were looking for fine dining to celebrate.  We had Auntie Freya with us to watch the kiddos, so we had high hopes, and we had scouted out what appeared to be the only restaurant in town that wasn’t one of the three pubs. Sadly, when we went to make a reservation, it was closed, night off, bank holiday or whatever.

Not to be deterred we turned to the usually reliable English pub for a back-up. The high street in Burwash isn’t very long, and was then anchored by a pub at either end and one in the middle. The one in the middle seemed busy so we went there.  It had “Mixed Grill” on the menu. Continue reading

Rick’s Summer Tabbouleh Salad

TabboulehI had never had tabbouleh until I met my wife’s family in my early twenties.  It was a staple of their summer picnics and I loved it. I seldom make it, as I was reminded yesterday by my unopened Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur with a 2012 sell-by date. A quick trip to Guido’s for new bulgur and I was ready. We had friends over for a Mediterranean dinner last night. We started with pita, hummus, feta and mixed olives, some nice Rose from Provence. Then I made grilled marinated butterflied leg of lamb and grilled veggies with the tabbouleh. Summer dining on the back porch at its best! Continue reading

Rick’s Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Honey Sauce

A pork tenderloin is an inexpensive, delicious dinner that can be put together in very little time. For this recipe you need a big pan that can start on the stovetop and be finished in the oven. I have a 14-inch well-seasoned cast-iron pan that does the trick. You’ll want your kitchen fan on high during the initial searing.

Ingredients

Pork tenderloins (they come two to a package)

2 TBS peanut oil

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

Kosher Salt

Black pepper

Paprika

Sauce

!/2 cup honey

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS Chinkiang Vinegar

1 TBS Chinese rice wine or Saki

2 Tsp Dark sesame oil

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Sprinkle the tenderloins with salt, pepper and paprika.

Set pan over burner on medium high heat until it is very hot. Put in the oil and when it starts to smoke sear the tenderloins all over, until they are nicely browned, about three minutes per side.

Turn off the burner and toss in the garlic and stir it in the hot pan for about 15 seconds (don’t burn it!) Give the sauce a final stir and add it to the pan, coating all sides of the pork.

With a couple good potholders carefully put the pan in the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature is 150 F. The tapered ends will be medium and the center will still be pink. Something for everyone! I would serve this with rice and apple sauce or chutney. Or baked beans.

Remembering Luther C. Pierce (1924-2021)

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I recently learned that my friend, colleague and former congregant, Luther Pierce died last month in Gainesville. FL, just weeks shy of his 98th birthday.

When I first met Luther, he was already retired from a long ministry in CT, and was living in Cummington, MA. He was serving two little churches part-time in the hill towns of Western, MA, Peru and Worthington.

We first met at the home of Max and Jean Stackhouse, who hosted monthly dinners for area clergy at their home in the Berkshires. Luther was also the New England development representative for Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico. He convinced our congregation to include the school in the mission portion of a capital fund campaign. Continue reading

Charge to First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

November 21 , 2021

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(I served this congregation as their pastor from 1982-2004. I am Pastor Emeritus there. The congregation voted recently to put the 1853 meeting house up for sale. The upkeep on this splendid Victorian Gothic Revival building was requiring a large share of the congregation’s resources, and limiting other mission and ministry options. We met today to remember and celebrate our years in this lovely building. I was invited as the longest tenured living pastor to give a charge to the congregation at the close of the service. Here it is:) Continue reading

The American presidency: two new books

Having barely survived the four years of the Trump presidency I am reflecting on how this unique institution impacts our democracy. There are two new books out about the American presidency, Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, and last year’s book on the presidency of Jimmy Carter, His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life by Jonathan Alter. Both are published by Simon and Schuster.

Continue reading