As though life here hasn’t been crazy enough changing (probably temporarily) from a household of 4 to 5, and Harley Guy adjusting to the new job, last evening my sister-in-law (actually my “ex” SIL but we all agreed that I divorced him not his family) called to let us know that while traveling at night to visit them for a birthday, my ex stopped at a rest-stop about halfway there and called 911 because he was having the symptoms of a heart attack. Paramedics reached him and stabilized him before taking him to the nearest hospital – about 50 miles away – where he was taken into surgery and given 4 stents due to blockages. The bad news is he did, in fact, have a heart attack, the good news is no open heart surgery needed and he should be able to travel soon.
I sat both girls down on the couch along with T2BF and told them what had happened and that their aunt had given me a phone number for them to call if they wanted to talk to him. Thing 2 took the news in stride, thinking about it for a minute then asking if she and T2BF could go to the park. I could have anticipated this as her relationship with her dad is right up front and out in the open – she loves him but is angry and wears her emotions on her sleeve. Thing 1 has a much more complicated relationship with him and, following me out to the kitchen where I was working on dinner, I wasn’t surprised when she put her arms around me, hid her face in my neck and held on tight. She didn’t cry, didn’t want to talk; we just stood there holding each other for a good 5 minutes until she was ready to let go. We are so much alike in our hurt from our relationship with him that I knew the confusion she was feeling. She didn’t want to call him either, she needs to get her bearings and decide what and how much she wants to say to him. Plenty of time for that while he recuperates with his family although, I know a phone call while he’s in hospital would be appreciated. We’ll see what happens this afternoon.
Now for the recipe – understand this is a pretty “English” dish, the flavors of the meat and vegetables should be the stars with just a little boost from the herbs and spices:
Tracy’s Pot Roast
3-4 pounds chuck (steak or roast) or 7 bone roast
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 onions, sliced
4 large ribs celery, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1″ chunks
4 large carrots, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1″ chunks
4 large potatoes, peeled, sliced into quarters lengthwise, then in half
generous sprinkle of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 small bay leaves
2 beef bouillon cubes
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine (or substitute with 1/4 cup water)
2 Tablespoons gravy flour or 1 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
Remove the majority of large fat deposits on meat and dispose of. Season meat with salt and pepper, set aside.
Place vegetables in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle with cloves, rosemary, thyme, garlic, add bay leaves, bouillon cubes.
Lay seasoned meat over the top of the vegetables.
Pour water and wine over all.
Cook low 8 hours. Move meat so it is up against the side of slow cooker pot. Turn up heat to high.
Make a slurry of flour or cornstarch and cold water. Add to vegetable/liquids in slow cooker and stir. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir again – mixture should be thicker than broth but thinner than gravy. Spoon liquid over meat. Serve.
**If I have tomatoes that need to be used I slice them up into little chunks and throw them in with the veggies – only a couple though, this is not meant to have a tomato based sauce.