Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slap Your Grandma, That's Some Good Pot Roast!

No! Please, do NOT go slap your Grandma, or anyone's Grandma for that matter.
It's an expression. I do not, under any circumstances condone abuse of any kind, particularly when it involves elder family members.
     I grew up in Atlanta where we never used the words "slap" and "grandma" in the same sentence, unless you were to say ,"Hey, Grandma! Slap me some butter on that biscuit before you pass it to me."
     So you can imagine my surprise the first time I heard my husband, who hails from somewhere in South Georgia, say, "Darlin, this pecan pie is so good, it makes you wanta slap your Grandma!" HUH?
    I was appalled! (Look it up.) "Why would I want to slap my Grandma?"
   "Aw, sugarpie, simmer down. Its just an expression." (For the record my husband doesn't really talk like that. He's never called me Darlin or Sugarpie. Its for the sake of the story.  He most certainly did tell me to slap my Grandma.)
     Since that day I have heard a few other folks use a similar expression as in "Slap your brother, those pancakes are good!" and so on. But more times than not, I've heard it referenced to Grandma. I'm not sure at all where this colorful phrase came from, but I imagine it started a long time ago when the kitchen would get way too hot to stay in it while waiting for supper (or dinner, if you're from down here) to finish cooking.
So Grandma would find her way out to her rocking chair on the front porch while she cooled off in the breeze with a refreshing cold beverage. Mint Julep, Spiked Lemonade or a couple of icy shots of Jim Bean would do the trick to cool off Grandma and before long, she would be out cold.  Pretty soon supper would be ready but everyone had learned it was best not to wake Grandma from her "before meal nap". Occasionally Pa might say, "Junior, go see if you can wake Grandma for supper."
     "Aw, Paw. I did it last time and she about knocked me out."
     "Did you shake her to wake her?"
    "Yes, sir."
     "Alright son. Come eat your vittles. Let her rest."
     Then they sat down to commence to eating their roasted possum and carrots, to which Pa exclaimed, "Oooweee! This is good eatin'! Go get your Grandma and tell her she's missing a good meal."
    Junior answers, "But Pa! What if she tries to hit me?"
   "Well, son," Pa laughs, "Hit her back!"
    Junior leaves and returns quickly with Grandma shuffling behind him.
    "Y'all just gonna eat without me?" asks Grandma.
    "You were having a good nap."
    "Well, I'm here now. Pass the possum."
    "How'd you wake her, Junior?"
    "I slapped her, like you told me to."
    "Okay, then. Have a seat and let's give thanks for these vittles, and for Grandma."
     Then the next time Grandma was passed out cold and didn't want to eat, Pa told Junior, "Ooo...wee, these rutabagas are so good. I hate for your Grandma to miss them. Go slap her and see if she'll come eat."
     And so on and so forth until eventually folks began saying, "These taters are so good they'll make you want to slap your Grandma (so she can come eat them too!)"
   Which brings me around to the awesome meal I prepared last night, I don't mind telling you!
    One of the Preacher's favorite meals is roast beef with potatoes and carrots, but I've never been as happy with the results as I would like to be, so he doesn't get to eat them as often as he'd like. I've always tossed everything into the CrockPot for eight hours (Or on high for four for Sunday lunch), just like Mama did. But the texture of the meat would be more shredded, and often chewy. But after tonight I think I'll only be using my Crock Pot for spaghetti sauce.
    I don't share a lot of recipes. Not because I'm not a good cook, but I am somewhat on the lazy, yet creative side. I have six shelves of recipe books but once I find what I'm looking for I don't have all the ingredients and I improvise.  I didn't see my Mama use a cookbook very often (except for the one that had magazine clippings pouring out of it), and I guess I inherited that ability. Putting some stuff together and praying it turns out edible!
    Don't expect these fancy spices and herbs like Thyme and rosemary. My favorite spices are garlic salt and dehydrated onion. And if a recipe calls for Italian spices, a spoonful of Italian dressing does the trick, and adds moisture.
    I've been wanting to fix a genuine POT roast for sometime. I got my 5 or so pound roast, a bag of small, peeled carrots (told you I was lazy) and a bag of potatoes. I looked up a recipe for Yankee Pot Roast online and it said after you simmer on the stove for an hour you put it in the oven for two more hours. Naw. If I wanted to wait that long I'd put it back in the Crock Pot. I had about an hour and a half.
    I started by browning my meat in about 2 Tbsp. oil in a big-ole pot. I sprinkled garlic salt and dehydrated onions generously on both sides. Drained the oil and fat off and added about 2 cups water that I plopped four boullion cubes into (the kind that are wrapped like little gift packages). The water barely covered the top of the meat, just so you know. I then poured in the bag of carrots, quartered four unpeeled potatoes because I'm lazy the vitamins are in the peelings. Dropped then in and cut two celery stalks into thirds and added them. Now this is very important.  I don't like cooked celery but I threw them in cause I had it on hand and thought it might make it "fancy". No. I pulled them out after ten minutes because I also can't stand the smell of cooked celery!  Did the ten minutes make a difference in the taste or texture of my meal? I can't tell you. I probably will add them again because this meal was so incredibly perfect I don't want to veer from it. Sprinkle everything liberally again with garlic salt, black pepper and onion. Now if you want to add parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme now would be the time to do it. I'm sure it will make it even better.
     After I removed the celery I put the lid on and set the stove between low and medium. Hot enough to simmer (bubble lightly) but low enough so the meat doesn't stick to the pan. Let it simmer for about thirty minutes without stirring. 
     Stir about 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch (or flour) into a cup of cold water, until the cornstarch is dissolved and pour it over everything. Finally I tossed a basket of fresh mushrooms on top, popped the lid back on and let it simmer for about thirty more minutes.
     I removed the vegetables and was concerned if the meat would be done or not. BABY! Was it ever! It was the tastiest, "tenderest" meat I ever put in my mouth. It was the perfect texture to slice with a dull knife, yet still hold its shape. Finally I poured the gravy into a bowl and served it with a side of light bread. (That'd be white, killer-bread to some of you). Slap some gravy on that bread, or better yet, use it to sop up the gravy that ran off the sides of your meat, and trust me, you are gonna want to slap SOMEBODY!


