Pork Fillets with Pear and Prosciutto and…Not a Good Start

There are some mothers who are just so wonderfully organised and they work off calendars and diaries and excel spreadsheets and lists and schedules and whiteboards.  These mums always read the notes in the schoolbag (daily), they read the emailed weekly newsletter, they remember to send in photo money, signed excursion notes, permission slips, library bags and homework folders.  They know when it’s mufti day, poem recital afternoon and when parents are supposed to turn up to special assemblies.  They remember which day is sports day, library day, swimming day, gymnastics and which day the photographer is turning up to take the class photos.  These mothers love to be involved and know where their child is ranked academically.  They volunteer to be class mums, to manage the soccer team, to run the P&C or the uniform shop, the canteen or be an assistant to the librarian.

Pork Fillets with Pears, Pancetta and Sage

And then there are the mothers like me.  And we’re a more rare breed.  We missed the buying frenzy at the beginning of the year and there are now no calendars left, we bought a diary but we can’t find it, we’re not trained in excel, we can’t find the school notes, we’re not sure if we’re on the email list for the weekly newsletter and our computers must be corrupted because we’re not able to open any of the attachments emailed by the school.  We don’t know where our child is ranked academically because it would take an excel spreadsheet to work that out, we missed the meeting where they asked, ‘Who would like to be Class Mum’, we don’t know the rules of soccer, we can’t run the P&C because you’d need a diary, and we would like to help out in the uniform shop, the canteen or the library it’s just we can’t find the note that needs to be signed and handed back in.

This school week didn’t start out too well.  Probably because I’d been so busy beating Carl in the Balmoral Swim for Cancer by 13 seconds, then came home to sort out the house, wash the dogs, go food shopping, have family for dinner, work for a couple of hours, then get to bed at midnight only to be woken at 5.45am by the sound of a large painting falling off the wall and crashing to the tiles.

Rosemary Potatoes

A few hours later I was walking Alfie to school and I thought I’d got the day off to a great start.  I’d managed to clean up from the dinner party, hang out two loads of washing, fill three lunch boxes, make the beds, sort the washing and Alfie was even going to be on time.  Things were looking good.

But then we arrived at the school and as I was walking Alfie up the three flights of stairs to his classroom amongst all the students it appeared Alfie was the only one dressed in school uniform and the others were all in mufti.  Although I did begin to feel alarmed nothing sprang to mind as a reason for this.  I asked Alfie.

‘Alfie, is this your class?  Why are they in mufti?  Are you supposed to be in mufti?’

And Alfie said, ‘Maybe’.  There’s a very prominent vague gene that’s becoming more pronounced with every generation.  And then he asked, ‘Do I have swimming today?’

And I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten Monday is swimming day.  He was supposed to be wearing his swimsuit under his uniform and have his towel, cap and goggles in his swimming bag all of which were at home.  But why were the children not in uniform?  I thought I’d better ask the teacher who fortunately is very understanding and relaxed about me being one of those ‘other mums’.

Ready for the oven!

We walked into the classroom and all the children were sitting on the mat and the teacher looked at us and said, ‘Did you not get the note?’

‘What note?’  I asked standing there looking blank, dumb and dazed.

‘It was in his bag on Friday.  He was supposed to give it to you.’

So I started rummaging through the bag and found a small piece of paper that I held up.  ‘Would this be it?’  I asked.

‘Yes, that’s it.  And did you not get my email this morning?’

I’d been cleaning up the kitchen, hanging out washing and making beds.  I hadn’t yet got to my emails.  ‘No, I didn’t get the email.’

‘Right.  He’s got water awareness at swimming this morning and they need to be in the pool fully clothed.  Take him home, dress him in plain clothes and pack his uniform in his swimming bag.  We’ll see you soon.’

So we walked home in disgrace.  My wonderful feelings of how I’d managed to get the week off to such a good start were nicely eroded.

But while I was deflated Alfie was relaxed and happy.  To him it was an excellent start to the week because this most unfortunate event had given him one hour out of the classroom.

We are still on our pear diet.  Here’s a recipe using pears with pork.

Pork Fillets with Pear, Pancetta and Sage

Pork with Pears, Pancetta and Sage with Rosemary Potatoes and Greens

Serves:  4-6

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Pork fillets aren’t cheap so this is a more expensive mid-week family meal.

  • 60g butter, cubed
  • 4 pears peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 pork fillets (about 800g)
  • 12 slices of pancetta
  • 1 bunch sage
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 190C (375F)

Place butter in a roasting dish.  Place pears on top of butter.

Place pork fillets on a chopping board and place a few sage leaves on the top of each pork fillet.  Firmly wrap the pancetta around each pork fillet securing the sage leaves between the fillet and the pancetta.  Place on top of the pears.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing in 1cm slices.

Serve with rosemary potatoes and steamed greens.

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  1. My mother is extremely proud of having raised a child without ever doing tuckshop duty. Although, if excel had been invented when I was a child, she would definitely have been one of “those” mothers.

  2. Philippa says:

    This looks lovely and I bet those other Mums can’t cook as well as you do!

