Almost But Not Quite

We’ve reached that lovely part of the year where the lion and the  lamb start circling one another.  Where Persephone reminds Hades it’s once again time for the distance part of their long distance relationship. Where fauna and flora begin their respective reproduction orgies.

We in the northern hemisphere prepare to happily shed clothes, while our southern hemisphere reluctantly prepare to bundle. In the interim Gaea and Bacchus sip fermented ambrosia while they flip coins on the weather temperatures.

Spring is still a couple of weeks away by the calendar. That means it is still officially winter. So at guess who has been in a comfort food mode these past couple of days? Breakfast Wednesday was cheese grits with scrambled eggs and sausage. Thursday’s Dinner was grilled swiss and bacon with tomato soup. And last night I got the brilliant idea to start on one more stew for the winter. My brain is self-wired to think of stews as only a fall/winter weather thing. Thus, I only make stew September through March.

I still haven’t quite learned the knack of cooking for one. So, things like a stew are a commitment to several days of having the same meal before I start Ziploc-ing and freezing. Regardless, I was still in comfort food mood, I wanted homemade stew so I begin Step 1:The Gathering. Do I have everything I want to make stew? Yes/No work out substitutes or things I’m willing to do without (how is it I do not any green peas in the house – canned frozen or fresh? Oh right they’re on the shopping list for tomorrow because you forgot them last week – grrr), and lay everything them out. My small kitchen with minimal worktop space looks like I’m setting up for a cooking segment as I prep. Speaking of which…

It galls me to see cooking segment/shows that lay claims of 15 minute prep/20 minute cook. Yes, Rachel Ray can throw all those perfectly measured peppers/onions/carrots/seasonings etc in a timely matter because she has someone else as sous chef doing all that fun stuff beforehand. Like most home cooks I am my onw sous chef. It took nearly half an hour just to clean and cube the four pounds of chuck roast to bite sized pieces. I still have the onions, potatoes, carrots et al to be done. It essentially took an hour to do all the prep and sear the meat before I transferred everything to the crockpot for the actual cooking to begin.

I should probably mention it was already 8pm when the brilliant idea struck. Thus it was just after 9pm when I finally turned the crockpot on. So low cook for eight hours or cook on high for fours hours. Yeah, who am I kidding? I set an alarm and four hours it was. At 1 in the morning I removed the bay leaves and rosemary, added the cornstarch to thicken the broth and gave it another fifteen minutes before I declared it done.

Please remember all of that was because I wanted stew for dinner last night. At nearing on two in the morning I then grabbed what was left of the cabernet sauvignon that didn’t go into the stew and called it a night -erm- morning.

1:30am this morning
Bowl of beef stew served over pasta, topped with cheese. blend.
7:30pm tonight. I like cheese – shoot me.

Day 5 of 31 – Come see how the rest of us are slicing it up!

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers