SALVATION BRIDE - release date - January 21, 2009
A sigh passed over her lips. She hadn’t expected David to fall in love with her the minute he laid eyes on her. She wasn’t that beautiful, but she’d hoped they’d find love. It had been Uncle John’s hope, too. They’d both been reaching for the moon, it seemed. David couldn’t love her—not when he loved another.
She’d determined to settle for the safety and security of marriage. At least with it, she wouldn’t be alone as she had been in the orphanage. For five long years, she’d not belonged to anyone. That terror had been even worse than the beatings she’d witnessed her mother receiving at the hands of her father, the beatings she’d received as well. To belong to no one was a fate worse than death.
Her uncle found her after he’d returned from the war and gave her the safety of his home as well as his unconditional love, the first she’d ever had. During the next eight years, she’d had a place to belong. Yet, she now wondered if it was possible to be with people and still not fit in.
Once again, she found herself in a situation where love was given conditionally. There was a price, a bargain she had to exchange to receive David’s affection. And today she’d tested that bargain. How would David react?
Her heart heavy, she turned from the window and called Ginny.
“It’s time to set the table for supper. Your Pa’s on his way home.”
A few minutes later David entered the house and Ginny ran to him. He swung the girl up into a tight hug.
“How’s my girl?” he asked, setting her back on her feet.
“Good. Miss Laura and me made a cobbler. She said we can have some after supper. That it was d’sert.”
David ruffled her curls. “I’ll bet it’s the best cobbler this side of the Mississippi.” He put Ginny down and smiled. “Hello, Laura.”
She forced a smile, then turned to lift the stew pot off the stove. As they ate, Ginny kept up a steady stream of conversation, detailing the cobbler making. Thank goodness the child left out the trip to town. Laura wanted to tell David of the incident her own way.
After supper, Ginny scampered off to her room. As Laura did the dishes, David tucked his daughter in for the night. She stiffened as he closed the door to the child’s room. She couldn’t put off the talk any longer.
“Are you finished?” he asked.
“Nearly,” she replied, wondering if he’d already heard about her day’s activities? “Why?”
There was a pause and he shuffled his feet. “It’s a nice evening out and I thought, maybe, we could take a walk.”
She looked over her shoulder. He stood beside the table cheeks, flushed red. He’d never asked her to walk before. She and Ginny had gone out a few nights and he’d join them, but he’d never asked her to go alone.
What did this mean? He doesn’t look mad. In fact, he looks embarrassed, like a schoolboy asking a girl if he could court her. She closed her eyes and swore under her breath. What fanciful thoughts…David wishing to court her. She shook the dishwater off her hands and dried them on a towel.
“That would be nice. I’ll just be a minute.”
This Stew recipe is one I've had for over 26 years. When I married the first time, I bought a Cooking for Two cookbook. Though it says it's for two, I've always made for my family of four and it was more than enough.
OVEN BEEF STEW
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon of salt
dash of pepper
3/4 pound beef chuck,cut in 1-9n cubes**
1 tablespoon oil
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 soup can of water
2/4 cup chopped onion
¼ teaspoon dried basil
2 medium potatoes, pared and cubed
2 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
¼ cup cooking red wine or water
Preheat oven 375°. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat meat cubes in seasoned flour. Brown meat in hot oil; add soup, water, onion, and basil. Cover and bake in oven about 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and wine. Cover and bake 1 hour longer or until tender. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
I've also made this on the stove top, adding all the ingredients at once. It takes less time to cook and is just as delicious.
** I usually put in about 1 to 1 ½ pounds of meat. I also add a few more vegetables, but I keep to the one can of soup and water (add water as it cooks if you need to). I guess that's why it worked for my family of four. Also, the basil really adds to the flavor of this stew, as does red wine. Fix some hot rolls and you have delicious meal for a cold winter's night.
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