Family Traditions

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My mom’s father came from Spain and her mother from Puerto Rico. My dad’s parents both came from Germany. Growing up, we enjoyed a culturally diverse assortment of dishes at our dinner table. It was a family tradition to make hearty meals, that slow cooked all day, for our Sunday night dinner. With a busy family of five, it was the one time all week we were guaranteed to be together.

Joe’s family followed a similar custom. All four of his grandparents came from Germany. His weekends included family gatherings held in quaint homes filled with the delicious aroma of home-made recipes simmering on the stove.

We’ve kept the Sunday Family Dinner custom alive at our house. Sometimes we approach the food preparation like an art project and get the whole family involved measuring, dicing and sautéing ingredients. The kids sometimes complained, because that kind of responsibility was close to work, but secretly they loved it.

After cooking we sit down at the dining room table. We wait for each family member to be seated before starting and then talk about what’s new and exciting in our lives while eating.

Including these traditions, passed down by generations in our busy lives reminds us where we came from, that we have much to be thankful for and it keeps the family ties close.

Beyond the master bedroom, I believe the most exciting action takes place in the kitchen.

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My Mom’s Spanish Pot Roast

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You need:

3lb Rump Roast
1 15 oz. Can of tomato sauce
1 32 oz. Carton of beef broth
1 Medium green pepper, chopped
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Chorizo chopped
1 Cup Spanish green olives, drained
2 Cups diced cooked ham
6 Medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp. Olive oil

Serves 6

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In a larger pot, sauté the green pepper and onion in 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat until tender. Remove from the pot.

Stuff the roast with half the olives and half the ham. Run a long, narrow knife blade through the center of the roast lengthwise making a 1 ½ inch channel. Stuff the roast with olives and ham from both ends. Brown the roast on all sides, turning frequently, in 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. When browned, add the tomato sauce, beef broth, green pepper, onion, chorizo, and the remaining olives and ham.

Simmer 4-5 hours on low to medium heat, turning regularly until the fork goes through easily. Remove the roast to a bowl and cover with foil. Bring the gravy to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until tender.

Tip: Peel and quarter the potatoes just before boiling or they’ll turn grey.

Enjoy! Lisa

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