The crisp air of fall always makes me excited for comfort foods. After trying to cook on the grill on in the crockpot all summer, I just love the smell of our gas stove making something is delicious as well as sticks to the ribs.
This is the perfect stew recipe. Just the right amount of meat and liquid. Tastes soooo good with artisan bread or just as good with regular saltine crackers. Dress it up with dessert or down in a lunch box - ALWAYS tastes better the second day. Enough to have people over or to freeze for later meals. Appeals to gals and guys. Oh, I just love a stew!
First you want to coat your meat.
While meat is cooking, chop up other ingredients. When meat is done, put on a plate to rest while preparing other ingredients.
Caramelize the garlic, carrots, celery, and onion. Add all other ingredients except cornstarch, water, and peas. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for around 90 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with the water and pour into stew stirring occassionally. Add peas 5 minutes before serving. Vala! One great stew to enjoy!!
According to Virginiacity.com - The very much alive ghost town, Virginia City, Montana, is frozen in time. It is a remarkably well preserved old west Victorian gold mining town just 20 miles west of Yellowstone National Park (90 miles by road). When the gold ran out, there was still enough left so that homes and businesses were occupied, but there was not enough wealth to remodel the buildings. So it froze, and now represents the whole Victorian era. It is the true and original Old West. It is a gem, held within an incredibly rich area of natural beauty, recreation and history.
And when it says history - oh boy! do they mean it. The Vigilantes of Virginia City was quite the story. The sheriff of the Bannack Mining District in May 1863, Henry Plummer, was hung after the Vigilantes decided that Plummer was the leader of a group of road agents called The Innocents. All in all 22 people were lynched between 1863 and 1864.
Some researchers believe the entire ordeal was a cover-up for the vigilantes who were actually committing the many crimes occurring in the area.
It is just the most wonderful place to visit! All of the stores on the main street have incredible collections of period items. Walking along the wooden sidewalk feels like being a part of a western movie set. I want to go back next year and ride the train to Nevada City.
If you ever get the chance, this is a wonderful place to visit. Find more information here.
When my husband proposed to me, he took me to this beautiful cabin near Big Timber, Montana. The property was loaded with choke cherries. We started going every year around Labor Day and picking loads and loads of the choke cherries. That lasted about 7 years and then we no longer had kids at home and really didn't have a need for 25 pints of choke cherry syrup and jelly.
Last summer, my husband and I moved back into a house that we had leased to other people for the previous 5 years. We began a long year of renovations - adding a shed to the back yard, replacing and widening the driveway, adding a door to the back of the garage, and gutting and redoing the kitchen were just a few of the projects we tackled :)
This summer, as I was finishing up some yard work, I became aware that a tree in the back corner of the yard was a choke cherry tree. Whaaaat?!? How did I never notice that before? So I picked all the ones I could reach (eight cups worth) and left the rest for the birds.
This I headed over to pinterest to find a recipe for just the right amount of syrup. I found this one by Hilda and guess what? She even used Montana choke cherries! Hilda's Choke Cherry Syrup Recipe
There were a couple of things that I did differently and I will do my best to explain them.
The first thing that I did differently that Hilda was that after mashing the cherries for 1/2 an hour and not getting as much juice as i wanted, I put the cherries in muslin and twisted it to get the juice out. This was much easier and much faster without as much flesh in the juice.
The other thing was because I was just making a little, I just froze it instead of canning. It was easier for us, but if I was gifting it, I would have canned it.
I just realized the neighbor down the street has a bing cherry tree. Have you seen the beautiful color that juice is? I keep hoping to catch them outside to see if they would let me pick some, but no luck as of yet. I'll keep you posted!
I'm not going to lie. This Covid 19 thing has REALLY thrown me for a loop. I know it has really affected many people. I am just beginning to realize HOW much it has been messing with me.
My husband's company has had him working from home during the pandemic and let me tell you....I knew that was really changing the way we went about things. Really, in the beginning, I just thought he was in my way a lot. Just in the last month, I realized what was really going on.
When my husband used to leave home to go to work, he would wake up at 5, have coffee, shower and head to work, making it there by 7am. I would then wake up, get ready for my day By the time we met up after work, both of us had accomplished a good deal and could enjoy our evening.
Well....Now that my husband works at home, sometimes he gets up as late as 9am. He works from his computer and phone and when he gets a small break, he showers. I'm been completely in my routine waiting for him. UGH!! It could be 11 before I entered the bathing phase - and I am not doing anything until I am bathed. HALF of my day was missing EVERY day and I was becoming a not very nice person.
When school started, I began waking at 7am, bathing, then getting on with my day. I start laundry, run the dishwasher, and do all the necessary things that feel like a mountain to do (for me) after noon. And I feel so MUCH better. I just needed to get my own groove back. The house is cleaner, I am nicer, I started not wearing a messy bun EVERY day lol! I started walking again - I just can't tell you what a difference it has made with my attitude to have things completed in a timely and orderly fashion!
It's a new day! Let's seize it (while remaining safe - social distancing and mask wearing!) There are lots of things to mess with us right now, but we need to take every opportunity we can get to enjoy the things that we can! And I am going to!
I am a recently retired small town librarian living the dream in Montana in my boujee yet redneck kind of way. Married to a mining engineer and mother to two wonderful young men.