Monday, September 17, 2012


 I live in Arizona.  We celebrate Fall THE minute it drops below 100 degrees!  It is would think a nice stew would be appropriate...right!?!  Well, in my heart it seemed like the right thing to do!  Not only that, but...I love a one dish meal.  This is another one of those "stick it in and walk away meals" I love so much.  It will warm your heart and belly!
 "Granny" or Emmie as we lovingly called her was my Grandpa Jay's mother.  My Great-Grandmother was a lovely woman with quite the sense of humor.  She had a very quick whit, lived threw some pretty tough times, and made the best out of everything!  I look up to her and remember her fondly!  Thank you, Granny for your stew.  This recipe is great for a "normal" sized family...when we all gather for Sunday dinner...I have to make at least 3 batches!!!

2 lbs. stew meat, cubed
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I cut small red potatoes so I don't have to peel them! I have to use several more because they are small...but peeling!)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (I use a bag of baby carrots so I don't have to peel and slice them!)
1 onion, chopped (I have even bought the onions that come freshly chopped...less work!)
1 cup celery, sliced or diced
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 can beef broth or water
1 T. sugar
2T. Tapioca
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
Mix all ingredients in large roasting pan or covered casserole dish. 

Bake covered for 5 hours at 225 degrees.  DO NOT PEEK!!! After stew is done, add a small bag of frozen corn.

I like to serve this with a dollop of sour cream.  It mixes well with the stew and makes it soooo creamy!  LOVE!!! 

AND...for dessert Hot Fudge Sundae's...tiny ones, that is!  What meal is not topped off perfectly by such a delightful little bite of fudgy goodness!?!

Hot Fudge Sundae’s are the best…and for some reason…even better when they are tiny!  (My teenage boys would beg to differ!  For them, the bigger the better!)   I have a weak spot for the cherry on top…but…the fudge sauce is to die for!!!  It elevates even the plainest of ice creams!  If you asked many members of my family…ice cream is not even a necessity when serving this fudge sauce!  It is fabulous to the taste, easy to make, and best of all... comes from ingredients most kitchens always have on hand.  NICE!!! 

Grandma June is my Mothers Mother.  My Mom has fond memories of her Mother making this for their family when she was young.  My memories are much the same in that I can remember being very small and watching my mother stand at the stove stirring hot fudge sauce.  I wish I have added up all the hours  I have seen her standing at the stove.  Her service to our family has been immense!  I have learned much from her.  There are many things I have learned from my Mother that make my life beautiful.  I know she gleaned much from her Mother as well.  Thank You, Grandma Junie June…We still are enjoying your fudge sauce today!

Grandma Junie June’s Fudge Sauce
2 cups sugar
¼ cup (or more to taste) cocoa
Dash salt
½ stick butter
1 can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Warm sugar and cocoa slightly in sauce pan. 

 Add butter salt and stir for a minute; then add the milk.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil, boiling for 3 minutes. 
  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Can be served warm or cold.  

I have a glorious little brother who LOVED this fudge sauce.  Any leftovers were always put in the fridge .  After sitting overnight the sauce tightens up quite a bit and is a thick fudgy consistency.  Without fail…Sam would  sneak into the fridge and dragged his long finger right through the fudge sauce leaving behind a big finger sized hole.  Sammy died almost 6 years ago at age 28…I can’t help wanting to open the fridge and know his finger had been through that sauce!  
 LOVE YOU SAM…LOVE FUDGE SAUCE!!! I will never be able to eat this yummy treat without thinking of those I love the most!  :]

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