Saturday, August 27, 2011

Perfect Pot Roast on the Stove

I learned so many things from my Granny. The first lesson was about unconditional love. My Grandmother or 'Granny' on my mother's side of the family grew up in a rather large family, as most people did in the depression. From that love of family she had five children of her own and I always marveled as she loved each for the unique individual that they were. Their wives and husbands became immediate members of our large family and felt as welcome in her home as they did their own parents. My father loved my grandmother immensely as did my husband Scott. She was spirited and everyone's cheerleader; reminding us all from time to time her years as cheerleader at her high school, and always had time for her family.

Granny's second lesson was how to give of one self. I fondly remember as a child how she would drive up to my parents married dormitory in college at East Texas State University and bring huge bags of groceries to my very needy, poor college student parents with two small children! Many times she would take my brother and I home for a week during my parent finals or just because my grandparents wanted to be with us. I vaguely remember those times, but the memories I have are of how much I enjoyed being with both my grandparents and aunt and uncles.

As I grew up, my grandparents divorced, but neither one never stopped spending quality time with my brother and I through our weeks spent at their homes. I don't think she or my grandfather for that matter ever thought twice about us being there or infringing on their weekends. That is just how it was and they wanted us in their lives.

Third, you know if you are follower of my blog, that one of the biggest lessons I learned from my grandmother was my love of cooking. She passed that on to my mom and down to me instinctively. Large family meals were an easy task for her. She was used to cooking for 3 sons, two daughters, a husband, and her sons and daughter in-laws. I remember watching in awe as she would cook a pie in the outside grill to not heat up her house and cook a roast on the stove top for meal that she needed in a hurry. Granny didn't measure and she wasn't a fussy cook, but she could make a Holandaise Sauce and the best cornbread you ever ate.

Today, I want to share with you her roast recipe with a little twist in spice that I made the other night. Not many people think of cooking a roast out of the oven. But in all honesty, it couldn't be simpler. My husband loved the new potatoes that cooked in the broth of the roast and dinner was ready in under an hour and a half on a week night! Roasts in my household are usually reserved for Sudnay night.

I used my Crueset Roaster, but any good quality pot will do. Just be careful to not boil your water out of the pan by having your fire up too high. So with that said, add water as you need too! Reduce your fire or temperature on your electric cooktop once you have brought your roast to a boil or a low simmer. Cover and in a relatively short time you will have your usual weekend dinner on a weekday night!

Granny's Perfect Pot Roast

1 - Chuck Roast
2 onion, quartered and sliced - not too thinly
7 new potatoes, quatered and sliced - not too thinly
5 - 6 cups water
2 tbs. Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 package of brown instant gravy

Wash pot roast and place in a roaster coeverd with 5 - 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil for ten minutes. Turn fire or temperature down to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes adding 1 tbsp. of Tony Chachere's Seasoning. Prepare potatoes and onions and add to the pot. Add 1 tbsp. of Tony Chacheres Cajun Seasoning, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and brown gravy packet. Mix gravy packet in pot until it is dissolved. Make sure you have enough water the entire time your roast cooks to cover your roast by 1 inch. Continue to cook for 45 minutes or until your roast is medium rare (when sliced through with a knife your roast will have a pink center - but not too pink).

When roast is cooked place on a serving tray and allow to stand/sit for 5 minutes. Slice going against the grain and spoon potatoes and onions around your roast. Serve with some Lima Beans, salad, and soft roll and it's a great meal anytime!

Thanks Granny! I love and miss you greatly!

Make this soon!  It's super simply and your family will love it!  One tip is use your left over roast with an added gravy the next day over toast!  It's wonderful!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome Gilmer ISD to my 'Let's Blog About It' Ignite Inservice Session!

Blogging these days is everywhere!  Over two years ago I dove head first into the world of blogging becoming obsessed with everything to do with them!  What I found was an outlet for my writing, a way to share one of my passions in cooking, and a way to connect with new friends across the Internet!  These last two years have been both a learning experience and such a pleasure as I broaden my horizons and find a 'hobby' so to say that I can see myself keeping up with the rest of my life.

As a mother of three daughters and from a  host of great country cooks, passing down this tradition was and is important to me.  As my oldest daughter left for college,  I never got that hand written ookbook made for  her like I promised.  So, I turned to blogging to share our families recipes.  What stemmed from that simple gesture (for my daughters to learn to cook from my online journal so to say) has currently over 4,000 hits and now 5 followers.  Countless other 'followers' tell me they sign up by email to receive my 'post'. 

I have found that when I am inspired, I post.  When I have had an especially meaningful memory or meal, that is when I publish a post via my site 'The Ranch Kitchen' blog site.  To date I have over 46 post 35 followers, and try to post at least once every week if not two weeks.  However lately with the moving of both my daughters to their respective graduate and undergraduate colleges, life so to say has gotten in the way! 

Inspiration is found everywhere for my blog. The name itself stemmed from our ranch where we live we live on and of course my kitchen.  My husband says when were first married that if the house burned to get the kids, get the myself out, and not to forget my mother's handmade cookbook she wrote in her own handwriting.  He always liked her cooking and was pleased as punch I was trying to be as good as her. 

Now, if the house burns, I don't have to worry about my blog...I just make sure I back up my site from time to time, because sadly even web sites can go down and disappear.   My hope is to one day place my blog into a cookbook that can be hand held as another gift to my daughters.  Because ultimately, when I am gone one day, this blog or journal of sorts will be all that is left of me and a window into how momma cooked and how much she loved her family.

So today Gilmer ISD, as I teach you all about the relatively new world of blogging, I hope you'll see what I see!  It's a whole new world out there everyday in the digital world.  One full of constantly unfolding websites that beckon us to take a look and become a part of them.  Blogging is just that; an interactive way to not only blog on my site, but become a part of others blogs by not only commenting on them, but sharing and becoming inspired but what others do best.

So sit back, let's 'surf' the web by looking at not only my blog, but a few of my favorites!  Become a follower of my blog The Ranch Kitchen and I hope you take back with you today possibly not only something you can use in your leisure time, but see the infinite possibilities you can have with blogging in your classroom

Many thanks,

Let's get cooking,

Alise Nolan
Gilmer ISD
Academic Coordinator
2010 - 2011