Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baking and Comfort Food

The Christmas baking is finished - now the challenge is finding people at home to deliver. And, of course, cleaning up the kitchen. I did get the batch of Grandmother's fruitcake made for dad - I've owed him for several years. I just hope it came out as good as last time.

While it was finishing up, I cooked a chuck roast with potatoes and carrots and onions - my favorite all time meal and the ultimate comfort food.

I followed my mother's advice and saved the classic cookbook I learned how to cook out of. You know, back when fat wasn't an issue and cilantro wasn't something we'd heard about. The "New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook" has a 1968 copyright and several dog-eared pages. And, as always, it is a great reference.

Page 203 has the Beef Pot Roast recipie:

Coast one 3- to 4-pound beef pot roast with flour. In Dutch oven, large skillet, or roasting pan, brown slowl on all sides in 2 T hot shortening (preferred; Crisco) or salad oil. Season with salt and pepper. (I add garlic salt and McCormick's Broiled Steak Seasoning that I use on almost anything with beef.) Remove from heat, then add 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly and cook sloely 2 1/2 hours until tender. Add water if needed to prevent sticking.

If desired, add small potatoes (russets), pared and halved (and quartered), small whole onions (chopped yellow onion), and medium carrots (some cut in half to even out size), pared and cut into 1-inch pieces, the last 45 to 60 minutes of cooking. Thicken juices in pan for Pot Roast Gravy. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

The pot roast gravy recipe is on page 228.

The gravy is my favorite part. But I still have to use ketchup on the pot roast meat itself - and add some more fresh ground pepper and salt.

So, I'm set with a main meal for a few days. And I balanced it off with a spinach salad at lunch. I figure these are better calories than processed and/or fast food. And, comfort food is comfort food, after all.

We had high winds all day - which blew out the 71 degree weather and blew in the current wind chill of 3 with a slight dusting of snow and ice with some more ice to come. Glad I don't have to commute tomorrow.

Now if I could just find that grading fairy.


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