Carol Rees Friday

I would bet money there are people living in Phoenixville who do not know where Gold Street is located. It is a small street that crosses over Lincoln Avenue between Washington Avenue and Morgan Street. (It is a street connected with a local murder case back in the 1950s.)

It was on that street that Carol Rees and her two sisters, Dawne and Beverly, spent time growing up. They then went to live on a 50-acre farm near Kimberton.

Carol’s first marriage produced four daughters, along with a premature baby boy who did not live. It wasn’t until she remarried for the second time that her son Jonathon was born. Sadly, Jonathan passed away at the young age of 18. Carol found herself a single mother with the need to find a way to support her family.

Along the way when she went to work — she became involved in “Project Help,” a drug and alcohol outpatient facility. It was a nonprofit with its facility located on Church Street in Phoenixville.

Moving on to work for the Chester County Council on Addictive Diseases, she later became the CFO for Human Management Services. She retired in 2010 after 25 years of service with both agencies.

Carol led a busy and hectic life. Along with her work and children, there are seven grandchildren. In 2003, she decided to downsize and moved to her home at Westridge.

It seems Carol likes to surround herself with beauty. On her interior walls are displayed the works of many area artists. Carol proudly gave me the grand tour of her home. One of the things she wanted me to see was how her bathroom was refitted to her needs.

In 2018, Carol suffered a stroke affecting her left side which is her dominate it side. It still affects her balance — so the need to refit some of the facilities (especially the bathroom) and she needed to learn to compensate.

She met Sherman Hess online 3½ years ago. He is from the Pottstown area. They live at the Westridge house with their year-old Cavapoo (puppy) named “Roady.”

Sherman has helped Carol to be able to get through a difficult time for a very active lady. The stroke has slowed her down but she seems to keep going. It does not hurt that Sherman likes to share his sense of humor.

We got to talking about food and what we like the most. Without hesitation, Carol said Pot Roast. Here is a great recipe and to make it even better it can be made in a slow cooker.


No-fuss, amazingly fall-apart pot roast made in your crockpot with the most tender vegetables! And the gravy is simply perfection.

• 1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) boneless chuck roast

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

• 1 1/2 cups beef broth

• 1/2 cup dry red wine

• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 tablespoons tomato paste

• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

• 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes

• 3 large carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces

• 2 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces

• 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 6 sprigs fresh thyme

• 1 bay leaf

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Season beef with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook until evenly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. In a medium bowl, whisk together beef broth, wine, flour, tomato paste and Worcestershire; set aside. Place potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth mixture; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with beef. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours, or until meat is fork-tender. Remove beef, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion from the slow cooker; shred beef, using two forks. Cover with aluminum foil. Strain cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan over medium heat; discard solids. Skim any remaining fat from surface and discard. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until desired thickness, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve beef, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion with juices immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


Contact columnist Bette Banjack at Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack as well as (search bar Banjack). She can also be found on Facebook.

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