Monday, September 5, 2011

Fast Foward

Fast Forward

I am sure most of you do remember the Cuban Crisis – or at least heard about it! Marc, as a pilot, was called to active duty since he was in the reserve, so off to Kansas City we moved. After 60 days we found out he was called back to active duty by mistake. Oh boy, we were not happy campers.

Our next move was to Ottumwa, Iowa. Ottumwa was the town were 4 of our 7 children were born. In all, Marc and I produced six sons and one daughter, who is the baby. It was quite a production in Ottumwa when the news broke we finally managed to have a girl. The whole town sent beautiful baby clothes for Heidi and the Dr.’s bought me a Steak and Lobster dinner and 2 dozen roses for my last night in the hospital. It was overwhelming.

Marc and I restored a wonderful old house and we filled this home with children, love and laughter and a lot of cooking. I do have to say breakfast is my least favored meal to cook due to the fact that I made it for 9, year in year out, ha, ha.

In Ottumwa my venture into cooking became very serious. Once a week I tested a new recipe and our children had to try the food with as many spoons as their age, this was one way to teach them to not be afraid of trying new foods. I am very proud to say that all 7 of our children did try everything I put in front of them, no tantrums. To this day the majority of my children is open to new foods and loves to cook. My son Rodmond is very inventive when it comes to cooking or producing a menu.

In Ottumwa, as I have written before, the “Gourmet Dinner Club” was fun for Marc, me and my friends. One of the dinners I still remember vividly is one when Mary Sue and Dan did a 5 course meal going through 5 countries (47 years or so ago).  I can only recall some of the wonderful entrees we did.

 Due to our moving several times I created what I call "Moving Day Soup". Here is the recipe.

Moving Day Soup                     (12 to 16 servings)

4 to 5 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 lbs lean stew meat
4 mid size onions, peeled and chopped
2 lbs carrots, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 bunches celery, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 tomatoes peeled and quartered
6 to 8 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
8 tsp paprika
4 bay leaves
5 quarts beef broth, or more, chicken broth, if you prefer
1 cup of sour cream
2 tbsp flour
Fresh parsley

In a large bowl or plastic bag put the meat and season with the salt, pepper and paprika on all sides. Dust with the flour.

In a heavy stock/soup pot heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides, add the onions and let them caramelize. Now add the broth bring to a boil add the bay leaves, turn heat down to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes.

Now add the carrots and cook for 10 minutes, add the celery and the potatoes cook until tender about 30 more minutes.

Take the sour cream and stir in the flour until no lumps are present add some of the hot broth and stir until smooth. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the sour cream mixture into the soup until incorporated, do not boil, and just simmer for about 10 minutes. (The sour cream may brake if it boils)

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 more minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve in soup bowls.

This also makes a great party dish when it is nippy outside. Add a salad some great    bread and a red wine of your choice. Voila!!

To peel the tomatoes: Drop into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, remove and when cooled peel the tomato. You also can use whole canned tomatoes if you like.

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