I want Wednesday’s to be pretty free form…so today’s posting will be exactly that. I have had lovely comments on last week’s recipe so will include one today as well as a very tasty cocktail. I have really gone full out the last two days and will do so again this Friday so I won’t keep you too long today,
Chicago’s fall foliage is taking its time showing its face…I have hunted all around me and not much happening as yet…stay tuned!
Since I am a Fall Baby I do love the season but am not terribly fond of what follows, but no matter…we can hold off on the future no need to dwell on what will come. As I write this our Cubbies are beginning their quest for the World Series title…amazing, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime, what an exceptional time! Go Cubs….
Now let’s talk a little about Fall. The image below is a wonderful fall table setting at a friend’s home (actually in honor of my Birthday last year), I think it is beautiful and it is set in the atrium looking out into the garden and pool.
Custom-made tablecloth by the Master of the House photo taken by me on my iPhone
A closeup of the centerpiece, the last of the hydrangeas and zinnias, love it! Casual but romantic and elegant picking up the color and theme of the cloth. Move over Carolyne Roehm! By the way, I think she is amazing and has the most exquisite taste…I had the honor of working with her on a fantastic fashion show, awesome clothes! Also, I took this photo on my iPhone.
I am a major Anglophile….can’t help myself…guess it goes back to my heritage on my Mother’s side…English. Love it. I have no idea who to credit with this photo but do know I want to live there! You are welcome to visit.
Now for the recipe and it’s background. My Aunt Midge was a lovely cook but nothing fancy. She excelled in classic basic food. No one could beat her fudge (wish I had that recipe, but unfortunately don’t!) What I do have is her Stew for a Crowd which I am sharing below. I don’t have a crock pot, nor did she, so the recipe cooks the old fashion way, in the oven, what a concept, I’m sure you can figure out how to cook in a slow cooker if you prefer that method. It is the best stew I have ever had and I thought a perfect way to celebrate the chill of the season. I serve with as baguette to sop up the juice, a simple salad with a lovely vinaigrette and some yummy dessert. As Ina would say, what could be bad!!!!
Aunt Midge’s Stew for a Crowd
4 pounds beef stew
3 medium onions sliced
1 to 2 stalks celery cut diagonally
4-5 carrots in chunks
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup tapioca
1 cup V-8 Juice
2 cans little potatoes
Place meat in the bottom of a Dutch oven, layer vegetables. Mix salt, sugar, tapioca and juice and spread over meat. Cover TIGHTLY with foil and bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours. 1 hour before serving add cans of little potatoes, recover and cook for last hour. Be sure the foil is tight and do not uncover until time for potatoes. I occasionally add fresh whole small button mushrooms to the vegetable mix. Yum, Yum. Serves 4 with leftovers…reheats and also freezes well.
Let’s have a cocktail or two while waiting those 5 hours, this one is from Marshall Field’s in the Old Orchard Shopping Center when it first opened in the late 1950’s. Delicious. Nothing like a good cocktail!
1 1/2 ounce apricot brandy
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce fresh orange juice
1 level teaspoon powdered sugar
Put in blender with ice, strain into coup, makes one delicious cocktail