Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Recipe

Well here is the first recipe from my grandmother's cookbook. It's a hearty beef stew recipe with mouth-watering rolls. This was perfect with all the snow we have had in the past few days. As this journey begins, I feel it important to pay homage to those who have shared with us recipes made for their families. The stew recipe belongs to Ruth Jewkes and the rolls to Ruth Dart.

Beef Stew

1 1/2 lbs Beef Stew Meat
1/4/ Flour
1 Tsp. Worcestershire
3 Tsp. Shortening
2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Cups of Water
6 Med. Potatoes
6 Med. Carrots
2 Bunches Green Onions
Dash of Pepper
Dash of Celery Salt
Dash of Garlic Salt
2 Bay leaves

Braise stew meat in shortening, then add Worcestershire sauce, salt, ketchup, water, pepper, celery and garlic salts. Simmer until meat is nearly tender. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes, add green onions and bay leaves. Cook until vegetables are tender. In a separate saucepan add 1/4 cup of broth to 1/4 cup of flour to thicken stew. Slowly add roux to stew. Serves 8 to 10 family members. Lamb or veal may be substituted.

You will notice in the recipe they use celery and garlic salt. When my family asks me if we can have stew again I will definitely switch things up a bit and add fresh garlic and celery. Remember I am a vegetarian so I like to use fresh whenever I can. Fresh is better! I would also use a virgin olive oil or peanut/sesame oil to braise my beef stew. I detest shortening on every level. Please feel free to add your touch to a recipe, that's where the "you" comes out in cooking.

Also I wanted to say a few words about the roux in this stew recipe. Many of us use a roux in our cream soups or pasta dishes but did you know there was a difference in a roux and what the French call beurre manie, pronounced (burr mahn-YaY). I am sure if we were to ask Julia Childs she would roll her eyes at us. See the difference is the butter. Yep, butter. Roux is strictly flour and liquid, but a beurre manie is the lovely combination of stirring soft butter and flour together. This paste is then incorporated with your soup. This French secret has been used to add more flavor to a recipe. It also alleviates the flour from clumping together.

Hot Rolls

2 Cups Scalded Milk
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup water
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Yeast
7 - 8 Cups sifted Flour

Mix milk and shortening till melted, add sugar, set aside to cool until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of water. Add eggs and salt to cooled milk mixture. Next add yeast, then 4 cups of flour. Stir in more flour until soft dough. Knead in enough flour until dough until is soft and elastic. Let dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down, form dough into desired roll shapes, let rise again. Bake at 375.

As I was preparing this meal for my family I got to wondering how my grandmother and her family had fresh vegetables in the dead of winter. I knew that some families were fortunate to have ice that would keep their perishables fresh for quite a while in a cellar. But what about those families who were not able to have ice, what did they do? I picked up my cell phone and called my mother. She told me most families buried their vegetables in the ground. I had no idea this is how it worked. It clearly makes sense when you think about it. What a simply idea! I found a wonderful poem in my grandmother's cookbook that I would like to share with you. It sums up what I am trying to do here with my blog.

Supposing today were your last day on earth,
The last mile of the journey you've trod;
After all of your efforts, how much are you worth?
How much can you take home to God?
Don't count as possessions your silver and gold;
Tomorrow you leave these behind;
And all that is yours to have and to hold
Is the service you've given mankind.


My goal is to bring your family together by sharing recipes from a time when family dinner was the main event. As I imagine each of your families gathered around the dinner table enjoying this meal it brings a smile to my face. So from my kitchen to your table EAT HEARTY.