Sunday, February 6, 2011

Take time to do it well.

It's that time of year again; when the tax man comes a calling, and the piper wants to be paid his due. Or, if you're lucky, he ends up owing you.

My day began as any typical day, the dogs waking me up at 7am to tell me it was potty time; they know not to bother with my hubby as he sleeps like the dead. After feeding all the indoor and outdoor pets, making coffee and getting dressed; decided it was a good time to get all my papers organized for taxes.

Four hours later, all relevant papers are together for both of us; all papers that need to be stored have been gathered, put into large manila envelopes and placed in a storage box. The filing drawers in my roll top desk are less crammed; amazing how much paperwork can be accumulated during a 12 month period.

While 4 hours may sound like a lot of wasted time, I got the job done the way I wanted it done, and don't have to worry about doing more's a done deal.

Sometimes, a recipe for a great meal can be similiar; taking a lot of time to prep, put together and cook; but oh, it is certainly worth the time and the waiting. For example, my "Country Beef Stew" takes 3 days to make, but is most definitely worth the wait. So, take the time to do the work, and enjoy the reward of a meal done well.

Country Beef Stew


2 lbs. lean roast beef, cut into 1” cubes
2 medium red onions, sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup burgundy wine
1 ½ cups beef stock
cooked egg noodles


In a large bowl, mix together thoroughly the beef cubes, onions, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp. canola oil and vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two (2) days; occasionally turning ingredients.

Remove cubes and place in a large plastic bag. Add in flour, close the bag and shake; coat cubes thoroughly. In a 12” non-stick skillet, heat ¼ cup of oil on high heat and brown the cubes on all sides. Drain on paper towels; remove to a 2-quart round casserole dish and mix in the marinated vegetables.

Drain oil from the skillet; deglaze the pan with the wine and gradually stir in the beef stock. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Cover with the plastic wrap and put back into the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 F. Cook for three (3) hours, stirring occasionally, and serve over the cooked egg noodles.

Serves six.

Mary Cokenour
February 27, 1995 (when I came up with this recipe)