Charity’s Blog


What can I tell you?

So, I’ve been having trouble thinking of blog topics. What would you all like to know? Send me a Facebook on Instagram message and give me suggestions! I can write about anything, I just am not sure what interests you!

Today, I’ll tell you the story of the bird. During one summer of college, I was staying with some friends. There was a pet bird in the house. Now for the life of me, I cannot remember if this was my bird, my friend’s bird, or just kind of a community bird. It was a ‘few’ years ago. Anyhow, the bird. He got out of the cage and was flying around the house. We were trying to catch it and that bird ran right into the wall behind the toilet and FELL IN! Knocked him plum out! I scooped up the bird and did tiny compressions on his chest. I felt terrible and did not want this bird to have drowned in a toilet! What a crappy way to go. Finally he started breathing again. Whew! Saved him. So I wrapped him in a towel and we both were calming down after all of the excitement. That’s when it happened. The phone rang and gave the dang thing a heart attack!

Stay peachy, friends!


Easy Chicken Nachos in a pinch

  • Tostitos of your choice
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Taco seasoning
  • Cream cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream, tomatoes, jalapenos, salsa, other nacho toppings.

Spread the Tostitos on a baking sheet. Set aside. Take the meat off the bones of the chicken and toss with taco seasoning. Spread over chips. Chunk up the block of cream cheese and drop on the chicken. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese is melted . Serve with all the toppings.

Charity, Jamie, Tina, and Nicole (1995 – Purdue University) A throw back to those college days.

Thermometer or Thermostat?

A few weeks ago, I made a little sign and hung it in my café kitchen that said Thermometer or Thermostat? No one has asked me about it until yesterday. My 15 year old son worked and asked what it meant.

I told him a few weeks ago, I was listening to my morning devotional podcast. (Big Life Devotional with Pamela Crim) Her devotional had a part that really stuck with me: “are you the thermometer or the thermostat in your life?” It simply means we are in control of our surroundings. Do we want to react to the mood and vibes of a day and only be a thermometer? OR do we want to be thermostat and set the temp/mood for the day? I put the sign up as a reminder to myself to be the thermostat every day.

Our business, like so many, has a lot of different personalities in it. These personalities come at us as team members and as customers. It can be easy to react to everyone, but why? Continue to have your thermostat set to KIND. It can make such a difference in someone’s day. Mainly yours!

Stay Peachy, Friends!

Recipe taken from one of my 2500 cookbooks. This one is best-ever SOUPS by Anne Sheasby.

May I shake your hand?

In case you haven’t noticed, everyone seems to be hiring these days. It isn’t something that is isolated to just one line of work either. If you drive down the street, you will see multiple signs and banners waving hopefully at you begging to get your attention. A great discussion these days is about where are the workers hiding. I seriously do not think everyone is sitting at home. I have put a lot of thought in to this subject. People may be sitting at home, but I truly believe they are working from home. I’d say these are a majority of the millennials. Others, our Baby Boomers, have retired or cut their hours down a great deal from 2 years ago. That leaves us with our young adults. Some of my greatest workers are my teenagers. However, they have this thing called school and limited availability. Not to mention, that doesn’t help out the non food related establishments. Can’t really put a 16 year old running a press or driving a fork lift!

Why do you think we have so many people wanting to work from home? I’d guess quality of life. Gone are the days where people want to put in 50, 60, 70 hours a week. Gone are the days of the restaurant life where we sit on buckets and eat a quick meal of cold food after a 14 hour shift. Gone are days where chefs yell and scream at the staff. Gone are the days of that terrible work environment where you dread Mondays. Ok. Maybe I should be saying these are things that should be gone! Not all places have figured it out yet. Culture is so important in a workplace. If you run a business or manage people, how is your culture?

An employee has to be a good fit for the business and visa versa. I have had some great people on my staff that would be better suited for a different line of work. If that is the case, tell them! Don’t keep getting frustrated with them. Work with them. Talk to them. Help them to either do better for you or to find a way they can do better for themselves.

Are you looking for work? Let’s talk about interviewing. Do you know how to shake a hand? If not, stop and see me! I’d love to shake your hand! Here are a few other tips if you go into an interview.

