What to Cook After a Culinary Delights Vacation…My Mom’s Swiss Steak

I’m humbled (rather than inspired) by my recent culinary experiences in NYC: dim sum, molecular gastronomy, Asian fusion, wine pairings with French cuisine, and Governor’s Island sangrias. [sidebar: Omit that last reference. Aside from the strawberries swimming in bad wine all (80 degrees plus) day, there’s nothing “sangria” about them. I generously passed mine off to my son, great mom that I am.]

Postponing my anticipated shame of cooking post-NYC, I proposed that my husband and I eat out at a Durham, NC restaurant that we had to cancel on recently. I quickly saw prime rib swimming in au jus in my future. But he kiboshed the idea, just wanting to get home. So we drove back to “the ‘Ville” and I was faced with the pro forma* preparing of dinner after memories of popcorn pudding, caramelized brioche, and passion fruit. (Go to WD-50!)

Surveying the freezer contents, I selected a sirloin steak and asked my husband what I should make. He immediately replied, “your mom’s Swiss steak.”

MY MOM’S SWISS STEAK…Spray pan and heat oil. Sauté onion slices. Add floured and seasoned sirloin to the caramelized onions. Sear one side, then other. Pour in a can of tomato soup and simmer a bit. Serve with mashed potatoes doused** in tomato soup sauce.  This isn’t my photo, but it looks so close…

Not as good as Mom’s but a perfect departure from my NYC culinary carousel.

In The Other Side of the Bridge  by Mary Lawson, there’s a touchstone character, Pete Corbiere, who defends his high school graduation choice to stay in his hometown and rejects traveling as a means to self-actualize:  “I don’t know how else to put it, man, except to say that everything I care about is here.  Everything that matters to me is right…here.” 274  “But I know what’s important to me.  And I know I don’t have to go anywhere else to find it.” 275.  I often feel that way when I return from a trip.  “There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no…”

*Proforma: made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality [wordsmith]

** My spell check gave me “douched” as a correction option for my original misspelling. I don’t recommend this alternative.

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