It's funny that a commenter asked, in another thread, for a cooking post -- because it so happens I have company coming tonight, and was planning a post about that.
My sister and her husband are coming over. The plan is pot roast, plus salad, plus some hot rolls (if I don't forget to throw them in the oven). I don't really have any hors d'oeuvres planned, but I have some cheese, crackers, chips and pretzels, and some celery hearts, so that'll do, don't you think?
For dessert? Strawberry shortcake, all home-made.
So, first I prepared the strawberries. All I did was wash them, cut off the green parts, and halve them. Then I add some sugar and a little red wine, and let them sit.
Next, I dredged the roast -- about six pounds -- in a good amount of flour mixed with garlic and pepper, and brown it in butter and olive oil. Meanwhile, I cut up carrots, celery, onions and potatoes, which went in the bottom of the baking pan. On top goes the browned roast. Over all that goes some vegetable stock (no salt for my brother-in-law) and some dry vermouth.
All that gets covered in foil, and into a 300-degree oven. I started it early because the roast wasn't quite thawed, and I set the oven a bit lower than the 325 degrees called for. Do you think that'll work?
After doing the dishes -- always clean up as you go! -- I set the table:
Everything will just cook away all afternoon, while I take care of other business. The shortcakes are easy to make and don't take long to cook, so I'll do that when my guests are here, so they'll be very fresh.
Sorry for no followup photos, but I thought it would be bad form to make my sister and brother-in-law wait while I snapped pictures of their dinner!
The roast was pretty good, but a little dry to my taste. I probably left it in too long; next time, I'll use the meat thermometer. The gravy was fantastic! I forgot the salad; and you can't really go wrong with strawberry shortcake.
We had a nice visit. My brother-in-law had never tried Tuaca, an Italian digestivo, but he liked it. And my sister and brother-in-law helped with the dishes, which sure was nice of them!
It was a huge roast -- about 6 pounds -- so I have plenty of leftovers. Hmmm...