  • Early is on time, on time is late, (late is fired!)
  • Does the interviewer leave you to wait? Don’t be on your phone. Pick up a menu or other literature about the company to look over. (Keep your phone put away, not on the table)
  • Be dressed for the job you are applying for. If I want to start you today and you have on sandals and ripped jeans, you are not dressed for my establishment.
  • Stand when your interviewer walks up and shake their hand. A firm shake, one pump, not bone crushing but not a limp fish, and look them in the eye.
  • Do your research on the company. When they ask why do you want to work here…. have a reason! (make sure the reason is better than “I need a job and I saw the sign”)
  • Make eye contact with the interviewer. Not creepy eye contact but eye contact non the less.
  • When filling out an application, have a pen and be ready to talk to someone right then if they are available. Your interview starts when you walk in the door to get an application.
  • Any question an interviewer asks is part of the interview. Even a simple “How has your day been so far?” This simple question is asking have you been productive, have you slept all day, do you know how to prioritize the important things in your own life?
  • When they ask if you have any questions about the company, make sure you have one ready. If all your questions have been answered, say that. You can even ask about the interviewer such as, “What do like best about working here?”

There are so many other tips to a good interview. Podcasts are a wonderful source of information for both the interviewer and interviewee. I hope this has helped.

I love to help, train, and coach. If you or someone you know is looking for a job but are concerned about the interview process (even if it is not with Just Peachy) come see me! I’d love help more people get into the workforce.

Take care all and stay Peachy!!


3 of my fearless team!

Wednesday thoughts on a pretty afternoon

The restaurant business is a crazy, chaotic creature. One day we are up and the other day I’m wondering if I need a second job! That, however, is the view of most business owners starting out. It feels odd to say ‘starting out’ since we have been here almost 3 years now. In the restaurant business, it takes 5 years to get established though. So we are still babies in this industry.

Today was a good day. Busy. Steady. Everyone seemed to flow together nicely in the kitchen and the dining room. It’s always a good day when we are still smiling and laughing as we walk out the door! I hope our guests were as pleased with their meals as we were.

I’ve been experimenting lately with some flavored Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve tried blueberry, black & white (chocolate and white chips), peach, and pecan caramel. So far the blueberry and pecan caramel have been the winners. You’ll have to weigh in on what you think soon! I think tomorrow I’ll try a chocolate hazelnut cinnamon roll. Hmmmm….. and apple and pumpkin season are fast approaching! Those could be some contenders too!

Stay peachy, friends!


Grandma Flossie’s Apple Salad

~she took this to about every gathering I can remember!

6 c chopped apples

1 c mini marshmellows

1/4c chopped celery

1/2 c raisins

1/2 c nuts

Mix these together.

Then mix 3/4 c Miracle Whip, 1/2 c sugar, and 1/4 c milk. Pour over apple mixture. Chill and serve!

Charity’s Adventures on the Appalachian Trail 2022

Day 1: Arrival in Damascus 

What a wonderful day for a journey!  The weather was beautiful & warm. I turned on my audio book, rolled down my windows, & enjoyed my long trip alone to Damascus, VA. There was very little traffic and the scenery was something I can never get enough of. 

Damascus isn’t a big town, but it is a bustling one. Being a town that the Appalachian trail goes right through, means there are lots of hikers. Not only that, it’s called “Trail town, USA” because there are many more trails connecting here. 

I’m staying at Crazy Larry’s cottage. It’s right next door to his hostel. Hostels are like big bunkhouses. Multiple people, you may or may not know, staying in the same rooms.  I opted for the cottage with a private room & bath. My room has a beautiful, cherry 4 poster tall bed, just like my Aunt Zanny used to have in the hills of Kentucky. The cottage is clean & well kept. The hostel, on the other hand, is made for hikers on a budget. Crazy Larry has free food on the porch for any hikers needing it. A stack of clothes by the door in case they need to borrow something while they do their laundry. You see, most hikers only have two sets of clothes with them: hiking clothes & sleeping clothes. Inside, Crazy L’s filing system was covering his kitchen table with his laptop but he seemed organized enough. He had my reservation so that’s all that mattered to me. As he walked me over to the cottage, he fired up a joint. “Hope you don’t mind the weed,” he says. “I smoke this shit all the time now. It’s no worse than a beer.”  I shrugged & told him it was his house, I’m just a guest. (It’s legal in VA)I guess what I didn’t see inside the hostel, according to a new friend I made, was the pile of pot on the counter!   Anyhow, Larry is cool. Older guy, used to hike & raise hell.  Now he runs this business, doesn’t raise much hell anymore but doesn’t put up with any crap either. 

