Cooking with Joy

Cooking with Joy: Pay it forward with Beef Burgundy

January 22, 2013 

By Joy Smith

In January 1983, I had a grand mal seizure while shopping at Macy’s in New York. It came out of the blue. I had never experienced anything like it before.

The good news is that, after lots of tests, no cause was found.

The bad news is that after this episode, I was exhausted and had a bad reaction to the prescription medicine I was taking. I ran a fever, broke out in a terrible rash and was miserable.

It was at this low point in my life that a neighbor across the street appeared on our doorstep with a big pot of soup. She came in and visited with me, offering to help in any way she could. I’ll never forget that visit or her kindness.

It changed my life.

You see, I discovered that once you’re on the receiving end of goodness, you need to pass it on to others. Giving the gifts of food and of time can be some of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

As a result of my neighbor’s kindness, I started taking food to members of our church who were sick or just home from the hospital. I learned that the old saying really is true – “It’s better to give than to receive.”

I never would have believed it unless I experienced it for myself.

We moved from New York to South Carolina in 1998. I joined a Food Team at church, started delivering Meals on Wheels, and helped create something called the “Casserole Brigade” for a women’s club I belonged to. We took meals to members who needed some TLC during an illness or after hospitalization.

In 2001, I had surgery and became a recipient of that very same Casserole Brigade. Every other day for two weeks, dinners were delivered to us. It was awesome! My husband couldn’t believe all the good food that came through our door during those two weeks.

All the meals were wonderful, but the one we remember most wasn’t a casserole at all but something called Beef Burgundy.

Beef Burgundy is a hearty meat dish with mushrooms and onions served over rice. It’s simple and delicious.

Pass this along to someone who could use a good meal during a trying time. It’s guaranteed to make them feel better.

Remember, the food you give doesn’t have to be fancy. A pot of soup will work just fine.

What you’re really giving to others is the gift of yourself.

That’s the greatest gift of all.

Beef Burgundy

1 lb. sirloin steak, cut into cubes

2 Tbsp. butter

1 can mushroom soup

1/4 cup Burgundy or other dry red wine

12 small whole pearl onions, or 1 jar (15 oz.) of pearl onions, drained

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

Yellow rice, cooked

Brown meat in butter, Stir in soup, wine, onions and parsley. Cover and simmer for one hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over yellow rice.

Joy Smith is a resident of Fort Mill.

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