Friday, January 20, 2017

The Week in Review

My week in review. Mostly not a good one. 

1) I rarely ever post anything religious or political on social media. I did yesterday. I am really tired of all the snarky comments about other people's choices and views. What do you suppose I got? You guessed it, snarky comments. What did I learn? Don't post anything about politics or religion on social media! I'm taking off my rose colored glasses!

2) During my previous marriage, I wasn't allowed to cook, so for 8 years I didn't. I always loved to cook and I'm really enjoying getting back in the game. I tried a new beef stew recipe last week. It has been filed in the keeper file. Of course, I got to use my new cast iron kettle, a Christmas present from DA. If anyone is interested, here is the recipe:

Beef Stew 
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
3 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch slices
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in eighths

On medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil to a large heavy pot (one that has a tight-fitting lid).
When it begins to smoke slightly, add the beef and brown very well. Do so in batches if necessary. Add the salt and pepper as the beef browns.
Once browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon set aside.
Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flour will start to thicken the wine as it comes to a simmer.
Simmer wine for 5 minutes and then add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and the beef.
Bring back to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on very low for about 1 hour.
Add potatoes, carrots, and celery and simmer covered for another 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the fresh parsley if desired.
NOTE: I don't add salt. If you don't have to live by salt restrictions, go for it. Season to taste.

3) Mr. Weatherman was wrong about last weekend's weather. We were threatened with an ice storm. I got out candles, lanterns, and flashlights to make sure they were in working order in case of a  power outage, which happens here more than I like. We dashed off to the grocery store to make sure we had food. No need to get out and risk broken bones. All the preparations were for naught. No ice. Not that I'm complaining. Even though it was a dreary day, we were able to a walk around Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site. 

4) As a youngster, we often went to our local A&W Root Beer Stand for a root beer in a frosty mug. Many years ago, the A&W changed it's name to D&W but still served the same root beer in those frosty mugs. When I would come back to Illinois to visit my mom, we always went for lunch and a root beer. Great memories. I enjoyed the time we spent talking and laughing together. I miss those days. Anyway, much to my surprise, there is an A&W/Kentucky Fried Chicken in Charleston, IL. DA and I went there one day and we discovered they still serve root beer in frosty mugs. Unfortunately, we can't go there often, but once in a while, we sneak in some junk food and a root beer.

5) A rant. I belong to the local camera club. Most of the people have been members for years. I have been a member for a few years, not sure when I started going, but probably around 4 years ago. We meet once a month and have a different assignment each month. This month the assignment was Black and White. Which I did like. A couple of years ago, the club started choosing topics for the entire year so we would have more time to find a suitable subject for the assignment. I loved this idea, but most of the topics are repetitive i.e. patriotic, winter, flowers, farming, weather. You get the idea. I had hoped this time when we picked for the year we would have some time to come up with something different and not the same old boring topics. Sadly, this didn't happen. With no warning or time to think, we were handed a sheet with the twelve months listed and told to write down a topic for the month. When it came around, I saw the list was mostly the same old topics. I was happy to see there was at least three different and interesting choices. I wrote down Patterns, thinking that would be something that would require some thought and get our creative juices flowing. As the list was being read at the end of the meeting, one of the major players said, "Patterns is my least favorite on the list." I will honestly say I got my feelings hurt. I am so upset by his comment that I am seriously considering dropping out. I feel like I'm being a baby, but this isn't the first time my ideas have been shot down. Rant over. This is the picture I used for black and white. I didn't win, but there were way too many better submissions. 

I'm hoping for a better week ahead. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and near 60 degrees. That in itself would brighten my mood.

Linking to Willy Nilly Five


  1. This blog post saddens me. I'm sorry you have had your feelings hurt by unfeeling people--you, of all people, certainly don't deserve that kind of treatment. But, as Scarlett says in one of my favorite lines, "tomorrow is another day." Hopefully, it will be a sunny day in many ways. I enjoyed the pictures in your post, and also the recipe you shared. I'd better not let Jim see the cast iron kettle, though. He loves cast iron. :) Love you, my sista/cuz.

  2. #1 I have a hide like a rhinoceros!
    #2 I like to eat!
    #3 Being a weatherman is one of the few jobs where you can be wrong and still keep a job.
    #4 We have an A&W with an A&W sign.
    #5 I don't like groups.
    Don't let people pull you down!

  3. So Like Your Rose Colored Glasses
    That stew looks Great!!! Like my daddy used to make.
    I didn't know A&W changed their name. When i was a kid I got to work super part time at A&W . . . how fun was that? really enjoyed it.

    1. It was only our local A&W that changed their name. They were not a franchise anymore. It's totally closed now and has been for about 10 years. That would be a wonderful part time job!

  4. I figured out ages ago that political or controversial subjects were verboten on the blogs, and I just stopped. I even had a political blog for a while, but most of the comments I got were from Europe (when I was hoping to reach my Fellow Americans) and well almost no one from my regular blog was going over to check out the political one. I became discouraged, and now I occasionally say something on facebook and that's about it. I also know that most people look at the photos, just scan through the narrative (at best) and very few people will read the whole thing if you write more than a few sentences. We are all extremely busy, and I get it, but I still sometimes will write a bit explaining my blog post. If someone has time to read it, I'm appreciative. Anyway, I really enjoyed your Five, both photos AND narrative! Glad you were able to get out and see the Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site and didn't have to deal with ice. Would love to visit there someday. And, about the camera club disappointment. I think that's why I shy away from book clubs, though I read a lot. I have found that a group never shares your interests, especially if you are a particularly talented and thoughtful person, and you end up with a List you don't like. One of my favorite memes was "Catching the Light" but it's been removed. Maybe four or five people participated every week, and most of the time I could do something creative enough to be part of the meme, but I guess she got tired of the low it's gone. Patterns would be an AWESOME subject for photography! Don't be hurt by the man's comment just realize he doesn't stand in the same plane as you, and that's ok for him....but I think yours is much more interesting!

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. I feel better about the dig I received from the Photo Club. I started blogging again because I haven't been enjoying the photo club for a while now. I would rather post my pictures here. The one thing I would miss is seeing what everyone else has to offer. Thanks again. I feel better.

  5. People can be so rude like the guy at camera club and the person on social media....I don't know why so many people have to let it be known when they don't agree with something! I like your submission and also the photo of the cabin...oh my goodness a&w!when I was a kid we had the drive in where they'd come and hang the tray on your was one of my favorite places and that root beer in the mugs was the best! Thank you for linking and I hope you had a wonderful week!