I met three thru hikers right after getting settled in: Alley Cat, Tunes, & Twister. We had a great dinner together and swapped hiking stories. They are zeroing tomorrow and headed out Monday NOBO (north bound). I leave tomorrow, shuttling up trail and hiking SOBO (south bound) back to Damascus. I should pass my new friends Monday sometime. 

One other lady I met was Firewalker. She earned her  name in a unique way. She was about to walk through a portion of the Smokies when she came upon a group doing a controlled burn. She was told she couldn’t pass for 24-48 hours. She wasn’t having that and insisted she would go through. After much persistence, they finally called ahead to tell the others of the very stubborn woman. They told her to give them a couple hours and they’d let her through. As she finally made her way through, she walked among the charred, burning ground cover. The only thing not sizzling was the trail. Her biggest worry was how to tell her husband she earned the name Firewalker 

Girl Camper on the go!
Twister, Tunes, Alley Cat
Crazy Larry: the man, the myth, the legend
Crazy Larry’s

Day 2: Leaving Damascus: into the woods I go, to loose my mind and find my soul

I awoke from a decent night sleep early, as I tend to do. There was a cafe down the way that opened at 7:00 am and I wanted to beat the crowd. Such a cute place with local art work on the walls and tables made of old sewing machine bases. 

This bustling town of an evening is definitely sleepy at 7am. So peaceful in its valley, surrounded by mountains. As I enjoyed my breakfast sandwich & dirty chai from the Main Street Coffee & Cream, I watched the sun rise up over the mountains and shine on the sleepy town. The warmth awakened one hiker at a time as they started to emerge from their different hostels and sleeping rooms. 

When I arrived back at my cottage kitchen, I ran into Alley Cat where we talked hiking gear and hiking stories. Such a unique community to walk into. They’re such an accepting group. Live and let live all the way. 

I talked with Crazy Larry before leaving. It was his birthday today and hikers called best wishes to him as they passed. I sat on his comfortable, cluttered, welcoming front porch waiting for my ride. 

Gypsy pulled up in her little SUV to shuttle me to Massie Gap where I’d begin the hike. It’s the second time she’s shuttled me and such a nice lady. She and her other half, Lone Wolf,  thru hiked years ago and now shuttle other hikers. I told her how I couldn’t find a hiking mate this time around. She insisted that next I call her!  She’s always looking for a reason to get out and hike. Nice offer, and I might, but she’d probably hike circles around me!  I’m not the fastest hiker you’ll ever meet!

She dropped me off at my starting point, which had a pit toilet, score!  Massie Gap is in the Grayson Highlands State Park. The land of the wild ponies. I happened upon 3 of them as they grazed on the grass. They walked close but they weren’t rude or pushy, as I hear they get further into hiking season. Like any other wild animal, they’ll figure out where the treats come from even if feeding them is frowned on. 

The views in the highlands were more than I could have wished for. I could see mountains on top of mountains on top of mountains. Simply breathtaking.  I didn’t think I’d get out of that section just because I kept stopping to enjoy the view. I passed tons of thru hikers, some day hikers, a trail runner passed me. The age limit here is, well, kind of like a board game: from 0-99. Not sure the oldest hiker’s age but I know he was in his 80’s and still going strong!

I found a campsite after hiking 9 hours, 29,000 steps & 10 miles. Set up my tent, cooked dinner, made some hot tea, built a fire, and…….. realized I forgot my spoon!!  My meal of mushrooms, spinach, chicken, & rice was delicious!  I ate it with the lid of my coffee cup. A girl has to eat and I was NOT wasting that grub just because of no spoon!

As my fire dies down, it’s almost hiker midnight, 8:30, and it’s about time for bed.  I’m pleased with my journey and progress so far. Tomorrow should be a little easier. I have a lot of downhill ahead of me. However, downhill has its own set of issues too. 

So goodnight peaches. I’m off to dream of ponies and hills. 

me & the ponies
My lid/spoon

My first night fire

Day 3: Just keep hiking, just keep hiking

Last night was my first night ever to sleep completely alone in the woods. I’ve been alone in my tent but with hiking companions a stone throw away. Last night, no one close enough to throw rocks at but close enough to hear me yell if I needed something. 

