“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama
I walk my dog each morning at about 5:30am. It’s a long walk, about a mile and a half, through rain or shine, snow or wind. Karma is usually up and cheerfully waiting for me like clockwork; I, on the other hand, get out of bed with varying degrees of excitement. I will say, however, no matter how tired I am, I find it impossible to stay grouchy with such a happy dog to greet and love me each morning.
We walk nearly the same path each morning, with a few variances. It’s a solitary journey. Sometimes I listen to podcasts or music, but most days I enjoy the silent darkness (most of the year) and being alone with my thoughts. And I really enjoy it! A long walk is a wonderful way to wake up and enjoy the morning. Especially on those rainy or freezing days when I wouldn’t have braved the outdoors otherwise.
It’s early early enough that there are rarely any passing cars and even rarer still a person. More likely I come across the neighborhood deer or the occasional fox or raccoon. I love spotting the animals as I walk, the curious looks of the raccoons or the fox trotting lazily by the road. I especially love how the deer hop away, their pretty white tails bouncing away to safety. Other than the woodland creatures, it’s only me and Karma out there.
Or so I thought.
(Just to clarify, this is a feel-good post, no one is going to get murdered.)
Yesterday on our routine walk, I was zoned out, lost in my thoughts per usual, when I heard a car approaching from behind me. Karma was a little bit ahead, so I pulled her back and to the side. The car slowed down to a stop. Great, I thought. A crazy person who is going to tell me to keep my dog closer, or glare at my dog like she’s a ferocious animal. Or, who knows, murder me.
A smiling older woman rolled down her windows. She greeted me with enthusiasm and asked about my dog. She said she used to have a dog just like Karma but it had recently passed away. Now, she added with a frown, she had cats. She looked lovingly at Karma. “You miss them, you know?” she said, nostalgia heavy in her tone.
“I actually see you guys every morning!” She continued, her smile returning. “I always keep the lights on for you because it’s so dark out here. People on this street never keep their lights on!”
For a moment I didn’t quite know what to say, but I smiled and thanked her for her thoughtfulness. As she pulled away and we continued on our daily walk I thought about what had just happened. Her house was the only house that always had its lights on! And it was with those lights that I often enjoyed seeing wildlife so early in the morning. And with those lights too that she would enjoy seeing my dog, giving her that sense of joy that I feel every morning when I feel groggy and resentful of my alarm clock.
It’s funny how our actions inadvertently affect others. For better or for worse, we are all connected and each of our actions always cause a reaction. Nothing is lost, useless or unnoticed. The same goes for small actions of kindness. They don’t have to be grandiose displays of affection, or shouted from a mountaintop, or even recognized to have an affect others. In fact, the silent, unclaimed acts are usually the most powerful simply because they do not seek recognition.
This recipe is a fabulous one. The sauce is the same from this recipe, and it is just as good with pork and carrots as with the steak and broccoli. You might think the carrot count excessive; think again. We polished off about 10 delicious carrots each and wished we had more!
Curried Pork Tenderloin & Honey Roasted CarrotsPrint Recipe
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 5 pounds
- 4 bunches of small, thin carrots (about 30 carrots)
- 2 tbsp honey
- I tsp sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1-2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 2 limes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Cilantro to garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
1 hour before eating, take the pork tenderloin out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Salt and pepper generously on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 400F, and prepare the carrots. Cut off the tops and wash the carrots. Toss in a little olive oil, then salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake on the upper middle rack for about 30 minutes, shaking to rotate vegetables about every 5 minutes. Part of this time the pork tenderloin will be in the oven below the carrots. Towards the 20 minute mark, remove carrots from oven and brush honey over carrots. Salt and pepper again. Return to oven for at least 5 minutes after this.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat as you put the carrots in. When smoking hot, add the butter. When melted and simmering, add the pork tenderloin. Sear well on each side, rotating tenderloin 90 degrees every 3 - 5 minutes. Once seared on all sides, put the pan in the oven. The goal is for the meat to reach 135F; I check after 10 minutes in the oven to see where I'm at and then go from there. Once the meat has reached the desired internal temperature, remove from oven and set on a cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting.
Prepare the sauce once the meat goes in the oven. Heat a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt. Add the sichuan peppercorns and coriander seed. Allow to cook for about 5 - 7 minutes. Peel and dice the ginger. Add ginger and curry paste (amount depending on heat of curry paste and your desired level of spice). Stir and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Simmer sauce for about 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the juice of 1 lime. Cut the other lime into quarters for serving.
Cut meat. Pour a layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan. Place meat and carrots together, topping meat with a little more sauce. Serve with cilantro garnish and a lime wedge.