Every year readers look forward to my annual Valentine's Day charity luncheon for The Caring Place at Teibel's restaurant and the announcement of the year's theme.
My 5th Annual Valentine's Day Luncheon for The Caring Place is from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 and this year's theme is "Hats and Hearts" featuring displays and a salute program to the legendary gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
Included will be rare displays of her personally owned clothes, jewelry, and, of course, her hats.
Because seating is limited and some advance invites have already been mailed, please RSVP right away, as this is always a popular event that sells out quickly.
It's all reserved seating at each of the tables, which will seat eight. Doors open at noon with lunch served at 1 p.m. On the day of the luncheon, guests will be asked to pick from a choice of three main course entrees: Teibel's Fried Chicken or Beef Sirloin Tips or Teibel's Famous Boned and Buttered Lake Perch. Each will come with a dinner roll and cole slaw first course, and the entrees will be served with baby red potatoes, and a vegetable blend of young yellow summer squash, red peppers, onions and green zucchini. Each lunch also comes with choice of beverage, including coffee, hot tea, iced tea or milk. Dessert will be fresh vanilla ice cream served with a recipe featured in my second cookbook: Mock Hostess Ho-Ho Cake.
Luncheon tickets are still $30 per person, which includes tax and tip and a portion of each ticket sold will benefit one of my favorite nonprofit groups, The Caring Place, the Valparaiso shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Reservations are required by calling (219) 933-4173 and leaving name, contact telephone number and the number in your party attending. And yes, lots of chances to once again win wonderful prizes.
For today's featured recipe, I've decided to share my mom Peggy's Hearty Beef Stew Recipe, a favorite for January's cold temperature weather.
And since Hedda, who died at age 80 on Feb. 1, 1966, was born one of seven children to a butcher and worked in her father's butcher shop in Pennsylvania, I think she would have loved this recipe. See you at the party!
Peggy's Hearty Beef Stew
2 pounds cubed stew meat
1 cup flour
Dash of salt
Dash of black pepper
Minced garlic or garlic powder to taste
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 beef bouillon cubes.
5 large carrots, cut into pieces
2 ribs of celery, chopped (about a cup)
5 medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium small white potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 (15 ounce) can of peas, undrained
2 teaspoons gravy browning liquid
1 tablespoon of cornstarch (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Combine flour and seasonings in a bowl and dredge each piece of meat. In a large 4-quart covered Dutch oven or covered pot, heat oil over a medium heat on stove and brown meat. Add chopped onion and cook with browned meat for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups of water (or as much as 3 cups, as needed, to the meat and onions. Add bouillon cubes to dissolve in the simmering mixture, stirring to combine. Add ketchup, with prepared celery, carrots and potatoes and continue to cook on stove for a few minutes, before adding peas. Finally, add gravy browning for color and simmer over low heat for two hours covered until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Cornstarch, dissolved in water, can be added for additional thickening and more water can be added to create desired consistency. Makes 12 servings.