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November 2000 Issue
How to Stretch a Roast
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Around the second week in October, I had a great idea. At least, I thought I had a great idea. My kitchen had been set on the back burner of my project priorities for too long. It was long past time for me to bite the bullet and repaint the walls and put up the wallpaper border that I had been searching for in every store -- both brick and mortar and online -- for months. At first, it seemed like a small project. After all, I am not one of those lucky cooks who has a designer kitchen that's big enough to host every cooking appliance and gadget ever devised. I figured that I could put in a little extra prep work during the week and tackle it on the weekend -- with a little help from my husband. Okay, a lot of help!

Then, reality set in. I had to start by removing all of the clutter from my kitchen counters and cleaning the walls and ceiling before I could do anything else. That took forever in its own right. I opted to paint the ceiling first since I didn't have to mask anything off with painters' tape before I could proceed. That finished, I had to think about masking the cabinets, trim, counters and anything else that might get tortured with paint. Once I realized that I had to remove the cabinet doors to avoid painting them too, I had another hour or so of work ahead of me! This simple project was turning into a monster!

So, you might imagine that the time-consuming project of bringing food to the table was not at all on my list of priorities. That's when I took my weekend-project-turned-week-long-project as an opportunity to use my crock pot to make a simple roast and stretch the leftovers for another two days. This month's set of recipes is the dinnertime saga of our kitchen-painting days. Fortunately, we only had to do without the stove for the first day and the crock pot did a stunning job of filling any gaps opened by the absence of my stove. Now that the kitchen is finished and looking bright and cheerful, I guess I am glad we tackled the project. Especially when I get a trio of recipes like the ones I'm offering you! Here's my kitchen-painting menu:

As always, I look forward to hearing from you about your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .
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