Is anyone old enough or blessed enough to remember going to a grandma’s house after church on Sunday for a roast chicken or roast beef, usually served with glazed carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, her homemade rolls, sliced tomatoes from the garden, and cold cucumbers served in a sweet-sour vinegar? Perhaps a little relish tray with olives or miniature sweet pickles. Maybe followed up with nana puddin’ or peach cobbler. (Or is this just a figment of our collective nostalgic imaginations?)
As tired as I am after church on Sunday, I feel like Super Woman if I can just get some sandwiches on a plate for the two of us before I lapse into a nap. I am amazed that there were women who used to pull this big dinner feat off, and some of them did it weekly!
In Glen Rose, Texas there was a wonderful place called Two Grannies. I wish we had one here in Colorado. When you walked into the old-time dining room, you were greeted by two grandmotherly sisters in flower print dresses who owned the restaurant. Nobody got in or out of the place without a hug. And you didn’t say “no” because one of the grannies was a big as a middle linebacker. Someone was always at the piano playing old show tunes or hymns. And there was one old fellow who would come in now and again, dressed in striped overalls, who would astound the kids by whistling exactly like an old train. The whole place was just like going to grandmas house on Sunday, families greeting each other and chatting from table to table. I believe one of the grannies finally moved on to Glory, but the two of them left a lot of love and sweet memories — living out their golden years giving people hugs and a good home-cooked meal. Can’t get much better than that.
I have discovered, on those rare Sundays when I feel my “Inner Granny” coming on and invite family or company over after church, that a roast chicken and roast beef are the two easiest things to make for a crowd. (Recipe for my garlic roast chicken coming up later this week.) Nothing simpler than plopping an easily seasoned roast or chicken in the oven, then heading off to church and returning to your main dish already cooked and scenting the air as you walk in the door. One of my favorite side dishes to serve with a savory juicy roast chicken is sweet, buttery orange glazed carrots. Just carrots plus three ingredients, but it is so good you may decide to skip the nana puddin’ and eat a bowl of carrots for dessert instead.
Becky’s Orange Glazed Carrots
2 c. diced or mini carrots plus 1 T. water
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. butter (vegans use Earth Balance)
sea salt to taste
Put the carrots and a tablespoon of water in a tightly covered microwave proof dish and nuke for about 12 minutes or until just tender. (You can also steam them if you prefer.)
While the carrots are cooking, put orange juice, brown sugar and butter into a pan on the stove top. Turn burner on high until it reaches a boil, then turn down to a simmer and simmer for about six minutes or until the mixture reduces and starts to get syrupy. Add the cooked carrots to the orange syrup and simmer just a minute or two more until carrots are coated with thick buttery syrup, and taste like heaven.
Sprinkle with a little sea salt and serve.