Well, here it is not quite Halloween, and there is not only frost on the pumpkin, but SNOW in some areas along the East Coast. It sure is early for that to be happening. I hope it is not a sign of a long, very cold winter to come.
I poked my head out this morning and it was only 49 degrees, so I didn't stay out there long. I want to plant some beautiful and colorful pansies in my strawberry pot this weekend. I will probably do it today if the weather warms up just a bit. I love to have their beautiful, joyful little faces all winter. It reminds me that Spring will come again along with the warmer weather I love so much.
I am "chasing" Lucy all around the house this morning. Having this 95-year-old person that I can't trust any more than a two year old is getting interesting. I can't even go to the bathroom without wondering what she is in to. I went to put my clothes on this morning, and heard crashing in the kitchen...she had decided to "dry" the dishes. Thank God there were only two or three in the rack, and most of the crashing was silverware! I really can't accomplish much with worrying about what she will get into next. I have a whole new appreciation for all you caregivers out there! Not that I didn't know it was difficult; but I just didn't realize how very, very restrictive it can become. Dementia is a terrible thing, and there are numerous causes. So sad. All I can do at this point is try to keep her from hurting herself and try to make life as enjoyable as possible for her.
Well, Lucy has finally dozed off on the love seat, so it is probably my opportunity to make some beef stew. A great meal for a cold and windy day.
MAMA LINDA'S BEEF STEW
* 2 pounds stew beef (I often buy round steak, and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes
for this purpose...lots less fat and a little more tender than stew beef)
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 2 cups water
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
* 3 large carrots, sliced
* 3 ribs celery, chopped
* 3 large potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you can peel or not depending
on personal preference!)
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, garlic, bay leaf, onion, salt, sugar, pepper and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaf and garlic. Add carrots and celery and potatoes. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.
This is even better the second day!
Serve with hot biscuits and honey for a homey, warming meal!