Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, Cards and Finance

To all my US readers, a very Happy Thanksgiving today, I hope you eat well, but not too well, and remember all that you have to be thankful for.


Finally finished doing all my Christmas cards yesterday, Matt picked up the stamps for me, mostly not Christmas ones unfortunately, and I stuck ‘em on and stuck down the flaps. Had to buy some new envelopes as I ran out this year. I got the kind where you tear off a strip and its all ready to stick down. Much easier. Only wish I had had them for all my cards. Whilst I was being such a busy little bee I wrote all our rent cheques for next year. What a pain. Our landlord’s agent (a realtor) will not get with it and do it electronically. All the books for the apartment block (and presumably other buildings too) are done by hand in books, when I complained I was told they couldn’t do it because they had more than one building to look after. What a load of BS. They need me working for them. It really is ridiculous so every year we have to laboriously write them all by hand. We do post dated cheques which is something we can do in Canada but could not do in the States for some reason, we didn’t pay rent, of course, but for something one wanted to pay for in the future, it couldn’t be done, at least not in our part of NC.

Mind you I complain, but if anything ever happened to me, Matt would revert to doing books by hand. He knows nothing, nil, nada, about the computer. Most of it is sheer stubbornness I think. Same with languages, he doesn’t think some of the rules, in French for instance, are sensible so that’s the end of that. Pity we didn’t go live in an EEC country then he would have had to learn the language. With computers Matt keeps saying to me, not everybody has a computer, well I think they should have. Especially people who are shut-ins, it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family if you can’t go visit.

Today we are off to our monthly Travel League bowling going to Elmira and eating at the Crossroads restaurant. They make some of the best BLT sandwiches anywhere.

I know most of you are concentrating on Thanksgiving at the moment, but one of our favourite meals, which I haven’t made in a coons age, is Sauerbraten. I just bought a piece of beef to make this – probably next week and thought I would share the recipe with you. Its actually a lot easier than it looks. Tuesday I made the chicken and rice recipe which I posted Friday the 19th of November, it tasted pretty good and there were leftovers for last night.


Source: Time Life Foods of the World

6 Tbs dry red wine  Sauerbraten-marinating
6 Tbs red-wine vinegar 
4 pint cold water 
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and  thinly sliced
5 black peppercorns and 4 whole juniper berries coarsely crushed using a mortar and pestle
2 small bay leaves
1 scant tsp salt
4 lb boneless joint of beef, preferably topside, silverside or rump, trimmed of fat
1 1/2 oz lard
2  ounces finely chopped onion
2 ounces finely chopped carrot
1 oz finely-chopped celery
2 Tbs flour
6 Tbs Water
24 oz gingersnap crumbs or 3 oz crumbled honey cake

1. Put the wine, vinegar, water, sliced onion, crushed peppercorns and juniper berries, bay leaves and salt into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring this marinade to the boil over a high heat, then remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Place the beef in a deep crock or a deep stainless- steel or enamelled pan just large enough to hold it comfortably and pour the marinade over it. The marinade should come at least half-way up the sides of the meat; if necessary, add more wine. Turn the meat in the marinade to moisten it on all sides. Then cover the pan tightly with foil or a sheet of plastic and set aside in a cold place for 2 to 3 days, turning the meat over at least twice a day.

2. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it completely dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve set over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Discard the spices and onions.

3. Melt the lard over a high heat in a large, heavy flameproof casserole until it begins to splutter. Add the meat and brown it on all sides, turning it frequently and regulating the heat so that it browns deeply and evenly without burning. This should take about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a dish, and pour off and discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery to the fat in the casserole and cook them over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 to 8 minutes, until they are soft and light brown. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 or 3 minutes longer, or until the flour begins to colour. Pour in pint of the reserved marinade and 6 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Return the meat to the casserole. Cover tightly and simmer over a low heat for about 2 hours, until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer the meat to a heated dish and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm while you make the sauce.

4. Pour the liquid left in the casserole into a large measuring jug and skim f the surface. You will need 1 pint of liquid for the sauce. If you have more, boil it briskly over a high heat until it is reduced to that amount; if you have less, add some of the reserved marinade. Put the liquid and the gingersnap or honey-cake crumbs in a small saucepan, and cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. The crumbs will disintegrate in the sauce and thicken it slightly. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down hard with a wooden spoon. Return it to the pan, taste for seasoning and let it simmer over a low heat until ready to serve.

5. To serve, carve the meat into *-inch-thick slices and arrange the slices attractively in overlapping layers on a heated serving dish. Moisten the slices with a few tablespoons of the sauce and serve the rest of the sauce separately in a sauceboat. Traditionally, Sauerbraten is served with dump lings or boiled potatoes and red cabbage (page 63).

6. NOTE: If you prefer, you may cook the Sauerbraten in the oven rather than on top of the stove. Bring the casserole to the boil over a high heat, cover tightly and cook in a preheated Mark 4: 350°F. oven for about 2 hours.

Servings: 6

Have a great day


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