Friday, September 9, 2011

Those special things

I was recently going through a large stack, and when I say large stack I mean a box full, of recipes, magazines, and other miscellaneous papers that held on them some information that at one time I had deemed worthy to keep. There are a few items in there that others have saved for me-pulled out of a magazine and circled, paper clipped and starred, etc, that they thought I might enjoy. I was going through these papers because they have been sitting in said box for several months now and I haven't even tried to make a dent in it in some time. And, my husband has decided once again that I have become too comfortable with our life and has decided to move, yet again. Either that or he is running from the authorities, that is why we move so often.
At least we are moving back to California. I had considered renaming my blog to 'journeys in a desert land' but opted against it. So, as I was going through these stacks of papers, I found several recipes I had forgotten about! I was really excited, because I have some new fuel for my blog, and several of the recipes we quite enjoy but literally completely forgot about them.
But the recipe that really stood out has a bit of memory attached to it. My husband and I were travelling from our home in north/central California to visit his family in Arizona. On the way we stopped and stayed the night with my grandparents, who lived about halfway in between in southern California. This was a time when my grandma was sick, but was feeling a little bit better. She knew of my budding interest in cooking, and when we arrived she had made us a fantastic dinner.
Unfortunately I don't remember everything. I know there was a lot. I think there were potatoes, I know there were some delicious green beans with garlic and butter, and an amazing veal scaloppine. That night at her house was one of the last time I got to sit and talk with her. She gave me some great ideas on making things stretch, like using an old pair of my husband's pants to make pants for my sons, and other things that have been lost in our era of convenience. I remember that night with decided clarity.
I also remember how special I felt because she took the time to prepare a meal for me and my young family.

Grandma's Veal Scaloppine
3-5 lbs rump roast, boneless (use veal steak if available)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons paprika

12 oz sliced mushrooms
3 teaspoons beef bouillon

32 oz tomato sauce
8 oz thinly sliced roasted red peppers
12 oz tagliatelle verdi (spinach pasta)

Trim the fat from the meat. Slice into 1/4- 1/3- inch pieces and pound with a meat tenderizer. Combine flour with salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge meat in the mixture. Heat vegetable oil or bacon grease over medium high heat and brown the meat. Place in a very large baking dish (like a 20" roaster).
Add 3 cups of water to the hot saute pan, mixing it into the fat and meat drippings. Add the bouillon and boil for a minute or so, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the stuck-on flour so it will mix into the liquid. Pour all of this over the meat. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.
Mix remaining flour (used to coat meat) with enough flour to make a pourable batter. Into this batter combine the tomato sauce, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms. Pour over the meat and continue baking uncovered at least 15 minutes, but probably 30 minutes more. Baste the meat occasionally. The meat should become tender enough to cut with a fork.
Cook noodles. Drain and toss in a little butter. Baste the meat with the sauce just before serving.

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