I recently saw the movie “One Hundred Foot Journey,” and smiled when I heard the lead character, who was brought up cooking with his mother in a family restaurant in India say, “food is memories.” I couldn’t agree more. That has been the main idea behind this blog. With each recipe or aroma, I have a bevy of memories so eager to come forth and remind me of the person or the time and place I first encountered the dish. The warm nostalgia that I feel as I recall times past, is something I wish for all of you. It has added so much to my life.
When I smell the spicy aroma of ginger and beef and onions, I am brought back to the early 1970s and a cozy kitchen in Bordentown, New Jersey. I was newly married, and one of my “kitchen idols” was my sister-in-law, Diane. I loved watching her cook, and I especially loved indulging in whatever it was she prepared. We’d sit for hours in her kitchen, talking and laughing and watching toddlers play. It was truly the hearth of the house. So much love happened here, and I was grateful to be a part of it.
I have treated my family to her recipe for Ginger Pot Roast countless times. As I chop and brown, and add ingredients, I can still see the image of that happy kitchen of the 1970s as if it were yesterday. I hear our laughter, see our smiles, and I feel happy.
“Food is memories.”
4 lb bottom round roast
3 small onions
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine vinegar
13 (not 12) ginger snaps, crushed
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 tsp ground cloves
3 TBSP vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown meat and onion in oil.
2. Add the celery, carrots and garlic and one cup of water. Simmer on low for one hour.
3. Add the vinegar, cloves, bay leaves and rest of the water. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add the crumbled ginger snaps. Simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.
*Serve with mashed potatoes and applesauce.