I got one of the best recipes in my collection from my college roommate, Nancy Saunders. Nancy and I roomed together for the four years we attended Westhampton College, the University of Richmond women’s college.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that no one else could possibly stand to room with either one of us, so we stuck it out together the whole time. Needless to say, we became very close friends. The old saying, “You’ll always be my best friend, you know too much” is an understatement in our case. We were partners in crime from the very beginning.
When we were there, Westhampton had some very strict and totally outdated rules, most of which we decided didn’t apply to us. These rules were discontinued a couple of years after we graduated in 1966, proving that timing in life is everything.
You won’t believe this, but:
• We had to sign in and out of the dorm when leaving campus.
• You could only go out with guys on specific “date nights” (Friday-Sunday and Wednesdays) and there was a midnight curfew – 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
• If you spent a night away from campus, you could only stay in “approved homes” recommended by your parents.
• There was a demerit system – too many demerits and you were grounded.
• A woman named “Miss Stewart” inspected the dorm rooms for neatness, leaving on our door many a disparaging note, which we ignored.
• There was no drinking on campus. The unintended consequences of this rule meant that students drank in town and then drove back for the fraternity parties on campus. Not a good idea.
Even though there were fraternities at Richmond College, there were no sororities at Westhampton. This was easily solved by a group of girls years ahead of us who enjoyed a robust social life. They simply made up a sorority and aptly named it ”P.E.A.” (Party Every Afternoon). The annual “tapping in” ceremony was a highly anticipated and somewhat bawdy event.
Nancy and I were proud members.
After graduation Nancy and I went our separate ways, but were never out of touch with each other. We both got married and enjoyed spending time together as couples.
On one of our visits to see Nancy and her husband, she cooked an outstanding meal that we’ll never forget. It was marinated flank steak on the grill, and it was awesome. We had never tasted a steak remotely as good as that one. Naturally I got Nancy’s recipe and have been making it ever since, much to the delight of everyone who has tasted it.
This marinade is not only great with flank steak but also London broil and shish kabob. If you want the ultimate marinade, try this one. Nancy’s recipe remains as good as gold, just as our friendship. Both are classics.
Nancy’s Flank Steak Marinade
½ cup oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 minced garlic clove (or more if you like)
Mix ingredients together and pour over the steak. Puncture the meat all over with a sharp fork so the marinade can penetrate it. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours, turning periodically. I usually marinate it in the morning and leave it in the refrigerator all day. The longer it sits, the better it gets.
Baste the steak with the marinade while it’s cooking. Remember, marinated meat cooks faster than a regular steak so be careful not to overcook it.
Let the steak sit for a few minutes before cutting it on the diagonal to serve. Enjoy the best flank steak you’ve ever eaten.
Joy Smith is a resident of Fort Mill.