I slept well. Typical night in a bear taco(sleeping bag). I woke every hour to turn, then go back to sleep. Nothing weird or scary happened. Nothing to freak me out. Such a nice night. In fact, about 5am nature came calling and I had to get out of my tent. Since there wasn’t anyone close to me, I didn’t have to travel far into the woods to find the perfect tree. When I looked up to return to my tent, I was in utter awe at the sky. It was a clear midnight blue with a million stars shining down. They were so close, and so big, I felt I could touch them. The Big Dipper was to the north hanging there as if waiting for God to grab the handle and scoop all the other stars up. If you ever have the chance to look at a clear star filled night at 5100ft, seize the moment. 

Finally around 6, I decided to emerge from my tent, retrieve my food, & make some well deserved coffee. I sat in my tent facing East and watched the sun crest over the mountains. What a fantastic way to start the day!  I’ve done some yoga stretches (thank you Allison Crim) and now time to pack up and hike on!

It was an easy(ish) hike out. I stopped at a spring to refill my water bottles and ran into my shuttle driver, Gypsy!  She was shuttling someone else & decided to do a hike if her own up to Buzzard rocks. Gorgeous view. She was there when I made it to the top and took some photos for me. 

I passed so many hikers today and I’d say half were solo women. Lots of dogs, including one little Yorke who’d walked almost the whole 500 miles! 

As the trail neared the Virginia Creeper Trail, I walked along a river until I came to a foot bridge. I crossed the river by using that bridge but at that point, I lost my white blazes! (White blazes mark the route of the AT. They are placed on trees at eye level along the trail). I could see a parking area under the bridge and people so I decided to go down. It was such a steep decent, I had to scoot on my bottom 1/2 the way. I got down there to realize it was not where I was supposed to be. Then came the tricky part, getting back up the hill. I made it & stayed on 2 feet the whole time. I’m just glad no one was watching!  Graceful, it was not. I found the trail again and passed Alley cat. On up further I saw Tunes & Twister. I passed a man and woman  the man had his pack and hers, probably 30# each, and she followed behind. By the look of her, I hope they were just shooting for the next road crossing and a ride someplace. I think the hills got the best of her today. 

The last push of my day was tough. Very steep mountains but the bright spot was I’d be at my next camp spot soon. 

Now I’ve gotten my water for the morning, had my dinner, and I’m once again tucked into my bear taco. I might sleep all the way through tonight. I hope. Rain is coming about 2am. Which means by last 4 miles will be wet ones. 

Today was 32,000 steps, 12.2 miles, & 11 hours of hiking. 

Sleep well, peaches. I know I will. 


Buzzard Rocks

Part of the trail

Day 4: Walking in the rain

Luckily the weather man was off a little so I awoke to a nice day with no rain. I could feel it was coming though. So I packed and left camp about 8. It was a down hill trek for most of it. Then about 9:45 it started to rain. 

I got out my map, because in my mind I was only 4 miles from the end. What I didn’t realize is when I plotted this trip last year, I had planned on ending before Damascus, not IN Damascus. As I fixed my mistake, I now had an additional 5 miles to walk in the rain before my hot shower and my reward Diet Coke. Which is funny because I don’t even really drink soda anymore!  That’s a total of 9 miles for the day and I wasn’t sure what terrain I was in store for on the AT. No service to call a shuttle. Dwindling energy to do many more climbs. Then I remembered the Virginia Creeper trail. I’d been walking above it for sometime. I found a way to cross to it and walked my remaining 5 miles in to town on a down sloped trail instead of the ups and downs I was sure to be ahead of me on the AT. I was afraid of what time I’d arrive back in town if I took that route!

The scenery was beautiful despite the rain. I crossed many pretty foot bridges and hiked along the river the whole time. It was too wet to get any pictures so I’ll just have to rely on my memory. 

I did pass a few hikers today but I think a lot are holed up in hostels waiting for tomorrow’s clear day. When almost to town, a lady shuttle driver stopped to see if I needed a ride. I was less than a 1/2 mile away at that point so I declined. I was soaked anyhow and her van was really nice. 

I got to Crazy Larry’s and found my room. This one even nicer than the first one. An immediate hot shower, hot tea, and a sit down were in order. 

So to sum up this trip, I’m sunburned, sore in places you didn’t think could be sore, don’t know if my feet will ever fit back into my shoes, and so empowered and happy that I did it!  I didn’t know if I could hike solo. Part of the downfall is not having anyone to share in the ups & downs (literal and figurative) or the gorgeous views or funny trips & falls. Sometimes it’s enough to be the only one to see these things. I’ll treasure this time and my first solo hike. 

I always say my parents raised me to be fearless, so fearless is what I’ll be. 

See you soon, Peaches. Hike on. 


