Archive for October, 2012

Burt Reynolds’ Beef Stew

Image from Gunsmoke. 1962

3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds boneless beef round, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) can beef broth

1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
Pinch of thyme
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
3 potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
6 to 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced

Cook bacon until crisp in a Dutch oven; reserve bacon fat, and drain bacon on paper toweling.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag; shake beef in flour mixture to coat completely. Brown beef in bacon fat, turning often. (Add a little more vegetable oil if needed.) Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, broth, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover; lower heat, simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms. Uncover and cook until meat and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with reserved bacon. Recipe from

Serves 4 

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State. Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

   Thought I would answer some of questions this month:

          Please keep the questions coming.  

Yes, we do buy a lot of things in bulk and I do use coupons.  With three men and David Junior plus Susan and I, we go through a lot of groceries.  We grow as much as we can, but we still have to buy items from the grocery store.  Also, I try to buy at stores that have lower prices like Wal-Mart, Tops and more.  Monday morning, I go through the Sunday paper for any coupons on food products or home products that we need.  If buying the bulk price is less, but we won’t use it all in a reasonable time, we share with my parents or David’s parents and they do the same with us. 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens –Bright copper kettles -and warm woolen mittens- Brown paper packages tied up with strings- These are a few of my favorite things.

I don’t know of any Old Order Mennonite that grow tobacco.  I’m not saying that there aren’t any, but not in our area.  Many of the Old Order Mennonite grew it, at one time, but since cigarettes, cigars, etc. have been found to be a health hazard, they don’t grow it anymore in our area.  Do any smoke tobacco?  Both religious wise and health wise tobacco is an evil and we should not use it.  My Grandfather though started smoking a pipe before it was found bad.  He use to smoke one all the time.  

Now, we can tell when he is upset because he lights up his pipe.  Most people do not smoke.  Maybe some smoke like my  grandfather, in the barn where most people can’t see him smoking.  He forgets though that my Grandmother can smell it on him when he comes into the house. It is consider an evil regarding our religion as it is a waste of money like liquor.  There are many places the money could be better used than in tobacco and liquor.  Also, both can lead you to do things that you wouldn’t other wise. 

Regarding the book “Fifty Shades of Gray” neither I or Marilyn have read that book so we can’t tell you about that book.  I take care in reading books especially novels.  I don’t want anything in my house that I would be embarrassed for someone to come into my home to read or see.  No violence, nothing that should be kept in the bedroom.  My feeling is if I wouldn’t allow Susan to read it – I won’t read it.  Many times I have started reading a book and stopped because I did not think it was presentable.  

I know that some Amish are stricter  than we are.  Some of them will not read books like Beverly Lewis and other authors because it is not a true story, it is not really a religious book in their eyes.  Again, I don’t know what others have in their home.  I can only tell about ours.  Michael and Edward get a little upset with David and I because there are certain books in the world that we do not allow them to read or bring into our home. World wide there is no problem, but in our home they are.
 Be With God,


           Make your own Homemade liquid Soap
                                                      From reader Renee
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1 Tbs shredded bar of soap that has low suds (trust me learned this one the hard way) like castile, ivory, or homemade soap!
1 Tbs washing soda
1 Tbs vinegar
1/8 tsp of tea tree oil
a few drops of other essential oil (optional)

In a bowl add the shredded bar of soap, washing soda, and vinegar. Then pour boiling water over mixture and stir/whisk until everything is well blended and has dissolved. Let mixture cool on the counter stirring occasionally for at least 8 hours. After it cools add tea tree oil (since its an anti-bacterial, anti-fugal, and anti-microbial) and any other essential oils you would like. Transfer into an old dish soap container or a cute oil dispenser container.
Also you know those little pouches for dish washers, I have took one and put in an empty dish soap bottle, put in Hot water,let dissolve, and shake before each use  Works GREAT!,and you get a lot of refills out of one bag of those.

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