Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Stew

This is a perfect day for staying in and playing with the crock pot. It's cold and snowy, and since I've already done my outdoor stuff (pointless until it stops accumulating snow).
Mom's crock pot must be about twenty years old, though she claims we had an older one that was thrown out last summer because it was contaminated by some cedar essential oil and could no longer be used for cooking; since I don't make hot process soap, there was no reason to keep it. Fortunately she had a spare, and that's being used to make a nice pot of stewie soup. I don't really trust it because of it's age, so I've had it cooking on High since about noon. I wish we had some barley! Anyway.. here's the recipe.

1 to 1.5 lbs stew meat
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can pinto beans in tomato sauce
2.5 tsp salt or to taste
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
3 small sprigs fresh rosemary
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 cup red wine
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 large carrot, sliced or a couple ounces of baby carrots, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
enough water to cover

I've been cooking this for about four hours and will do so for another two, but use whatever instructions for cooking time your own particular pot comes with. Wait until about an hour from the time you think things will be finished, then add the potatoes and carrots, otherwise they'll get all mushy. You could also add some frozen peas and barley if you happen to have any, or even make some cute little dumplings for the top, of course. :P

* The stew ended up cooking for about seven hours.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sock Stuff

Cold weather has finally settled over our little corner of the world, which must mean that winter is really and truly here. It still hasn't snowed, but it's been cold enough that the clay bowl of water on the front step has frozen solid and stayed that way for the past couple of days. Better late than never, I guess.
It's only the beginning of the year and I already feel like I've fallen way behind. I meant to finish the gray Lopi socks I started a few days before New Year's so I could actually wear them on New Year's, but since I only finished one sock I thought it would be sort of silly to wander around in a gray sock and another sock from another pair. The yarn is nice, even if it does pull apart and make it hard to pull the stitches as tight as I like. That, as I've said before, is the nature of Lopi. Now, if only there were a superwash form of Lopi...

Cold Feet