9 miles & 22400 steps

water source

From Strangers to Friends

Think back to when you met your dearest friends. Was it easy? Was it hard? I met one of my dearest friends when she moved in down the road. I took her a pie to welcome her and she thought I was crazy. We’ve been inseparable ever since!

They say it is easier when you are a kid. As a kid you just start with a question like, “What’s your favorite dinosaur?” and you are in! As an adult, its a little tougher. If you ask someone about their favorite dinosaur, they might think you’re a little strange.

One of the things I love about my little café, is how it brings people together. We have regular customers who come in and have gotten to know other regulars. I love to hear them calling their greetings to each other from across the room. Sometimes they’ll even pull up a chair or share a table.

Earlier this week, I was privileged to watch a new friendship bloom. The dining room was full and finally a table opened up. The next party in line was a single lady but the table could seat 4 people. She went to the two ladies behind her in line and offered to share her table. They agreed and by the end of the meal they all exchanged phone numbers!

I have such a great group of people who dine with us and I’m honored to call them my friends. Thank you for your kindness to others as you walk through my doors.

Below is the recipe for what my family had for dinner tonight. I hope you enjoy!

Stay Peachy, friends!


*** Cafe update: The patio hasn’t been open lately due to weather. I do have heaters out there but it can be a loosing battle if the wind is too cold. We’ll open it back up as soon as we can.

***Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Our dinner will be Friday, February 11, 2022. Reservations are booking up fast! Call soon to put your name on the list. 317-825-0669

Crack Chicken Pasta One-Pot-Meal

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds Chicken
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 package of Ranch Mix
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 pound pasta (I use bow tie)
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 cup Spinach (or more if you really like spinach!)
  • 6 pieces crumbled, cooked, bacon

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Use a 12-14″ covered skillet, pour a drizzle of olive oil in the pan, and heat on medium. Cook the chicken till done. To skip this step, buy a bag of diced cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken.

After chicken is done, add Ranch mix, broth, and pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is done. Add cheese, cream cheese, bacon, and spinach. Stir till cheeses are melted.

Thank you for being a friend!

The season of teeny-tiny socks

Oh my! It has been a hot minute since I have posted anything! Life has been quite the roller coaster and I’ve been enjoying the ride!

Most recently, my husband and I have been remodeling our bedroom. When we got married in 2003, we bought a beautiful cherry bedroom suite. It is big, sturdy, heavy, and exactly what I wanted. So we have had this set for over 18 years. We have moved into three houses with this set and it always feels like home. This weekend we broke it down and changed it out for a perfect farmhouse-style mismatched set that goes with our old farmhouse. I’m so excited about the new look but it was such a shock to wake up not surrounded by my cherry bedroom suite!! Then to make matters more interesting, while cleaning out the dresser, I found teeny, tiny little boy socks that have to be 15 years old. My boys are now 15(almost) and 17 and teeny, tiny, cute socks are a thing of the distant past. Yet, here they were. The memories and nostalgia that came with this weekend were a roller coaster in themselves.

I’m so thankful for that beautiful bedroom set that represents the first 18 years of our marriage. The years of my boys running to jump on the bed and wake us up or them falling asleep between us. The little clothes that filled the drawers before they warmed their feet. The piles of coats during holiday dinners or nieces and nephews taking their naps.

There is a season for everything and as our lives together move forward so do the memories we make. It’s ok to transition into the next phase. I love thinking of those tiny socks but I’m so proud of the men in progress who fill the big stinky ones now.

I’ll try to not let another 8 months pass between posts!

Stay Peachy, Friends!


Maybe 2010? Ma, Gavin, Cole (nephew), & Garrett****** Days of teeny-tiny socks

2021 Elliott Brothers (Gavin & Garrett) ****Tiny socks are long gone!

Grandma Elzada’s Recipe

Lovin’ life!

You can’t feed them from an empty cupboard. Make sure to replenish yours every once in awhile!

Stay Peachy, Friends!


Campfire Garlic Butter Steak & Potatoes

  • Strip steak (sliced into strips, marinated in oil, 1 clove of pressed garlic, salt & pepper over night)
  • Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 stick butter (NOT MARGARINE!)
  • 1/2 Onion (sliced)
  • Red Potatoes (diced into bite sized pieces)

Make fire in fire ring & place cast iron skillet on grate over fire. Add butter, onions, potatoes, & mushrooms. Cook until tender stirring often. Once tender, push veggies to side (or remove) add steak. Don’t over cook. Once done, add veggies back in. Pull off fire, toss, together & serve!