  3. I have a feeling I’m going to be a “charlie” kind of mother. You may not have everythign together all the time…but at least the kids are well-nourished!

  4. That drives me nuts when people do that! Not all of us are attached to our blackberries all time!

  5. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Yes well I have even forgotten children from time to time! This is such a good dinner – its right up my alley. What is it with the price of pork recently, when did it get so expensive!

  6. Ha I start out with all the best intentions and they are usually dead and buried by week 2 or 3 of the term (the intentions not the kids). With my first I put my hand up for everything and anything, these days I won’t raise my eyes to meet anyone when they start asking for class mums or canteen staff cause I just know I would probably forget to turn up or something. 🙂 xx

  7. And that meals looks very good!

  8. Dear Charlie Louie,

    It’s a bit of a strange feeling when mum is more worried than Alfie who’s in la-di-da mode. Bit more exercise too walking back and fro to school 🙂

  9. My kids loved that I wasn’t a typical mom. Yeah, when I had kids I was a mom. I came over here and instantly became a mum. I was never asked to run the infirmary at school or the canteen but I was always begged to be a chaperone – by the kids.

    I love pork fillet and try every new recipe that comes along. This one will be cooked this week. 🙂

  10. This meal looks divine! Great use of all those pears, and I love how crispy those potatoes look. It’s hard to beat sage and rosemary too. And reading the first paragraph I was seriously laughing. I’d totally be one of those “other moms” with you. Sometimes I remember to read the notes in the bag or email, and then I’ll realize that we missed conference sign-up. Oops. Oh and the library books…reminds me they are currently missing. 😉

  11. Hi Charlie,
    This happens to all of us. It’s difficult to keep track of so many things. Well the good thing is Alfie was happy.
    The pork dish looks phenomenal. I would love to make that for dinner some day. It’s flavorful, light and so delicious!

  12. Here’s what I’ve learned during the process of parenting first two girls and now a son. I was much more vigilant with my girls, who are six and eight years older than their brother. They were good about giving me notes and keeping me informed. I was more involved, perhaps because I was younger.

    Now that I am older, I’m less involved. And my son is not so good about keeping me informed. But then he is 18 and I have never been a hovering, helicopter mom.

    All that said, don’t be too hard on yourself and parent in the way that works for you.

    The pork meal looks simply delicious.

  13. “I’d been so busy beating Carl in the Balmoral Swim for Cancer by 13 seconds” – PRICELESS!
    I’m going to bookmark this recipe for JT, he has a pork tenderloin recipe that he loves to use, but changing it up will be very nice. I love baked pear, and that pancetta not only looks incredibly gorgeous, but I bet it tastes wonderful too…so salty with the pork and pear. Very, very nice. But then again, necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t it.

  14. Congratulations on beating Carl:) I was a school teacher and still your kind of mom… makes for many more hilarious stories later on!

  15. Oh don’t be so hard on yourself Charlie! You’re an amazing mother and I know for sure that you try to remember everything and stay on top 🙂 My mother was a housewife since she got married to my dad and when I was born my sisters were basically grown up and didn’t need much of her attention…but still she would never remember anything hahaha and I had to constantly remind her of school events ~ So don’t stress 🙂 you’re doing a great job!

    It’s nice I like these pear recipes hehe next time when I stock up on them I know where to go for inspiration ~

  16. If I had kids I’m sure I would be like you, but it’s much better and relaxed!!! The dish looks great!

  17. Haha, sounds like the kind of parent I would be! Everything worked out in the end, so who cares? Especially when you put incredible dinners like this on the table! Oh my this looks wonderful.

  18. What a fabulous dinner idea! I love the idea for pork cooked together with pears. And pork wrapped in pancetta looks wonderful. Roasted potatoes looks fabulous too!

  19. The pork in pancetta looks terrific.
    I’m not a very orderly or organised person, so I rather don’t understand the mothers you mention at the beginning.

  20. Pork with pears… now why didn’t I think of that lol. This dish is simply making my mouth drool and I can’t seem to stop it :). This looks so darn amazing. I can’t stop looking at it

  21. Most important, Alfie was happy, probably happier than most other kids:)
    Good to see you continuing to make a dent on that pear stockpile!

  22. I agree with one of the earlier comments. My kids will be very very well fed but I don’t know that they’ll always be organised. They will probably have weeks of turning up to school with what they need then a week or two of chaos followed by a little more organisation.

  23. When friends and I refer to one of these “perfect” types similar to the Mums you described, we always end with a phrase that somehow makes us feel better. It’s “We hate him/her.” Feel free to use it whenever you like…

    Using different spices, we have a similar preparation for pork loin but I cannot wait to try your recipe. I bet it will be a great new twist for an old favorite. Thanks, Charlie Louie!

  24. Mmm. I have three pears left and am going shopping in the morning. I wonder if adding mushrooms would make this go a bit further as well. Don’t you feel bad – Alfie had a great day so you are still the hero.