  1. I use a seasoning called "Slap Ya Mama"...think Tony Chachere's but with a little more kick. That roast looks yummy and I'd love to have a little bit for my breakfast I do believe 'cause this oatmeal is not cutting it now!

  2. Yowza, I LOVE the expressions!
    Vittles, good eatin', Yee-haw!
    I want to come to your house for dinner just to hear the the banter, because I know ya'll really DO talk like that!

  3. Oh I wish you were my neighbor..we would get along so well! I am going to use that recipe...yummy!

    And I about fell out of my chair laughing when I read the slap your gramma naration...but seriously, I've never heard that expression either...its usually Oh that's so good it makes my molars ache or something like that around here!

  4. I wish you were MY neighbor.... I argue with my husband all the time about cooking meat in water. But I may try this. It sounds yummy. I will be forced to subsitute the killer white bread for wheat though. Sorry about that.

  5. Leanne you are truly hilarious :) I love your interpretation of the saying! That roast sounds delicious too!

  6. Yum! sounds delicious! You failed to mention not only were we not allowed to put slap and grandma in the same sentence....we weren't even allowed to call our grandma, "grandma"... Only "GRANDMOTHER". I was alway so jealous of Aunt Unabelle's grandkids got to call her granny. :)

  7. My favorite way to use this expression:

    "You'll want to drive all the way to your Mama's house, slap her, get in the car and drive home."

    It's a winner.

    Also, my one experience boiling meat was horrific. I might have to give it another go.

  8. Love your humor! Thank you for making me smile! I have similar tastes as you and appreciate your recipe. My boss is from Malcom, GA, and he is wonderful. I love it when he tells me about his roots, too.

  9. I have never heard that one before- thanks for the new phrase ;-) ... currios, the plate you have your roast on, is it Greek? It looks like an old Grecian pattern.

  10. I am not from the south, but believe me, I am going to start inserting "slap" into every sentence I utter now!!

    What a meal! I want to slap MYSELF silly!

  11. Pot roast. I LOVE pot roast! I actually make really good pot roast.

  12. This sounds so good and you know down in the south we gotta have bread at every meal - light,um I mean white bread is the best with pot roast. I like the idea of the italian dressing out of the bottle - I may have to try that one :) Love the recipe thanks for sharing it with the southern mommas!!

  13. Awe shucks this almost makes me long for those lazy days in the porch swing at my ex-mother-in-law's house... NOT! But it surely does make me want some pot roast and maybe moonshine too. Seriously though I love the South, Southern sayings and the food ... yummers.

    I'm here (late, I realize that is bad manners which the don't look kindly on down your way) in my "official" Welcomista capacity to welcome ya'll to SITS!

  14. Just the title was enough to tickle me. That's a funny story! Makes sense, though, and now I just might have to use it.

    Pot roast looks yummy. I agree about stringy meat in the crock pot; it's just so darn easy.

  15. Love this. I always like to know how sayings got started. I love pot roast too.

  16. Never thought a slap-happy post about a pot roast could be so much fun!


  17. Great post! Certainly put a smile on my face to read that story :)
    (Stopping by from SITS)

  18. i say that all the time. "so good, makes me want to slap my momma!" haha.

    stopping by from sits to say hello.

  19. My mom has always made her roast similarly to this. And hers is far better than my crock pot roast.

    I made beef tips this week and we were all SHOCKED that they were really good. Now I wish I had paid attention while I was making them, so I could do it again. Who knew??

  20. Hahaha, cute story and the roast is making my mouth water...

    I'm no Southern Bell, but I wonder if "Slap your Grandma" came from her good ol fashion Southern cookin' in which everyone gave her a hearty slap on the back for cooking up some good grub!

    Have a great weekend!

  21. I've never heard that phrase before! I LOVE your little history of where it might have come from!

  22. I have never heard slap your grandma before....but I grew up in Colorado.

    I loved that your roast was the perfect texture to slice with a dull knife!

  23. My mom used to make that in the crock pot, too. It was yummy! I need to use my crock pot. The Husband has, but I haven't. I hear it's a good thing!

  24. that meal looks AMAZING! i'm starving just looking at it! and i'm totally going to start using that expression from now on.

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