Tuesday, February 5, 2019


PS for the meatloaf.  bake 60 minutes center of the rack at 350 degrees, or until a meat thermometer in the center reads 160 degrees.

My Dad used to make something with chuck roast.  Back then it wasn't so full of fat but nonetheless...

He'd buy maybe two pounds worth or so, wash it...peel a large onion, the size of an orange say,  quarter it and  then boil the beef and the onion in water (only) with salt and pepper too, as it cooked.  Once it was cooked through in probably an hour and a half...,he would remove the meat from the kettle and shred it with his ever present fork he always used when cooking.  He would put that shredded meat back into the broth it had boiled in, add a tad more  of salt after tasting the broth if needed.  He brought it back to a low boil on medium to lower heat, He added some thickener to the broth.  Here is how HE made the thickener.     He had a favorite tin measuring cup with a lid into which he would scoop some flour, maybe a scant half a cup and add water to within an inch of the top...put on the lid and shake it will mixed well.  If it was too thick, he'd take a dab out and add more water and re-shake.  He wanted it the consistency of a thick syrup, say.

He poured it slowly into the kettle with the gently boiling broth, beef and onion.  Stirring continually. He let it cook gently until the broth was the right consistency.  Slightly thickened and just right for the pan of biscuits he had made and had ready.

It was chuck roast, tender and flavored with onion and salt and pepper, slightly thickened to a  perfect consistency for biscuits.  Very plain.  He was not a "fancy" cook.  Country cooking was it and I learned anything I know from him.

My brothers and me as well, were at the table in an instant- as soon as it was ready.  He would make it for Sunday lunch sometimes when we didn't have fried chicken, gravy made with pan scrapings and slightly browned, thickly sliced tomatoes on a plate that were fragrant-- they were so good.  Sliced cucumbers and thinly sliced onion rings that he'd drizzled oil and cider vinegar onto and sprinkled black pepper.  Scallions in a saucer, green beans with  a hunk of salt pork that had been cooking for several hours (we are Southern) and a big bowl of very buttered quartered potatoes.  And a layer cake.


  1. That's a wonderful memory, and if I hadn't *just* eaten lunch, with dessert, I'd be hungry!

  2. My father made Sunday breakfast, and for New Year's Eve he'd make a pot of fish stew. Thanks for bringing back those memories of my father to me!

  3. Oh yum, I’m getting hungry as I read this post :-) What a wonderful memory with your dad and his cooking!

  4. Yum! You have some great memories of meals with your family. My dad's culinary skills lent themselves to fried bologna (which I loved as a child), and sandwiches with canned soup. Oh well, they were made with love. :)

  5. yum!! I never buy chuck roast nowadays but my Mom always made them too. Sooo delicious!!!!! I can smell everything you mentioned in my mind!

  6. This sounds very delicious. I made a chuck roast last week. A friend sent me the recipe one of the ingredients was Coke or Pepsi (~8 oz, beef broth, and onions and carrots. I don't normally buy it but this was very tender and we had enough for 2 meals. Served over rice or egg noodles
    What wonderful memories...I bet you could almost smell this delight as you typed
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. It doesn't have to be fancy to be nice and yummy

  8. Your dad sounds like what the British would call a 'plain cook', someone who could make good, nutritious food that everyone liked. Plain cooks have always been in high demand, and your dad shows why. No need for him to be 'fancy' when he cooked like he did.

    1. He was John, and I am the same. He was the one I learned from.

  9. Dearest Carole,
    What struck me more than anything was the fact that your dear Dad was alone with his kids. You at least described how you and your brothers would be at the table in an instant, further indicated that you had no Mom around.
    As for the cooking, we too got raised on very plain and simple food, whatever was in season and one hog annually got slaughtered (oh, that smell of blood for days... my nose is so sensitive for picking up scents!) with ducks, rabbits and some cheaper meat during the year. Feeding a family of nine was not easy. Still, hindsight I admire my Mom for doing it all, while also harvesting inside the greenhouses or on the fields and doing so while being eight times pregnant.
    It taught us all to be humble and very grateful! It also helped me in selecting the name for my blog: Mariette's Back to Basics...
    Sending you hugs, and feel very proud of your lineage - it handed down lots of strength, warmth and love!

  10. Wow, that sounds delicious, Carole. We would have been right at that table, ready to eat, too!