January 17, 2012

Winter Storm Blues and Heartwarming Stew

"Where’s my pen? I buy cheap pens by the dozen, and yet there is never one in the room I’m in. Must be one here somewhere. Oh, here are the family pictures from last summer. I wondered where they were.

That’s what I can do today, put them in an album. But first I must organize some albums so each will contain Ashville pictures or farm years pictures or . . . I’ll just sit here and look at the pictures for a few minutes and remember what a great time we had.

I might as well have some lunch before I start work. Some leftover corn chowder and a bran muffin would be good. I always doze off after lunch for a few minutes, so I check Turner Classics again. Ah, an old musical with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I like to doze to music. I hope my left ear comes back before the telephone rings again.

 Now I’m wide awake and ready to work. I wonder why it’s getting so dark. Four o’clock? Can’t be. That’s when I prepare my supper so it will be digested by bedtime. I sure do like storm days; the snow is still peacefully falling. I’d better put those bags and boxes back in the closet or I’ll trip over them in the night. I can organize those pictures after supper. Or maybe there’s a Celtics game. Anyway, I’ll get up earlier than usual tomorrow and get right to work.

I always get a lot done on storm days."~ by Glenna Johnson Smith from Old Maine Woman

2 pounds lean beef (preferably chuck roast)
2 large onions, cut into wedges
1 pound new potatoes, cut in half
1 package (1 pound) baby carrots
1-1/2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cans (11-1/2 ounces each) hot and spicy vegetable juice
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Cut beef into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes; place in a 4-1/2-quart Dutch oven. Add onions and next seven ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and transfer to oven. Bake 4 hours at 250 degrees. Do not peek. Do not stir. Garnish with fresh parsley. I serve this stew with cornbread!

1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (1 tablespoon) dry yeast
1 egg
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups flour

Boil the potato until tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. Mash the potato and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the hot potato cooking water, sugar, butter, and salt. Let stand until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm (105 degrees to 115 degrees F). Stir in the yeast and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Beat in the egg and potato by hand. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the flour as you can. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 3 to 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a moderately soft dough. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a 3-inch round cutter. Place the rounds 1/4 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing tastes better than beef stew on a cold, snowy day! I can't wait to try it, love that I can start on top of the stove and finish in the oven. The Featherbed rolls will make my bread loving husband very happy! Great post!


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