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In the Pink

 

This old phrase means feeling good; in good health.

Many things are pink:

Pink lemonade

The sky at dawn and dusk

A perfectly cooked medium rare steak

Miss Piggy

Roses

Elvis’s Pink Cadillac

Rosé wine

Cotton Candy

The Pink Panther

Carnations

Our little finger

Pink grapefruit

Bubblegum

“Pink” slipped

Pink Floyd

Pretty in Pink, the movie

Pinks, the daisy like flower

I bring this up because last week I learned something new.

Sad News

According to scientists there is no color pink in the color spectrum. Want proof? There is no pink in a rainbow. Pink is an illusion; a figment of our imagination. It is a trick our brain plays on us.

SHOCKING

This short video explains what is going on:

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No pink. No light red. No light purple. Now it is minus green.

Does this mean:

Minus green lemonade

TheMinus Green Panther

A minus green dawn sky.

Minus Greén wine

Minus Green grapefruit.

Minus Green Floyd

Just doesn’t sound right, does it?

I want my pink back!

Featured Recipe                    Beef Stew

I love beef stew. For some reason I always associate stew with fall. Maybe because it is so hearty and filling.

This recipe is one-third my mother’s, one-third Betty Crocker, and one-third mine.

The key to a good stew is having good stew meat. The beef should be tender after it is cooked. That is difficult if you have a poor cut of meat.

By far the best beef for stew is the beef chuck roast. The stew beef you find in many stores meat case is not always beef chuck roast.  There are no standards for what is labeled “stew beef.”  It can be anything. So I am very careful and only get my beef for stew from one of three stores.

If you are not sure what your store has in its meat case you can buy a chuck roast and cut the meat into cubes yourself.

Beef stew is also best and tastiest when you brown the meat in bacon grease or at least lard. I save bacon grease in my fridge so always have some for when I get a hankering for stew.

It is best to quickly brown all sides of the beef over high heat and then lower the heat and cook slowly for an hour and a half or more till the beef is so tender it nearly melts in your mouth.

Making stew is not hard. It does require a bit of time. But most of that time is down time, waiting time, or cooking time.

Don’t let the the number of ingredients in this recipe put you off. It may seem a bit daunting. And it looks like a lot of directions. But everything you have to do is easy, easy, EASY. And it is just SO DELICIOUS!!

Since stew also takes a long time to cook it is probably not best to make it on a weeknight when you have half a dozen other things to do or places to be.

Lots of leftovers.

If you make it on a Sunday you will most likely have enough for lunch the next day or leftovers another night.

Stew is one of those dishes like chili ~ it tastes even better the next day.

This is what you will need for 4-5 people:

2 tablespoons bacon fat or lard

2-3 tablespoons flour for coating

1 pound chuck roast cut into equal size pieces

1½ cup water

1 teaspoon beef granules

1 small garlic clove, or more to taste

2 celery stalks with leaves

1 bay leaf

1-2 good squirts of lemon juice About half a lemon)

1-2 onions

3 medium potatoes

2-3 medium carrots

2 tomatoes (fresh or your frozen ones)

½  of a 10 ounce package frozen peas

½ cup water

2 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Lightly coat the beef in some flour.

Melt bacon fat or lard over high heat.

Add the meat to the hot fat, but do not crowd it. You may have to brown the beef in two or three batches. Brown on all sides; do not cook through. Just quickly sear or brown the beef. Stir the beef around with a spatula so all sides are browned. If the beef starts to burn turn heat down a bit.

When you cook in batches put the cooked beef in a bowl between batches.

While the meat is browning peel the garlic and cut the lemon in half.

NOTE: if you do not have a garlic press, mince the garlic too.

When all the beef is browned put all of the meat, with the accumulated juices, back into the pan.

Lower the heat to medium. Now add the 1½ cups of water, the beef granules (or 1 beef bouillon cube), using a press add the garlic, the bay leaf, a good squirt or two of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 – 1½ hours.

NOTE:  Just so you know. I cook only for about an hour since I cut my potatoes larger than most recipes call for. This is how my mother did it too. So when I add the vegetables I cook the them a little longer to make up for it.

About 15 minutes before the hour or hour-and-a-half of stewing the beef is up prep your vegetables:

Wash everything well.

Peel onions and cut into halves or quarters depending on size.

Choose celery with leaves because the leaves have lots of flavor. Cut them in half or into thirds.

Cut the potatoes into equal size pieces. I like my potatoes medium size. I also do not peal the potatoes. I like the skin. Plus there are lots of nutrients in the skin.

Peel carrots and cut into even sized lengths.

Cut the tomatoes in half or into thirds or fourths depending on size. I remove the core but not the seeds.

When the hour or hour and a half is up add the onions, potatoes, celery and carrots to the pot. Mix the veggies into the broth so they cook.

Then cover the veggies with the tomatoes and add a bit more salt if you wish.

Oooooppps. I forgot to add the onions.

Heat till the broth begins to boil. Lower the heat and cover the pot and cook about 20-30 minutes. Stir the vegetables once or twice during the cooking. As the vegetables release some of their water there will be more au jus in the pan.

Then add the half a package of peas and cook covered until all the vegetables are tender, about another 10-20 minutes.

While the vegetables are finishing cooking shake ½ cup water and the 2 tablespoons of  flour in a tightly covered jar until smooth.

Stir into the stew, heat to boiling stirring constantly for 1 minute. This makes a rich and savory gravy for your beef stew.

Serve with bread and butter and a salad. A grapefruit salad is delicious with stew.  There are few pleasures as wonderful as sopping up the left over gravy from this stew with crusty buttered bread!

Another thing I like to do is pour some of the gravy and vegetables over a slice or two of bread. This make a very filling dinner too. Kind of biscuits and gravy with veggies. Health food.

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

2 tablespoons bacon fat or lard             $0.00 if using bacon fat or $0.15 lard      

2-3 tablespoons flour for coating           $0.15

1 pound chuck roast                             $5.99

1½ cup water                                       ——

1 teaspoon beef granules                      $0.37

1 small garlic clove                               $0.22

2 celery stalks with leaves                     $0.22

1 bay leaf                                             $0.10

1-2 good squirts of lemon juice              $0.21

1-2 onions                                            $1.48

3 medium potatoes                                $1.00

2-3 medium carrots                              $0.33             

2 tomatoes                                           $2.33

½ of a 10 ounce package frozen peas    $0.78

½ cup water                                                   ——

2 tablespoons flour                               $0.10

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $13.28 ($0.15 more if using lard.)

Cost per person (4) = $3.32

Cost per person (5) = $2.66

Quote of the Day

Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread – there may be.

David Grayson

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