  25. That could almost have been a page out of my own diary if I had one. Kids need to know they are loved and that you have their best interests at heart–you do, I do, and if we aren’t so organized, well then…we make up for it in other ways and have healthy, functioning, well0adjusted kids. Surely, that’s what it is about.

    Loved the easy recipe–love pork with fruit.

  26. This meal looks AMAZING! Digging what you have done with the pears, and I the crispy potatoes look lovely too. If I ever become a mom, I’d totally be like you, such a good read, had me laughing from the very first paragraph. 🙂

  27. Teehee… Excited to comment and I didnt put the sentence together properly… I meant to say… Digging what you have done with the pears, and I heart the crispy potatoes, they look lovely too.

  28. When our children grow up laid back, anxiety-free and able to cope with whatever the world throws them because they understand that things like being on time and remembering the swimming kit aren’t actually significant, life-altering events, THEN we’ll look back and think, “oh, we really were good mothers”. Until then, I guess we’ll fret about it. 🙂

    Mind you, I think anyone who has a son who comes back from his school formal in his underwear without the least bit of concern about it has succeeded brilliantly at the mothering thing.. 😀

  29. i see beautiful pork fillets there 🙂 so nice for meat eaters like me!

    Latest: Authentic Thai Food outside Thailand!

  30. I think I’d probably be somewhere in the middle of both mum types. And sending someone an email that morning is a bit late I should think! The day before or two days before please 🙂

  31. Oh how funny, but I appreciate maybe not for you at the time! If I was a teacher I’d like your sort of mother much better than the other sort though…the other, super organised sort would give me an inferiority complex.

    Pleased to see the pears are still going strong 🙂

  32. I tried to think which one is me but seems like I’m between. I “try” to be on top of everything by checking emails and trying to put everything on calenders…but I often get confused with two kids different schedule and I can’t remember everything anymore. My son is the one who may not put the important letter in the back pack and leave it in classroom, or push it down carelessly in the bottom of bag and I don’t even notice it. It’s so hard to keep up. The teacher is even more organized than me which could be good thing but feel like I can’t keep up her standard. OH well. I’m going to make this – looks fantastic and I always love pork and pear combo – adding pancetta must be absolutely delicious!

  33. Insanely good birthday cakes beat excel spreadsheets anytime. 😉

  34. That pork recipe sounds great… a good mum provides delicious dinners like that!

  35. What a funny read again today Charlie – you have a wonderful way of lifting my spirits on a bad day, thank you!
    Pork and pears are a definite winner – my mom and I went through a bout of pork and pears on one of her last visits. Thankfully pork fillet is quite cheap here – yay!
    🙂 Mandy

  36. Aw! So cute how Alfie asked you whether he had swimming that Monday. Great dish as well. Pancetta makes everything taste better.

  37. As I’m reading this, I realized that I would make a terrible mother of either kind! My hats off to all the kinds of mothers in the world…it’s a big job! A lovely pork recipe and the pears with it…what a great idea.

  38. Pork Fillets with Pears, Pancetta and Sage….really Charlie?? Really?? What can I say except for “yum yum give me some!!” 🙂

  39. I made a similar dish recently , but yours is looking so beautiful & elegant: great for a dinner party! 🙂

  40. Those little notes in the bottom of school bags are hopeless! Why can’t they write the information on or kiddies arms in textas so we will be sure to see them? 🙂
    Lovely recipe, it looks so pretty with the stripey spirals, yummo!

  41. Oh I am totally with you. I have certainly done the uniform on muffty day and all the other things. Trouble is we always live so far away from the c=school there is no turning back…… no is there time to turn back cause I always have to drop and run to work …. no matter what the problem. I love porkdone this way Charlie it looks great. You sound like the perfect mother…..

  42. what happend to Alfie happend to me too many times too. dont worry those over organized woman might not be organized that well in other things in live. 😉

    your pork dish with the potatoes and aspargus looks great, thats the type of food I grew up with. =)

  43. I am SO THAT mom, too! Just like you, I miss notes (my son’s school lunch money account was $24 in the hole and I had no idea), I got my son to a band concert in the wrong shirt (but I blamed him…ha ha…), I miss “return by” dates and I never know what grades my son has because I never check the “Parent Portal”. My husband does, though…so that’s good. I’m glad to know we’re not alone, Charlie!!!

  44. I am SO THAT mom, too! Just like you, I miss notes (my son’s school lunch money account was $24 in the hole and I had no idea), I got my son to a band concert in the wrong shirt (but I blamed him…ha ha…), I miss “return by” dates and I never know what grades my son has because I never check the “Parent Portal”. My husband does, though…so that’s good. I’m glad to know we’re not alone, Charlie!!!

  45. Oh, Charlie! I’m right there with you. I miss notes (who knew my son’s lunch accounts was $24 in the hole?!!), I miss “return by” dates, and I miss events. I was 20 minutes late (thinking I was 10 minutes early) to my daughter’s musical performance a couple months ago. Ugh. Perhaps this all deserves a blog post! Nice to know we’re not alone!

  46. Quite frankly Charlie – I like you lots because you’re NOT one of those other Mums!

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