I was hurrying and scurrying around the house getting ready for work this morning and I glanced out my windows at the birdfeeder and there was a "flock" of red-winged blackbirds gathered beneath the feeder with one great big old regular blackbird on the feeder tipping it to its side. Obviously, no one was going to go hungry in the bird world this morning.
I’m taking leftover beef stew for lunch today. I kind of smile when I think about beef stew. Over the years I have honed my skills at cooking and I gotta tell you I’ve learned most of what I know the hard way. So many times when you’re young you cannot afford to play with ingredients, at least not if you want to eat!! Also, back in my earlier days we didn’t have the internet to go to. There was no Food Network or Cooking Channel!! I had a Fannie Farmer Cookbook and a Betty Crocker Cooking for Two and believe you me, it was all one great big adventure. Geez!!! Do I sound old, or what?
Anyway, it makes me smile because I remember when I wanted so badly to learn how to make stew like what you bought in a can at the grocery store. The store-bought cans of beef stew had those great big nice tender chunks of beef in them and my husband just loved it (I realize now it was processed meat . . . but). My stew always turned out mushy by the time I was finished. The potatoes were too mushy and the meat, by the time I got it to where it would be very, very tender, would be shredded. It tasted good but it just wasn’t what I wanted. By accident one day I learned a little something new. I put a chuck roast in the crockpot because I didn’t have time to cook it up or roast it in the oven. That afternoon I pulled it out of the crock pot all in one big piece. This was after I had already fixed supper and was in a rush to take the kids somewhere, so I wrapped it up and put it in the frig. Next day when I got ready to fix the stew and started cutting the meat I realized that I could cut it into perfect chunks and have nice big pieces of meat in my stew and they would also be tender. It was like this amazing lightbulb went on in my head. Oh man!! Chunks of meat in the stew and I didn’t have to cook anything to death. I realized at the same time that I could take large rump roasts, fixing them much the same way, and have wonderfully tender slices of roast beef. Now, I suppose that may seem so silly to most you now but wow, it was just the coolest thing in the world for me. You all can just go to Food Network or to the Cooking Channel but when I learned that little piece of food knowledge - I WAS my own FoodNetwork!! That was a long time ago but I make a mean beef stew to this day!!!!
I was supposed to meet with the bride a few weeks ago and talk about what she wanted at her reception but she was sick. Tonight I’m meeting with her and her Mother. This is brand new territory for me. I have to admit - I’m excited. A little nervous about the number of people I will be preparing the appetizers, etc. for but still excited. I’m off on another adventure!!!