I am all for a nice, cozy pot roast, especially on the chilly evenings we've been having in the last week here in Michigan! Whenever I happen across a buy one, get one deal on a roast, I stick the other one in the freezer. So, I was all set for this recipe. However, I have to admit approaching it with incredible trepidation. I've posted before about my intense dislike of sweet & meat paired together. Well, let me tell you, as if the cranberries in the recipe were not enough, the very first direction in the recipe asked me to "dredge roast in sugar." Dredge roast in sugar??? Were they serious??? That goes a great deal farther than an apricot glaze or cooking pork with apples (both of which I oppose for my own personal plate).
Yes, yes, that was not an error in printing. Dredge roast in sugar. Really. Perhaps there are some of you out there who are thinking to yourselves, "Mmm, sugary pot roast?!? How soon can I make this deliciousness? What's wrong with her?" You can have my portion!!! Add in 12 ounces of cranberries and the zest and juice of an orange and I am pretty much ready to eat peanut butter and jelly for supper. I was so sad, juicing the orange, because it smelled absolutely divine. They are really starting to come into season and this one was a really lovely specimen that should have been eaten out of hand. I felt sad to waste the cranberries, as well, especially when the beautiful red went to a murky brown due to the long cooking and the beef juices. However, I am doing the whole cookbook and, besides, I rationalized, Jeannene does like sweet glazes on meat. We both ate it and Jeannene liked it, but it's not something I would ever, ever eat on purpose. Very definitely sweet.
I'd honestly been dreading the butternut squash casserole, as well, but not for reasons of flavor. You see, I am a complete wuss when it comes to cutting up those squashes with the super-hard shells, like butternut. Luckily, my mom was with me when I was looking for pre-cut squash and failing to find it. As she admired the beauty of the whole butternuts and I bemoaned my fate at having to figure out how to dice it, my mom shared that she uses a serrated bread knife to cut it at her house, with much success. I sincerely doubted that would work for me, but since my mom often has terrific ideas about using the proper tool for the job, I decided to give it a try despite my skepticism. And, what do you know? It actually worked! Sure, it was still a tough go, but man, that bread knife worked a heck of a lot better than any of my other knives have ever done. The casserole, along with steamed green beans, turned out to be the saving grace of the meal. Very yummy, even though I'd forgotten I needed carrots for it & had given them all away. Next time, I'll add carrots, too.