One Hour More

Archived | October 31, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It’s been a week of high winds and cold air and leaves blowing about. I think we’ve eaten three or four bags of Halloween candy and I’m on my way out to stock up for the evening’s parade of sweet children all dressed up and their parents, too. I got my caramel apples ready to go for the fathers and mothers, and chocolate bars for the kids and some homemade pizza for me after all is said and done.

Such a rush this time of year. The wind shows up and the time changes and things shift gears from summer to winter. Everything is put away that needs putting away, and the winter coats are hanging in the closet with boots on the floor below, and the Christmas lights are waiting by the front door for Mr. S and me to string ‘em up out along the fence. The woodpile is piled high, and there’s a brush pile nearby for burning tonight if things allow, and if the kids decide to stick around, which I think they may as it is going to be a cold one. I’m thinking we’ll have to turn on the furnace at last.

The great thing about this weekend is Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, and that one beautiful hour so wonderfully THERE for the taking. One hour more. Glory. I’ve been waking up between 5 and 6 each morning with no alarm, so I’m not thinking I’ll sleep in. I’ve been working, every spare hour, on my second cookbook, due in two weeks, and not doing much else. I love the work, don’t get me wrong, but I spent 14 hours on it yesterday and dreamed about potato salad and when you’re dreaming about potato salad and bacon and butter and pork, it’s time for a bit of a break. So that’s what it’ll be. A break. One hour on Sunday I will give to whimsy and delight. I’ll take a walk, perhaps, or bake some pumpkin bread or sugar cookies, or I’ll write a few cards of gratitude. Perhaps I’ll call my father, who got a trophy buck yesterday, or my mother, who will be getting busier and busier this time of year.

Or perhaps I’ll take a bag of chocolate, the one I have hidden away, just for me, and sit out on the porch swing and listen to the world. It’s a good thing to do now and then, just listen to the world. It has its wisdom, and its frenzy. All those birds heading south. All those people out gathering the last of the leaves. The dogs barking. The children laughing. Cars and trucks and the sound of leaves on the pavement. And behind it all, that gentle “whoosh” of the planet turning, that one free hour so quietly flying by.

This recipe works any time of year, but tastes best as the leaves are falling. Why, I don’t know, but it’s true, and you don’t need much with it except some blueberry muffins, or maybe some squash, and a slice of apple pie after the dishes are done.

Beef Stroganoff

2 lb beef tenderloin or sirloin
4 T flour
1 16 oz carton sour cream
4 T instant beef bouillon granules
1 cup water
½ tsp pepper
4 T butter
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms (baby bellas are my favorite)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 T cooking sherry, or to taste
4 cups hot cooked noodles

Slice beef across the grain in thin, bite-size strips. (Works best if meat is partially frozen.) Combine the flour and sour cream. Dissolve bouillon granules in water, and add pepper, and stir into sour cream mixture. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook and stir half the meat in the butter over high heat until meat is done. Remove the meat and set aside. Add remaining meat, mushrooms, onion and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, til the meat is done and the onion is tender. Add the meat you’ve already cooked, and pour the sour cream mixture over. Add cooking sherry. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly, and then a minute or two more.

Serve over hot cooked noodles. Serves 8.