My husband still reminds me that night when I found out I was pregnant, I started planning our first pilgrimage to Disney.
I went to Disney several times as a child, and, of course, loved it. I didn’t recall the parking, the crowds, or the $5 pretzels.
I started planning our trip 6 months out. I wanted to make sure I had every minute planned out for maximum park amusement experience. I do remember my brother plotting our days- which rides we would go on first, what transport we would take to get there to optimize our time- my brother was the smart one. I just wanted to have fun. Now that I was 35 years older, I recognized the benefits of planning ahead.
Six months later, we finally arrived in Orlando. Driving from the resort to Disney sparked childhood memories, and when Reed saw the huge signs with Mickey, he went crazy. I had been endoctering him on the Disney characters for months now. Like a stream of ants, all of the mini vans and our Volvo obediently followed the parking attendants and parked side by side like a synchronized swim team. A sea of strollers proceeded to the tram pickup. After the 20 minute odyssey via tram then boat, we finally got to the gate. Tigger was signing autographs, so I dragged Reed to the line (I had also forgotten about the lines). 10 minutes later, it was finally our turn. Just then Tigger had to go on a break. His helper that led him away told us he needed some Tigger Biscuits but the lady behind me knew better- she explained to her son that Tigger needed to go on a pee break. 10 more minutes later, Tigger reappears. I have Jim in place with the camera, and the iphone ready for back up as well as our Disney photo pass. I was ready to photograph memories NOW. Reed wailed. He was terrified of Tigger. Of course, I still got pictures of him withering and screaming under Tiger’s paws. It had to get better.
I will say that it did; however, that Sunday, I believe, must have been International Day. Nobody spoke English except for us, the lady behind me in line for Tigger, and the attendants. And, consequently, all nations decided to descend on Disney that day.
All was not lost. After flying through the air with Dumbo, It’s a Small World, the Ferris Wheel and several other rides at Fantasy Land, we headed back to the parking lot on the tram. I know now that I had pushed Reed too much by insisting that we ride “It’s a Small World” before we leave. He started flinging himself around the tram, bit me, and then I told him no followed by a little spank. He immediately started screaming to everyone and anyone that his mother was hitting him. Thankfully it was International Day, and nobody understood what he was saying.
Needless to say, the food at Disney was EXPENSIVE, so we made food ahead of time and brought it and ate most of our dinners at the condo.
Here is one great make ahead recipe- this was handed down from my Great Grandmother- my mammy- it is so simple and very affordable.
2 lbs or so of Chuck Steak- really well marbled- more if you have a bigger family!
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 Small can Tomato Sauce
First, with the steak(see pic)
Cut it in small pieces, and then salt and pepper and dredge through flour. (see pic)
You’ll need a glass of this. (see pic)
Next, put 5-6 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan and brown the meat. (see pic)
Take meat and oil out of pan.
Now its time to make the GRAVY- don’t worry, its not that hard- just follow these directions very closely:
Add 4 tablespoons of oil back in the skillet. To that, add 4 tablespoons of flour, stir and brown slowly. Take the pan off the heat and SLOWLY add water and stir with a whisk until you have gravy.
Now, add this to the gravy: 1 small can of tomato sauce and a few dashes of worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste- now, the tricky part, and trust me- slowly add more water until the gravy is THIN. THIN. Trust me- like broth thin. It is going to cook a long time…..
Put the meat in a dutch over and then cover the meat with the gravy- the gravy should barely cover or almost cover the meat.
Cover and cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours at a 350 degree oven. Check from time to time to see if you need to add water. Serve on a nice large pile of Mash Taters. Bon Appetit~Kelly
~Kelly Sigler 3 Star Parelli Professional and International of Society of Biomechanics Instructor