Yesterday was my birthday and last night the WVU Mountaineers (my Alma mater) delivered a great present... the 2012 Orange Bowl Championship!! I enjoyed watching that game with my sweetie so much! There was lots of cheering and clapping on my part.
Dana, who knows a lot more about football than I do, was happy about the way our team played, but much calmer (he tolerates my crazy excitability). I just had a good feeling all day yesterday about that game; A few years back, WVU beat OU and that was on my birthday, as well. (That was a win/win-kinda game, though, because we like both teams!) I hope all of the Mountaineers' future bowl games land on January 4th! (It really takes the sting out of being a year older for me when they win! :)
Except for e-mailing "Woo-Hoo, Mountaineers won!"-type stuff and calling family to "share the joy", it's back to real life today and sharing a stew recipe with you that I got from my Aunt Lena.
My Aunt Lena was my Mammam's twin sister and I have so many fond memories of her. I remember her as a smaller, quieter, gentler version of my grandmother; after all, she was the youngest, by a few minutes. (As a child, this was my observation of the differences in their personalities.) I loved my Mammam, and have been told that I sometimes remind people of her, but she had a bolder personality than her sister; the trait of an older sister, I guess. Aunt Lena was married twice, and loved children, but couldn't have any of her own. Consequently, she was close with Aunt Sis and my dad, her beloved niece and nephew. As Dad's offspring, and Mammam's grandchildren, we were blessed to have her as our great aunt.
When my brother and I were little, my Aunt Lena had a Pekingese named, "Peggy" who we adored. In fact, my brother, Greg, got stitches in his forehead from our race across the floor chasing Peggy under the bed. The little dog loved the game of tag, but Greg's head hit the steel frame at the bottom of our bunk beds and the fun came to a halt!
As children, we were sometimes invited to come spend the night at my aunt's house. What a treat! Her house always had candy waiting for us in the little gold candy dish that sat on her coffee table. It was a cheerful little house full of pastels, delicate furniture, and pale, flowered wallpaper. She had a collection of little fancy porcelain women's' heads, wearing fashionable hats and earrings, sitting in her china cabinet, a shelf which just fascinated me. I inherited her china cabinet.
She was a great cook, and fortunately, I have a few of her recipes. Here is my aunt's recipe for stew.
Aunt Lena's 5-Hour Stew
-2 to 3 lbs. cubed beef
-onions, potatoes, carrots, or any vegetable, chopped or cubed
-Add peas, beans, etc., about 1/2 C each
-Put all in a baking dish. Dribble 2 TBSP bacon grease over all, also 1 can tomato soup and 1/4 C cooking wine (or water), salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Cover well and cook 5-8 hours on 275 degrees.
-Miz Helen's Country Cottage
-This Chic Cooks
-Life as Mom