Pot Roast: The New Guilt Trip


I took some time today to look around my house. It was a mess. They say to break down large tasks into smaller pieces in order to gain a sense of accomplishment and for motivational purposes. I suppose that’s the reasoning. Anyway, I concentrated on putting the kitchen back together (I don’t know what goes on here all weekend while I’m working, and I don’t really want to know, but I can tell you that whatever it is, it includes using most of the dishes and the cutlery that we have on hand). I also cleaned out the fridge and made dinner. The last time I cleaned out the fridge I posted about it. I checked the date. It was back on August 13th. My mother-in-law used to clean her fridge every week. But she didn’t have a job. And she was a clean freak. I have the former and am in no way in danger of becoming the latter. So, six weeks seems about right for me.

I found the usual array of science experiments in varying degrees of completion. I’m not sure how long it actually takes for the ziti marinara to grow mold, but there were several advanced examples of this. Also, just because something now resembles marinara sauce, don’t go assuming it was ever marinara sauce. It may have previously enjoyed life as watermelon.

Did you know that caramel syrup will, ultimately, return to it’s original state? Yup. It actually becomes hard and crystallized. Just like when it was sugar. The water evaporates from it, though. Luckily I always bring a butter knife to my refrigerator cleaning parties. Although one of those spackling tools would have made the scraping go a little faster. Which reminds me. Where did I put that elbow brace?

After accomplishing the Herculean task of cleaning out the fridge and hauling out the garbage from that ridiculous production, I noticed that the floor needed sweeping and mopping. Of course I had not adequately cleaned the mop after it had enjoyed it’s last outing. Also, I needed to clear away the canned goods that had spent their night, still in the grocery bags, on the kitchen floor. While the mop was having a good antiseptic soak, I gathered the groceries and swept the floor. I noticed two things. First, I don’t understand why this is, but I can never purchase just one can of something. Ever. I made a mental note to try and avoid this costly behavior in the future, not for the first time. Second, that it is mystifying how much fur one cat can shed and still have any remaining on his little cat body. I wished, and again not for the first time, that cat hair could be repurposed. For toupees, for example. I could make a fortune.

I do love the piney scent of a freshly mopped floor. And, I have to admit I was feeling a mild sense of accomplishment. That said, I moved on to making dinner. I promised my daughter I would make roast and potatoes. She has a game at 6:00, so she will be home after school today. She informed me yesterday that it would be nice if I could have dinner ready for her consumption by 3:30. I suppose it would be nice.

My daughter loves my roast beef and, in fact, begs me to make it around this time of year. It is not, however, on my husband’s list of favorites. This requires me to make him something different, unless it is a special occasion, like her birthday or something. Then he’ll eat it. Pain in the ass. But, that’s the reason I don’t make it very often. Because it kills me to make two meals. But, I promised. And there was still left over pizza in the fridge (I have no recollection of recently ordering pizza, but it looked alright to me.)

Because I was still on my Pine-Sol high and because it scores me “Mom points”, I made the roast beef. As I was doing so, it occurred to me that I may overestimate the amount of work that is involved in making it. You know, to make them feel bad. Her for asking for it. Him for not eating it. Oh, well.

Normally, I’m not much for blogging about recipes, but I’m going to make an exception today. So, here it is. You’ll need a cup of water, a cup of red wine vinegar (I used apple cider today, it’s what I had. Don’t tell my mother!), and a package of onion soup mix. Mix them together. Then, throw the raw roast into the pan. Pour the vinegar/water/soup mixture over top of the meat. Put it in a 350 degree oven. It’ll be medium-rare in about two hours. About an hour into cooking it, throw some canned potatoes and some cut up pieces of butter (or olive oil if you’re that health-conscious) onto a baking sheet, cover it with aluminum foil, and throw it on the top rack of the oven. If you want to go nuts you can sprinkle some diced onion, paprika, salt, pepper, and parsley over the top of the potatoes. Either way, the “roasted” potatoes will be finished about the same time as the roast beef. Nuke up some green beans or, if you insist on being that kind of a show-off, steam some broccoli. You can even throw some flour in your face if you really feel the need to make the “I slaved all day in the kitchen” kind of statement. I’ll never tell.

Anyway, this whole procedure takes about ten minutes (unless you’ve gone and done something foolish like steaming vegetables). You can make anyone who doesn’t know any better think otherwise, though. Oh, I almost forgot. The onion soup mix comes in a box with two packages. I take the second package, add it to some sour cream, and dip some potato chips into it. That always makes me feel better. After a long day of cleaning and cooking, who doesn’t need a treat?

11 thoughts on “Pot Roast: The New Guilt Trip

  1. javaj240 says:

    You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. valleygirl96 says:

    Love this blog! I can relate to oh so many parts of it…can’t remember when I last cleaned out my fridge because I didn’t post about it! And whatever party goes on at your place on the weekends must move over to my house during the week! Thanks for the fun read!

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  3. javaj240 says:

    I wish I had one like that. They like to comment on my housekeeping skills, but ir’s all just talk. They can’t be that bothered or they would do something about it. LOL!

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  4. the baby cleans the pantry and cupboards every time she comes home. If she didn’t, that job would never get done. pfft. She owes me. I gave her life.

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  5. peachyteachy says:

    Yum. I’m with you on the fridge cleanout. Where’s the fun if you have not produced some antibiotic in the process? What kind of roast do you do? Cuz I don’t think the kind I cook low and slow would yield anything good in the medium-rare department.

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    • javaj240 says:

      I usually do the bottom round. I’ve done it in the slow cooker, but I add a can of cream of mushroom soup and more water, though. Because otherwise it’s too vinegary. I also use real raw potatoes and add them at about the 5-hour mark. The slow cooker never yields med-rare, you’re right. I guess it would if you cooked it for less time, I think it might be tough though.

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  6. javaj240 says:

    A friend of mine often jokes to other people, particularly when they are annoyingly recounting some gourmet version of what amounts to nothing more than chicken with rice, ” she”, meaning me, ” makes something that sounds pretty similar. I’ve seen her put it together in ten minutes. And it’s sensational!” That’s why she is my friend and that’s why I love her!

    I hardly ever make anything that takes more than 20 minutes prep time. No one here is in any danger of starving.

    My husband is just annoying, that’s all. He’ll generally eat whatever I put in front of him, mainly because his other alternative is something he can make himself, which leaves him with very few options outside of cereal.

    I don’t know what your recipe is. But I can’t imagine it being easier than this. LOL!

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  7. It is disturbing to me that your husband won’t eat this!!! It sounds great! My husband would not complain if I made beef roast everyday. I made one this weekend. I’m going to try your way next time!

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  8. javaj240 says:

    It is honestly the easiest thing in the world to make. And it’s delicious.

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  9. I love pot roast. And I LOVE easy ways of cooking things. I’ll try this on day six. I’m still doing the five-day vegetarian thing. But I do NEED meat sometimes.

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