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Cooking Corner

April 30, 2011
Bernice Volkens

The Easter season is past and now I feel we have really turned the corner to spring. The trees have been wearing fuzzy, green shawls these past weeks, but these will soon be gone and young green leaves will be there instead. Have you noticed also green always seems a little greener in the spring and also everything seems good and simple and more beautiful this time of the year. However, I need spring not just for its beauty but it's the time of the year when my house comes up for review. I am a pack-rat by nature and each spring I say, "I'm going to throw something away," and every day while I house clean I'll throw something away and I'm sure I'll feel better every day.

I know people who really have an orderly life. When these people clean, I'm sure they don't find what I find in my drawers. Today I found a couple of old theater tickets, a pair of dime-store sun glasses, missing a lens, three Band-Aids that have lost their stickum and a couple of outsize toggle bolts. Now none of that should have been in that particular drawer and it didn't take too much courage to pitch any of that. However, pot holders, some recipe folders, corks and batteries were put back in the drawer. Who knows, I might need those things one of these days. I know I'd have less mess if I didn't do crafts and ceramics, collect coupons and box tops, can't part with old books and always saving something that might have an ounce of use left. I know my husband hates to be in the house when I'm "digging in!" It's too bad there isn't some kind of a half-way house for husbands while their wives are house cleaning. I have noticed mine doesn't pay much attention to what I'm doing. It is something he doesn't want to be involved in, so he kind of ignores it. That is until I get into his possessions.

While putting away my winter clothes, I'll tell you about a couple of hints I've been using the last few years. Because I don't especially like the smell of mothballs I've been putting whole cloves in my winter things, or I have used cedar chips. They help prevent moth damage and have a nice spicy odor. Also now they have moth-proof storage containers and if your storage is bothered with dampness, this is taken care of.

If you are like me when you're busy scrubbing and shining things up we need easy meals.


In a deep skillet-brown:

2 lbs. stewing beef in 2

Tablespoons of oil

Remove the meat and


1 cup sliced onion

1 cup celery, thinly


1 cup green pepper strips

1/2 teaspoon garlic


Now stir in:

3 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 Tablespoons tomato


1 can beef broth

1 cup thinly sliced


Crumbled bay leaf

Bring the whole works to a boil, then simmer it covered for about 2 hours until the meat is tender. Do it hours ahead or the day before. Just before serving time, heat it through keeping the heat low and stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Serve on buttered noodles or rice.

I have prepared this early in the morning and kept it cooking in my crock pot. Stir in the sour cream just before serving.

"Spring fever usually comes to a halt while spring house cleaning."



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