Nancy McWhorter – For The Record

My birthday is not until April but my son, Dwight Stewart and hi fiancée, Brenda Mataya, surprised me with an early birthday present; an irobot vacuum cleaner.  All you have to do is place it where you want it to start vacuuming and turn it on; no more having to push my dated Kirby vacuum cleaner.

This robot will vacuum the whole house or a room and the feature I use most frequently is the “spot clean.”  It can be programmed to automatically vacuum.  Since I have no set routine or schedule, I use it manually as needed.  The first time I used it was to vacuum my bedroom carpet.  It made so many trips under the bed; I had to empty the dust bin three times.  When finished vacuuming, it will put itself away (called “dock”) into the base.

When I went online to register the irobot, they suggested I give it a name; I decided to call it Mr. Belvedere.  Mr. Belvedere has lightened my housecleaning chores and frees some of my time to accomplish other chores such as cooking.

Now that I live alone and my age has slowed me down, I only cook two or three times a week and rarely on Sunday.  I decided long ago that that Sunday is a day of rest.  I have never been a gourmet cook and use ingredients easily accessible at the grocery stores.  I like and prefer preparing one dish meals which usually cuts down on kitchen cleanup.

I recently prepared this KEEPER recipe for my sister-in-law, Ava and my dinner.  I halved the recipe ingredients except for the cheese.  I always use lean ground beef and when browning it I add about ½ cup water which makes it easier to break into pieces and brown until the water has evaporated.  Do not add salt as the onion soup mix is salty.

BEEF AND CABBAGE DINNER                                                                         

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 lb. ground beef

1 packet Lipton Onion Soup

2 cups shredded cabbage

½ cup Kraft shredded triple cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400○.  Heat oil in a in a large skillet (I used my black skillet) over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and onion soup mix.  Stir until the beef is no longer pink.  Stir in the cabbage.  Cook, stirring frequently until cabbage is soft then stir in the cheese.  Place mixture in a glass baking dish and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

I like my new friend, Mr. Belvedere.  I still have fun watching him perform.  He learns where the furniture is and slows himself down when approaching it.  It is almost like he can think especially when he docks himself.