Though she wasn’t related to me by blood, “Aunt” Penny may as well have been. She and my mom were in each other’s weddings. And though they met at college just outside Chicago, they ended up living in the same neighborhood outside of Asheville, NC. My sister and I grew up with hers and Uncle Steve’s Kids, Jessie & Johnny. They have been there through good times and bad with our family. She was there for many a birthday party. She was there in the hospital encouraging my dad as only a person who has walked the road of cancer personally can do. I’ll never forget though frail with sickness, she through me a wedding shower and then the day before my wedding, she came and helped my cousin, Carol Anne, my bridesmaids, and me make our bouquets. After several bouts with cancer, she was completely and ultimately healed when she joined my dad and so many others in Heaven. She was a friend to so many and I will always count her and her family as my own family. She’s ministering us still even beyond her life on this earth through things like recipes she left behind. I had asked my Mimi what her favorite meal was and she said if she had to pick, it would be a roast. So, for her 91st birthday meal at my house in Virginia, I had planned to cook Aunt Pennie’s Roast for her. Two hours after she arrived at my house, she was in an ambulance headed to the E.R. After a week of being down and out with Pneumonia and extreme weakness, we got her to my sister’s house to rest up for a few days before bringing her home to North Carolina. Well, I finally got to make her the birthday meal I had hoped to and I’m here to tell you that Aunt Pennie’s Oven Roast was just the ticket for a comforting meal to welcome her out of the hospital and help her regain a little strength. The funny thing is, that very night that I made the roast, Jessie, Aunt Penny’s Daughter, picture texted me something she found in her collection passed down to her by her mom: a card that my mom had written out her recipe for zucchini bread and given to Aunt Penny. You’re absolutely going to love this dish. And you know what? I hope you’ll reach beyond your reach and share recipes with friends and family members to keep as a continual, tangible reminder of the warmth that comes from your heart to theirs.
Aunt Penny’s Oven Roast
3-4 lb roast (rump does very well)
1 envelope dried onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1-2 small cans of mushroom pieces
2-3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Lowry’s salt to taste
heavy duty foil* (Pretty important for locking in the moisture! Thin foil will get on your nerves later b/c it will crumble into the gravy- trust me!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking dish (9×13 is ideal) with heavy-duty foil. Season meat according to your favorite preference. Sprinkle Onion Soup over it. In a separate bowl, mix the can of mushroom soup and 2-3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce together, then spread over roast. Wrap tightly with foil so gravy won’t leak out. Bake for 3 hours.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Recipe Source: Penny Hagaman via My Mama