Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Midnight Special Roast

Free Use image copyright Reinhard Thrainer on Pixabay

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It's been quite some time since I wrote a Sunday Dinner post. My son and I are coming to the end of our struggles with getting my old mobile home ready to be sold, but it's at the point where it's so close and yet so far. Hopefully, once that's done, my posts will be more consistent.

But I didn't come here to talk about that.

I came here to talk about the Midnight Special roast.

I call it the Midnight Special roast because I either start cooking it at midnight or finish cooking it at midnight. Either way, this simple process takes 15 hours to complete. The results are a perfect roast that falls apart and is tender and delicious.

I can't take credit for this recipe. I got it from the 22 Simple Dinners e-cookbook, available free from the folks at Living On A Dime. That's right, I said free. Just follow the link below to go to the Living On A Dime website and download this baby. 

Don't be surprised if you enjoy their simple recipe suggestions so much that you want to buy their 20th-anniversary cookbook, which is available in your choice of an e-book or print version. 

And now, on to the recipe!

You will need a small roast, about five pounds. I got an inexpensive neck roast from my local butcher. If you are in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming area, please consider checking out I don't get a commission for telling you about them, but once you try them, you will never want to buy meat from the grocery store again. They get their meat from trusted local farmers who are dedicated to raising their livestock ethically.

My cast-iron Dutch oven is the tried and true way to cook meat. You end up with a nicely browned exterior that you can't get from a slow cooker. Mine is a 5-quart Amazon Basics, but as of this writing, they are out of those and don't know when they'll be back in stock. I found one for you to consider, and it looks even better than the one I have. Jealous of you if you get this beauty before I do! I love the lid that doubles as a skillet.

All right, so you have your Dutch oven (or roasting pan) and you have your five-pound roast. Here is the original recipe from the folks at Living On A Dime.

1 beef roast, 3-5 lbs.
1 onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup (omit for GF and sprinkle
with seasoned salt)

Place roast in pan. Pour cream of mushroom soup and onion on top.
Cover tightly. Bake at 250° for 1 hour. Then turn down to 225° and cook for 15 or more hours; 10 hours for roasts smaller than 3 pounds.
Serves 4.

Here are the changes that I made.

I didn't have any cream of mushroom soup, so I just poured a pint of chicken stock into the Dutch oven and sprinkled the roast with The Blend from Kinder's Seasonings. I also added four carrots and four sticks of celery cut into thirds and six small to medium-sized yellow potatoes cut into quarters.

Costco makes a good, inexpensive chicken stock, but if you don't have a Costco membership, here is a link to purchase twelve quarts of Swanson chicken broth for $32.90, which is comparable to what you'd pay in the grocery store.

Watkins also makes stellar soup base concentrates and gravy mixes. Follow the link below for more. You can purchase these through my store, or you can sign up to be a Watkins consultant yourself and get discounts on everything you order. Membership is just $29.95 annually, and it's well worth it!

I purchase my Kinder's spices at Costco which is the cheapest way to buy them, but if you can't get to Costco, here is a link to purchase a standard-sized bottle for a reasonable $6.99.

So, how did the roast turn out?

AMAZING! It was so tender and tasty. But before I could eat mine, I had to take the kitchen trash containing the butcher's twine out to the bin, because my cat kept trying to eat the twine.

We have enough roast left over for one or two more meals. The 22 Simple Dinners cookbook contains several recipes for using up the leftover roast. You're missing out if you don't download this free e-book. I've gotten more use out of it than I have out of many of the hard-copy cookbooks that I've had for years.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel. If you're an omnivore, I think you'll find that this simple and delicious slow-cooked roast might just be worthy of becoming a favorite meal in your house!

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

"I like cooking with wine. I sometimes even put it in the food I'm cooking." --Julia Child

Ornery Owl image is a free to use graphic from Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

To get more recipes and other Good Stuff from Grover, visit us at:

Ornery’s CoinTree

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)

Content copyright 2020 by Good Stuff from Grover

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Greece - Food & Drinks - Sweets: Rizogalo.

Greece - Food & Drinks - Sweets: Rizogalo.: Rizogalo is a sweet Greek dessert/dish that is created from milk, porridge rice and starch (brought on taste with cinnamon and vanilla). It is mainly served with a glass of water (because it is really sweet). According to a good friend of mine...

In the U.S. we just call this "rice pudding." It's one of my favorite desserts. I am pleased that Bertha is still going strong at 92!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials: I love to cook, and I tried to be a chef once. I had the skill, but not the temperament.  Imagine Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey six days a week. I really didn't have a thick skin back then, but I keep cooking as one of my pride and joys to spoil...


Here is my response to Sarah’s post:

Hi Sarah,
Since becoming unable to work a normal job, I've taken over the cooking too. Our household has saved a lot of money. However, there have been some creative disasters. For instance, I had gotten a whole chicken from the butcher and after picking it clean was wanting to use the bones to make my own stock. Unfortunately, terms like "simmer" are kind of subjective, as are cooking times because everyone's stove is different.

Here is the recipe I used:
Recipe Notes
Recipe yields 2 quarts (64 oz.).
1 entire cooked or raw chicken
3-4 carrots carrots
1 large onion
4-5 stalks of celery
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 bulbs crushed garlic
1. Place your chicken in a large pot with vegetables, and enough water to completely cover -at
least 4 quarts.
2. Bring to a boil and skim foam off the top as it cooks, reduce to a simmer. Cook chicken for an
3. If using a whole chicken- Take chicken out pot, remove meat for other recipes.
4. Return bones and skin to pot and simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming the top as needed.
5. Turn off heat, skim off the fat, strain broth through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove small
particles. Allow to cool.
6. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag to store.
7. Chicken stock can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months. This recipe makes about 3 quarts.

So when simmering in my little stockpot, I usually have to put the burner setting down to 2. However, I was using my Dutch oven for this product, and I had still waters with a 2. I had to turn the burner up to 6 to see a simmer. Granted, I should have been checking on the recipe more often, but I was doing this at night because I didn't want to heat the house up during the day, and I fell asleep. I woke up at four hours on the dot and hurried to the kitchen. What I found was not stock, but sludge. I had a kitchen nightmare, to be sure.

I'm thinking that I will reduce the simmering time after removing the meat from the bones to two hours rather than four.
You are welcome to use my kitchen nightmare as a future post, should you wish to!

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

I Can't Drive 55

I Can't Drive 55: I got done with work a little early today. At about 1:30, I was turning off S Broadway onto I-55 S to leave Saint Louis.  As I was going to make the turn, I heard 'Woop! Woop!'. A cop jumped in front of me on the ramp. Then another. They both pulled...

I'm tired of posting depressing crap. You will like this story. 

An interesting little adventure to spice up the day! Many, many years ago (40 years, to be exact) when I was in high school marching band, one of the flag girls and I were driving to a game. She was exceeding the speed limit, about 65 mph in a 55 mph zone and she saw the flashing lights in the rearview mirror, so she pulled off onto the shoulder. However, the cops didn't care about her. They were after George, our drum major, who had a notorious lead foot. There were four cops on his tail, and he managed to ditch them.
I rode with George once. I'm not sure how I'm here to tell the tale. The guy was a maniac behind the wheel.

Now you should go read the post that inspired me to tell the story and give the author a cryptocurrency tip at no cost to yourself. Then you should start posting your own stories and earning cryptocurrency for yourself.