Mom is queen of, among other things, throwing together a quick dinner for 6 or 8 or 10 people with very little time and a limited budget. She and my Dad have hosted a countless number of family meals over the years . . . various combinations of their own children, cousins, and friends, our various girlfriends, boyfriends and BFFs, and now a pile of sons and daughters-in-law and grandchildren all shuffling in and out their (nicely decorated) front door, struggling to squeeze in around their dining room table, sharing and laughing over each other’s misadventures over a hot meal.

The venue recently shifted from their stately ivy-covered brick home in a genteel family neighborhood to the funky fourth floor loft of a converted hat factory in a zip code that caused to make their auto insurance to jump even higher than even mine, with a teenage male driver in the house. But the menu has remained the same – a simple, hearty combination of meat, potatoes, chopped green salad, and butter bread. When she’s got at least a day’s notice of the dinner she’s been making an Italian-style roast beef that’s been a big hit. Friends want the recipe and grandchildren scavenge for leftovers.

Here it is hot off my email: Downtown Juju’s Italian Roast Beef:

  • Bake 4 or 5 lb rump roast at 275 degrees for 3 or 4 hours.  (Uncovered)
  • Remove meat, cool and slice thinly.
  • To the juices add 2 cups water, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning and 1 t garlic salt, 1/2 tsp peppercorns.  Boil 10 minutes.
  • Pour over sliced beef and marinate overnight.  (Sometimes I add a can of beef broth if I want more juice).
  • This is delicious and wonderful because it is fixed the day before.  Enjoy!

Fix it like Juju does with lots of love and it’s a guaranteed success.