Two Crock Pot Recipes from the Personal Files of Clydean Winterbottom
My friend Clydean Winterbottom is a total techno-illiterate. She still records recipes on 3X5 cards that she keeps in a box on the top of the fridge. She swears if she did own a computer, she's much too shy to become a Hubber, and is therefore allowing me to share some of her favorite recipes here.
But Clydean shy?
I can assure you she's not the least bit shy about getting up in front of several dozen ladies and conducting the monthly Belleville Belles women's club meeting in her little Midwest town, or, when her children were in school, yielding the gavel - rather forcefully at times - at PTA meetings!
Nor is she at all shy about making sure she gets put in charge of the church Cookbook & Rummage Sale each year.
All of which is free advertising for the only cafe in town, Clydean's Bread & Breakfast, located in the middle of the block on the west side of the town square. Locals come for breakfast or lunch, then pick up a loaf of fresh-baked bread on the way out. Or a fresh-baked pie for dinner.
Clydean's closes at 2 p.m. Mon thru Thurs (no orders after 1:30), but stays open until 9 for the Friday Night Fish Buffet and Saturday Night Steak Special. On Sundays, it's open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00, but the only entree is fried chicken served with mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade biscuits, coleslaw, Cream Cheese Corn, and pie or ice cream for dessert. No substitutions. It's Sunday, after all.
Since childhood, Clydean's beloved husband Lyle had had his heart set on becoming a dog groomer. Even paid to have a fancy sign made from the money he saved up delivering the Belleville Democrat.
But there's not much demand for poodle clipping in a town populated by fishermen and duck hunters. So he took up barbering instead. No appointment necessary at Lyle's Clip Joint, next door to the cafe.
But I digress....
Cream Cheese Corn (family-size version):
2 lb. bag frozen corn
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
8 oz. block cream cheese
Spread corn evenly in crockpot or slow cooker, place stick of butter (or margarine) and block of cream cheese on top of corn. Cover tightly. Heat on LOW setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Resist the urge to uncover and stir before end of cooking time! (In a pinch, can be made in less time by heating on HIGH setting for 1 hour, but won't be quite as good or as creamy.)
Crockpot Roast Beef is one of Clydean's favorites for days she can't be home of an afternoon. Like when she's at a club meeting or making the rounds of yard sales where everything will be half-off by the time she gets there.
It's also perfect for hubbers who'd rather be hubbing than cooking.
The secret ingredient is brewed coffee (not instant), which acts exactly like store-bought meat tenderizer. Since it's only her and Lyle now, this is for a 3-4 lb. boneless roast. Adjust accordingly for a larger piece of meat.
3-4 lb. boneless beef roast (any cut)
2 cups (about half a pot) fresh-brewed coffee
Mrs. Dash's (original) or Montreal Steak Seasoning (your choice)
I large onion, sliced
Place meat in crockpot or slow cooker. Pour coffee over meat, then sprinkle generously with seasoning (don't be shy - more is better). Arrange onion slices on top of the meat. Don't worry if a few slip off - they'll flavor the broth you'll save for later. Cover snugly - it's important that the liquid doesn't cook down. Set temp to HIGH, let cook for at least 3 1/2 hours (but no more than 4). When done, turn off and let rest for 10 minutes, then pour off the juice and save for Clydean's Get-It-Before-It's-Gone Chili below. (The juice can also be reheated the next day for dipping sandwiches made from the leftovers.)
Clydean's Get-It-Before-It's-Gone Chili:
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef, browned and drained
2/3 to 1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
3-4 cups juice from Crockpot Roast Beef, cooled & fat removed 5 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce 2 (15 1/2 oz) cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained 4 Tbsp chili powder 1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp any chocolate-flavor Gen'l Foods International Coffee (red and white tin) (OR substitute 1 plain Hershey bar)
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT coffee powder (or Hershey bar) in a large pot. Simmer until thickened. Stir occasionally. Remove from burner. Add coffee powder or Hershey bar and stir thoroughly to distribute evenly. Salt to taste. Serve. Enjoy!