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Savoring The Taste of Pot Roast and Time With Family Print E-mail
by Sandra Lewis    Sun, Sep 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
While sitting at a family dinner recently I thought that of all the venues where we engage in conversation our exchanges during the sharing of a meal is the most delightful and memorable.

We are loud, sometimes irreverent, and we’re bent to pick on anyone, guests included, when we see the potential for a good-natured laugh. We recount family history, sometimes we talk politics, but mostly it’s just the sharing of our lives through unremarkable stories about ourselves or others that we find amusing or entertaining. And we learn about each other in the process.

I noticed a common theme of conversation during our last two family gatherings that is certain proof we spring from the same gene pool.

We all have a knack for setting something on the roof of our car and then driving off, some more than others.

Hannah admitted to slinging numerous drinks on different occasions from the roof of her car after stopping to pick up a chicken biscuit on her way to school. Every now and then she even left the biscuit on top. While the drinks were never recoverable, the biscuit always was.

My brother, Brandon, confessed to turning a corner which hurled his daytimer from the roof of his car into the middle of Frankford Road a handful of years ago.
 
Amazingly it landed intact and was picked up by a Dallas Police Officer who witnessed the unfortunate incident, and who pursued him and returned it when Brandon stopped to gas up. While he was grateful for the return of the daytimer, at the dinner table Brandon expressed more pleasure that the pursuing officer didn’t issue him a speeding citation.



And then there’s Ariel.

This spring we traded cars so she could use my 4Runner to assist with the move into an apartment off Lover’s Lane and Greenville Ave. in preparation for her second year at SMU.  My car keys went missing and she searched frantically for them before calling me.

Refusing to believe that the keys were permanently missing I made my way to her apartment. When we had jointly searched for 30 minutes or so (it didn’t take long as not much had been moved in yet), I too conceded that they were missing until her boyfriend returned from a round trip to SMU.  We discovered my keys had taken a joyride atop his parent’s Blazer that he had borrowed to help with the move. Amazingly my keys had survived their journey to SMU and back down I-75.  I am very thankful for roof racks.

And, once again, there’s Ariel.

A few weeks ago she ended several hours of violin practice in the basement of Meadows (where she typically practices 4 or 5 hours per day) to head home for the day. Her typical routine is to set everything (books, music, purse, violin) on top of the car so she can unlock and then load which she did except this time she forgot to load her cased violin.

When she turned the corner onto Binkley her violin, a slave to the laws of physics, slid off the roof and onto the pavement.

The horror of the situation settled in fast and she responded as you’d expect any passionate violinist would to retrieve her most precious possession that’s worth more than double the value of her car.

She stopped the car in the middle of the intersection, jumped out, and in one fluid motion locked the car door as this is her custom because she doesn’t have electric locks. Yes, a locked, running car parked in the middle of an intersection.

Eventually the SMU police were called, an officer promptly responded, unlocked the door, and she was on her way. Both she and her violin escaped physically unscathed. Even the violin case, a recent purchase, itself showed little or no damage as a result of the tumble.

She now vows that her violin will always be the first item placed in the car.

And she has done so. I just wish she'd get everything in the car.

A month later she left her cell phone on top of her car after a wedding gig; the cell phone was irretrievable. The next time something goes missing I’m going to ask whether or not it’s been close to the roof of her car.

So those were the best of the stories from the past two meals.

More important than the stories we've told though is the joy and laughter we've shared along with a great meal. We have yet to conceive any brilliant ideas or solve any of the world's problems; we simply enjoy each other. We take time to nourish our hearts as well as our bodies.

And that’s what mealtime should be about.

Savor the taste of your family bonds and friendships around the table soon.

Spicy Herbed Beef
4 lbs. round roast
1/4 cup vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. garlic, minced
1 T. dried oregano
1 small onion, diced
.7 oz package Italian dressing mix
2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Using a sharp knife, make cuts1/2-inch deep over the entire roast. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, onion, dressing mix, basil, salt and pepper.

Oven Roasting:
Place the roast on a roasting rack. Spoon the sauce over the roast. Cover and roast at 325 degrees for 48-60 minutes, or until tender and cooked to your preference.

Crockpot:
Place the roast in the crockpot. Spoon the sauce over the roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until cooked to your preference.

Sandra’s Cooking Notes:
  • This recipe is a family favorite and it’s very simple.
  • I adapted the recipe from “The Complete Rival Roaster Oven Cookbook”. I don’t own the roaster, but bought the cookbook because it has some very simple, delicious sounding recipes. The original recipe calls for cooking this roast in the oven. I prefer the crockpot.
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