Saturday, December 14, 2013

The time of stews

The crazy weird thing about me (just the one) is that when I was younger, reading all those fantasy books, (just the other day, in fact) always, they always talked about stews and rabbits and broths and you know, fantasy stew foods. Platters of birds and roasts for celebration, but for our heroes, usually, stews, yummy sounding stews and breads and broths at village inns or taverns or camps or wherever.

I am a Rosemary and Lamb stew, using Thyme
because we were out of Rosemary. It's black and
white because no one could handle the awesomeness
of Lamb Stew in color.

I love making stew because it takes me back to this simple place of taking root vegetables and meat and flour and wine or beer or broth and creating this really flavorful meal that is so comforting and so homey that it makes everything so much better... there's added warmth when stew is on the stove, the house smells amazing, the temperature on a chilly day seems to rise... everyone wants to pick at the stew while it's on the stove... I love it. I love the big dutch oven I use to cook it in. I love the feeling of 'home' that I associate with it. I love the time it takes.

My family growing up wasn't big on stews. We had a lot of Italian cooking, since you know, we were well, very, very... very Italian... there was pasta and spaghetti and pasta, and then, sometimes, sometimes, meat pie... meat pie... can feed a small army, and it's essentially spaghetti casserole minus the noodles, add the pie crust. Or lasagna.

Sometimes my mom would cook. So we'd have Macaroni, or hot dogs, or some weird thing involving gravy and turkey and peas on toast, which sounds great unless you dislike soggy toast. I despised it as a child, and it still sounds mostly unappealing. My mom wasn't a bad cook, she was a disinterested cook. She made amazing appetizers though - her stuffed mushrooms to this day are a go-to  party dish. 

At some point in my marriage to Husbear, I made a Pot Roast that was so amazingly delicious on the one hand and so simple to make on the other, and so beloved by both Drama Girl and Husbear, it became a staple called Roast Feast. Then the boys were born and they too love Roast Feast. There's only one person who's not crazy about it... me. I'm just not into it. But boy, do I make it well...

I moved on to stews a ways back, and here I found food mecca for Husbear and family. The boys say they don't like stew, then they eat it all, so I'm not sure what to make of it, but I've got several stew recipes on file now. It's one of those things I crave, especially when I'm in the mood for a good fantasy book or movie, curling up in winter with some bread and broth.

So tonight, stew is on the stove. I'm drinking the red wine left over from the stew, and I'm dreaming of leftovers. (There won't be leftovers, I used 2 pounds of lamb and that'll be barely enough to feed the boys!) 

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