In 1981 my husband announced he was being transferred to Houston, Texas to work in the oil industry. So off we go, moving from my home state of Tennessee with four children in tow from 3-13 years old.
At that time, interest rates were at their peak at around 18%. Compare that to our current rates, and you can imagine how much more our monthly payments were in those days compared to today for the same priced homes.
Knowing immediately that our current income was going to be stretched at best, I realized it would be best to bring in extra income.
Having a great respect for the real estate agent we used in purchasing our home here, I decided to give the real estate industry a try, getting my license immediately and launching a career.
The first six months I made $900 but spent thousands getting my name out. It was not easy getting my name out because I was new to the area and new to the career. So I decided to call upon the job I’d had and loved for the prior 14 years – being a mother. Throughout those years I cleaned, I took care of the children and, of course, I cooked. And it was my love of cooking that gave me a great idea. Why not use my large array of recipes to introduce myself to the area?
So, voila – I decided to consolidate my favorite tried and tested recipes, and a few new ones as well, into a cookbook that I could share with others while also promoting myself as a Realtor. And so, my first cookbook was born – “Cooking with Interest and Appreciation.” I prepared the recipes, printed the books, and had the children assist me in delivering them throughout our neighborhood.
What followed was my first sale. Someone in the neighborhood had enjoyed the book and had contacted me to assist in the sale and purchase of their homes. More leads followed and, before I knew it, I had built a name for myself in the local area. I had to give some of the credit to the cookbook, and so decided to make it a tradition by following up yearly with thirteen additional cookbooks, featuring recipes from my growing list of past clients.
In more recent years, I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to create more cookbooks. But I was speaking to a friend recently and telling this story and they suggested that I share some of my more popular recipes in a series of blogs.
And so behold – the first of several recipes that I want to share with you. This is an old family favorite – Sauerbraten.
1 ½ pounds round or sirloin steak
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 envelopes brown gravy mix
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Hot buttered egg noodles
Cut meat in 1 inch squares and brown in 1 tablespoon of hot oil. Remove meat with a slotted spoon. Add 3 cups of water to the pan, bring to boil and stir in the 2 envelopes of gravy mix. Stir in all remaining ingredients with the exception of the noodles. Mix well until you have a nice brown sauce, then add meat. Transfer to a 1 ½ quart casserole and cover. Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 ½ hours. Remove bay leaf and serve over hot noodles.