Grandma’s Table

Posted on: January 4th, 2012 by Kay Swatkowski

Crockpot Italian Beef Recipe

Grandma’s kitchen table was actually a breakfast nook. Hand painted red geraniums and winding ivy decorated the yellow benches.

My sisters and I would argue over who would slide in first into the cozy corner to get a bird’s eye view of Grandma’s backyard through the kitchen window.

Laughter, conversation, the hiss of the pressure cooker and the smell of stew or chicken and dumplings often filled Grandma’s kitchen. When visiting her house, I was certain of one thing —there would always be a place for me at Grandma’s table.

In every culture, the family table is a place of belonging, sharing stories, feeding our bodies and feeding our souls.

I’ve read that the American family spends more time watching other people cook on food programs than in actually cooking for themselves. In spite of our frantically busy lives, we understand that food is about more than nourishment. It is about community and we are irresistibly drawn to it.

I am on a mission to revive the tradition of Sunday Dinners at Grandma’s house. Whether we gather for “Sunday dinners” on Sunday, or Monday or Saturday, sharing a family meal can be memorable and is always spiritually and psychologically beneficial to our grandchildren.

Here are two suggestions for making dinner time easier. The first is a recommendation for a new crockpot cookbook by my friend, Cheryl Moeller. Creative Slow Cooker Meals: Using Two Crockpots for Tasty and Easy Dinners will be available on February 1 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.  Just follow this link:

The second is a great recipe that my family loves.  It is so popular at our house that we are using it for a dinner at church for missionary friends from Japan.  So simple. So delicious.

Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches

  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 3 or 4 (1 ounce) packages dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1-1/4 (16 ounce) jars pepperoncini peppers
  • 10-1/2 hamburger buns, split or use hoagie buns
  • Slices of mozarella and provolone to add


This recipe’s Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 6 servings.
  1. Place the roast into a slow cooker, and season with Italian dressing mix. Pour in the water. Cover, and cook on High for 6 to 7 hours. During the last hour, shred the meat with two forks – if it does not shred easily, cook longer. Add the peppers, and as much of the juice as you like for additional flavor. Serve on buns.
  2. If you need more servings, increase the amount of beef, but cut it in half to shorten cooking time.
  3. I often cook this overnight for Sundays.  The house smells wonderful.

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One Response

  1. Linda Gray says:

    I have difficulty sleeping some nights ( I am a grandmother) but I thank the Lord for your wonderful site that encourages me at 3:30 am.
    Blessings and thanks.

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