What a week we had! Incredible! I took 35 people to Wichita, Kansas, for three days and we had a ball.

Last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we headed out on a mystery trip. That means they gave me their money and did not know what I did with it. It was a great trip. One thing that added to the fun was the pastor went with us. I hate to say it but our pastor, Brother Randy Messer, is a great guy, a little bit crazy and lots of fun.

We went to the Aviation Museum, the Cowtown Museum, and visited a 7,000-acre working cattle ranch. At the cattle ranch we were taken (all 35 of us) on a large cattle wagon (horse drawn) all over the ranch. We were then served a fantastic brisket dinner and enjoyed a fellow who taught us the history of cowboys, Kansas and much more. He added some great singing to his program.

We ate at Pig In-Pig Out and several other great places. If you ever go to Wichita try the Breadbasket in Newton, Kansas. It was a memorable trip.

Another place to stop in that area is Karg Glass in Kechni, Kansas. They have many beautiful hand-blown glass pieces and other forms of art work. You can watch the glass blowers make pieces. Those guys are incredibly talented. Anyway I recommend a trip to Wichita.

The week prior to our departure I did some cooking. My house is cold as I turned off my furnace for the summer. The problem I had is that summer has not come yet so I used my oven and stove top.

Wendell’s favorite stew

2 pounds boneless bottom or top round, tip or chuck steak

4 medium carrots, sliced (2 cups)

2 medium stalks celery, sliced

2 medium onions, sliced

1 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 (8 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 teaspoon ground mustard (dry)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup water

1 cup dry red wine

1 can beef broth

1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, undrained

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim fat from meat and cut into 1 inch cubes. Brown well in Dutch oven and add carrots, celery, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to Dutch oven. Potatoes or other choices should be added now if you are using them. Mix flour, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper into beef mixture. Make sure all is well mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients and bake for four hours or until beef is tender and stew is thickened. This makes about 8 servings so I usually double it. When our meal is over I usually I put enough in the refrigerator for another meal. Then I package according to our desires and freeze it. Great stew!

Quickie dessert

1 large container Cool Whip

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can cherry pie filling (or other favorite choice)

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup nuts

Mix and pour into 9-by-13-inch pan. Freeze. Keeps indefinitely. Serve frozen.

Enjoy and I will see you next week.

Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years.