Stepping out of that comfort zone isn’t for the weak…

It has been a busy and exciting week at Just Peachy Cafe! When I first opened, I had the opportunity to use a computer system or old fashioned pen and paper. I opted for pen and paper. It made me feel more in control and well. let’s be honest, when starting a business you have to count every penny! BUT, after a successful first year, we were able to install a new system and you’ll be seeing the changes when you come in! The new computer system will help us be more efficient in serving you.

Business is constantly changing and evolving. It can be exciting and scary all at the same time. Transitioning from such a tried and true, simple method to such a complex program was a bit nerve wracking. Apparently, the saying isn’t true though, you CAN teach old dogs new tricks! We just had to be brave enough to get out of our comfort zone to try it.

So next time you come in and the server is taking your order with a small computer, please be patient and speak slowly!

Stay Peachy, Friends


Let’s do a recipe that really gets you out of your comfort zone from a woman who knew a lot about being out of her comfort zone…..

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into lardons
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups red wine, like a chianti
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 small pearl onions
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 herb bouquet (4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 pound fresh white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups water for 10 minutes (Lardon is the French culinary term referring to thin strips of bacon, cut approximately 1/4-inch thick). Drain and pat dry.
  • 2 Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large Dutch oven, sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • 3 Dry the beef with a few paper towels for better browning. In batches, sear the beef on all sides in the Dutch oven. Set aside with the bacon.
  • 4 Back in the pot, add the sliced carrots and onions; sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. If there’s any excess fat, drain it now.
  • 5 Add the bacon and beef back to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Toss. Sprinkle with flour and toss once more. Place in the center of the oven for 4 minutes.
  • 6 Remove pot from oven; toss beef and place back in the oven for 4 more minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F.
  • 7 To the pot, add the wine and stock. The liquid should barely cover the meat and vegetables. Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme. Bring to a light simmer on the stove, then cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pierced.
  • 8 In the last hour of cooking, bring 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to a medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they’ve browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in 1/2 cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated, and the onions are tender.
  • 9 Remove the onions and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining butter and oil and bring to a medium heat.
  • 10 Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to coat with the butter.
  • 11 Place a colander over a large pot. Drain the beef stew through the colander and into the pot. Place the pot with the sauce over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming any fat on top. Pour the beef and vegetables back into the Dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot. Pour the sauce over the beef mix and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
Julia Child’s kitchen at the Smithsonian.
An amazing opportunity to visit the Smithsonian while in Washington D.C. with the Indiana School Nutrition Association in 2019

A year of trials & blessings

March 16, 2020…. The restaurant was packed. Every seat was full. I think I even gave a customer a hug when she came in. Then our Governor dropped the bomb on us. Every restaurant in Indiana was required to shut their dining room doors and function on carry out only starting the next day. Just Peachy was 2 days shy of celebrating 4 months of business. When opening, I just kept saying if I could make it through winter, I’d be good. Then COVID gets thrown in there too? Restaurants that had been in business for years were falling. It was terrifying. I had only been open 4 months.

My staff went home to not return until May. My mom, best friend, her kids, and my kids all ran the restaurant for the next 2 months on carry out only. Prices of supplies sky rocketed, while other items just couldn’t be ordered. BUT.. the support from our community was amazing. We even had one faithful customer come in and lay down a $100 bill. Said he hadn’t been able to make it in lately because his office was closed too but he wanted to help. Small town Shelbyville made a HUGE difference to us little mom and pop places.

This week marks one year since this happened to Just Peachy and my brother and sisters in the industry. We do what we do because we want to serve you. We love seeing your faces and hearing the ‘mmmms’ as you take that first bite. We love celebrating with you and meeting every new person that comes to visit us. Without you, we have no business doing what we do. We missed you during the shut down. We have missed you during this last year as everyone is distancing themselves from one another. Some of you have been trickling back in, and I’m so excited to see you! I CANNOT WAIT for the rest of you to come back too!

I have a sign by my register that says ‘Too Blessed to be Stressed’. That is what we are here at Just Peachy. We might be finishing up a year of trials but there are always trials. There will be more, the restaurant business isn’t easy! How you handle the trials will determine your success or your demise.

Stay Just Peachy, Friends.


Grandma Elzada’s Pickle Recipe
Our faithful pandemic workers during carry out only.
E-learning in the morning and curbside deliveries during lunch!
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