Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seeking warmth in freezing rain

Tuesday's homemade stew (recipe below)
For me the weather today is a metaphor, so I posted a Facebook status asking about food. I have received lots of literal replies.
Ice storms call for stew. What does this other storm call for??
What is the best "food for the soul" when a freezing rain seems to be covering us from the sky?  I feel unable to escape it's reach even in the warmth of my home.

It's soft and warm. A future hat?
Is fixing a seam a metaphor?
I'll turn to what I've always turned to. Knitting and cooking. I'll be making something with my hands for people I love. When despair and frustration and hate seem to permeate everything, you have to look to yourself and your loved ones for safe haven. Sometimes you only have yourself... and soup.

For knitters (about two of you who read this blog), Pam MacKenzie gave a great tip today for a knitting book that I intend to buy. I want to make a sweater like the Joining in Friendship Sweater where the cables symbolize friendship. But not tonight. I'm not risking the icy roads for a book.

For those non-knitters, I happily share with you the recipe for my stew. As with all my stews I don't measure. I put in what I have until it seems like I've put in enough.  You can start with the ingredients I'm listing.

Brown the meat with garlic and onion (no onion for us, but it's usually a must), then throw in the rest at will. Potatoes, celery, tomato paste (I used 1/2 jar of diavolo for an extra kick). As you see I also have mushrooms and cabbage and carrots. I flavored it with dried cumin and oregano, nutmeg and basil, plus whatever was in the sauce. 2 cartons of beef broth. Simmer for as long as you can. Mine will for 3-4 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.  Eat with people who make you feel good.

Make it your own with the ingredients that your family loves. Eat with fresh bread. We will have Wegmans batard.

And after I publish this, I'm doing a media blackout. No e-mail, no facebook. That may work better than stew.  I'll be back in cyberspace tomorrow.

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