Elegant Edibles Catering
Oh. My. Goodness!! It is September already! Where on earth did the summer go? Seems like only yesterday we were wishing it would start, and now we are enjoying Labor Day weekend and looking forward to a new month, a new season, and beyond. This summer seemed to have gone by in a blink, but like you, we sure crammed a lot into it. I spent most of my time working (summer IS a prime season for caterers, and I found that post-pandemic folks were anxious to make up for all of the fun things they had missed the last few summers), but I did manage to squeeze some fun into those few short weeks. We spent time with friends, and enjoyed a few quiet moments as well. There was lots of yummy summer food…grilled burgers and steaks, corn on the cob and watermelon, of course, but like the season, our tastes are ready for a season change as well!
To me, fall means my crock pot will be back in use frequently. Soups, stews, and melt in your mouth tender meats will easily grace my dinner table, thanks to that wonderful slow cooker. Game-day chili makes Friday nights a breeze, and a big Sunday roast can leave me with leftovers to create several quick dinners for the upcoming week. If you haven’t tried using crock-pot liners (available in the “plastic wrap aisle” of most supermarkets), put them on your shopping list today! While slow cooking creates a fabulous flavor, it can also create a stuck-on mess in your pot. These liners are wonderful; simply put one in the pot before filling it, and follow your recipe. They are heat safe and make clean-up a breeze. Of the many treats I like to make in my crock pot, one of my very favorites is my Mom’s homemade chili sauce (it is one of those multi-purpose recipe starters…you can turn it into lots of different dishes). As anyone who has cooked tomato based sauces knows, clean-up can be a chore, but crock bags are a saving grace! Now is the time of year I get into high gear with my crock pot and “cook once, eat twice” way of planning meals. A change in season doesn’t mean a let-down in our crazy schedules, just how we dress for the occasion, so planning ahead and using convenience products can make our lives just a little easier!
I received my first crock pot as a gift at one of my bridal showers, more than 30 years ago, and used it- literally -to its’ death. I have replaced and upgraded a few times since then. It is an appliance I don’t want to live without! And speaking of that long ago shower makes me think that I could use another. Bridal shower, that is! As I have begun to help my younger son get ready to move into a new apartment, seeing all of the shiny new appliances makes me think that I want to get married again. No worries, I don’t want to change husbands (I’ve finally gotten this one broken in!), I just need new stuff and having a shower would help! I’m just sayin’…
Sunday Beef Roast
- 4-6 pound chuck roast
- 6-8 small potatoes, scrubbed
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 stalk celery, sliced thick
- 1 onion, cut into thick slices
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 C diced tomatoes or chili sauce
- 1 C dry red wine (if desired)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 t dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sear beef on both sides in a hot, oiled skillet. Line crock pot with a crock liner, then place beef in pot, topping with remaining ingredients. Cook on low all day (7-9 hours). Remove thyme spring and discard. Allow beef to rest 10-15 minutes before cutting (it will pull apart easily). Make gravy with pan juices if desired.
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.