Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making a Pot Roast Meal Jarvis House Style

What could be better on a very cold day in January than a home cooked meal with Pot Roast.
 I followed my mother's recipe and chose a lovely Bottom Round cut of meat.
 This cut of meat is wedge shaped, and perfect for potting because of its flat sides.
 I started by pouring  few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large stainless steel pot that has its own cover.
I "browned" all sides of the meat on a high flame to seal  in the juices.
 An old large cooking fork makes this easy.
 Next I chopped a large onion.
 Each side of the meat was turned and sealed.

 I took the meat out of the pot and placed it on a dish while I added the onions
 to the pot.  They were sauteed and turned golden brown.
 The meat was then returned to the pot,
 and I added around four (4) cups of water, covering the meat a bit more than half way.
 Salt, ground pepper, and dry mustard were added to taste.

 The pot was covered with a small crack left open, and simmered for several hours on a very low flame.
 Later I peeled eight medium Yukon Gold potatoes,
 and boiled them until they were cooked but not too soft.
 Three large carrots were peeled and sliced.
 I steamed some cut green beans.
 About one half hour before I stopped cooking the meat, I added the carrots.
 Later I removed the meat and carrots from the pot and poured the liquid into a measuring cup to make the gravy.
 Corn starch was whisked into the liquid as a thickener.
 I put this into a smaller pot and continued to whisk it over a low flame.
 The potatoes were strained,  mashed with a depression era potato masher,
 milk and
 several tablespoons of butter added,
 and finally salt and ground pepper to finish.
 The bottom round cut very easily

 Table was set with the sliced meat, a divided oval white bowl for the potatoes and vegetables, and a white gravy  boat too.


 This looks a little messy, but boy did it taste really tender and good on a cold January day!  Try it soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Walk on the High Line NYC

What would there be to see at the High Line in January.  A lot!
Junipers with their berries.
An adjacent wall that had been used as a canvas.
An window on a building on the other side with a bit of humorous art.
 Signs of the tracks with grasses whirling around.
Another wall as a canvas.
 Seed pods and sculptures.
 Very large trees that were planted below,
 and ferns and mosses seemingly indifferent to the winter's cold.
 Small additions to beautify a building's window, with what looked like plastic grass, (pigeon repellent?)   A huge mural in dazzling color of a WWII photo,
Driftwood sticks humanizing a chain link fence.
 Giant areas of the Meat Packing District undergoing gentrification.
 A well kept lawn?
 Wonderful Mondrian like structures of Hudson River colors,
 more whimsical art both large,
 and very small
 a truly strange installation called "Broken Bridge," with a tarp keeping off the falling shards from parked cars beneath?
 Lovely plantings that can survive Winter.
A Mahonia.
 Lovely blooms,
 winter berries,
 a struggling rose bud,
 a purple ground cover.
 It was hard to decide where to look.  At the buildings,

 at the Bride and Groom.

at the seed pods leftover from Summer and Fall.

There were flowering plants hoping for continued mild weather.
At one end of the High Line,  which stretches from 14th to 34th streets on the west side of NYC between 10th and 11th Avenues, there were announcements of the new Whitney Museum  building, which is  moving to  one end of the line.  It will open in 2015.  Which only goes to show how an impossible dream, the re-purposing of a defunct rail track, can have a great effect on an old neighborhood in NYC.    A great destination and a fun day.