We all know about deadlines, right? It's when you've made a commitment and have to follow through, no matter what.
For an author, that means that your creative juices better start flowing, and keep flowing, all the way to D-day!
And we authors know that's part of the deal. We sign a contract. We promise to deliver a finished manuscript on a given day. We get to work.
But the thing that I don't understand is why we call it a deadline when it's really the beginning of something great! A new life for the characters that have been clamoring for their spot in a story!
I'm working on a deadline right now. My gracious editor has given me an extension to mid-November (thank you!), because life gets in the way sometimes. But even with the extra two weeks, I'm working almost non-stop to get the story down so you can all read it.
Here's a peek at what I'm working on: "The Sound of Distant Thunder" will be the first story in the Amish of Weaver's Creek series, and is expected to be released about a year from now. The story takes place in 1863 in Holmes County, Ohio, and centers around Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver. They plan to be married, but there is a war going on. You would think this peaceful Amish community isn't affected by the American Civil War, but it is. I hope you'll join me as this series unfolds!
Meanwhile, I don't want to feed my poor husband peanut butter sandwiches every night! So I'm very thankful for my Instant Pot. It's the perfect appliance for my deadline-addled brain!
You don't need an Instant Pot for this recipe, though. It works in the slow-cooker, the oven, or on the stove. :) Just give it time to work all these delicious flavors together....
2 pounds beef stew meat
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme, crushed
oil for browning meat
2 cups apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar, if you have it)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
First, coat the meat in the flour, salt, pepper and thyme by shaking everything together in a bag or covered bowl.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, frying pan, or in your Instant Pot (on the saute setting). Add the coated meat and cook until brown on all sides.
Add the cider, water, and vinegar.
If you're using a Dutch oven - bring to boiling, then cover. Simmer on stove or bake in oven at 325° for 1 1/2 - 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetables, then simmer or bake for another 30 - 45 minutes.
If you're using a slow cooker - add all ingredients - including the vegetables - and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
If you're using an Instant Pot - pressure cook the meat and liquids for 20 minutes on high, then release the pressure naturally (will take 20 to 30 minutes). Once the pressure is released, add the vegetables and stir. Pressure cook for an additional 10 minutes on high, then let the pressure release naturally again. At this point, the stew is ready. You can serve it, or change the settings to slow cook mode until it's time to eat.
*Note - In this recipe, using the Instant Pot requires more steps...but I forgot to mention that the directions are the same even if you forgot to thaw your meat! Believe me, for someone who regularly forgets to thaw dinner, this is a life saver!
I've been making this recipe for years. I found it in the copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I received for a bridal shower gift...so my first stab at this recipe was in the fall of 1982, after we had been married for only a few months.
I made it on the stove, until I bought my first slow cooker. That became my appliance of choice until I started experimenting with my cast iron Dutch oven. I love both methods! But I have to say the Instant Pot is my favorite method of all. The pressure cooking blends the flavors like it's been simmering over an open fire for hours...
You'll have to give this stew a try. There is nothing like the apple cider flavor winding its way through this dish...
Have you ever tried cooking with apple cider? How did it turn out?
Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.