Saturday, September 27, 2008

If It's Friday, It Must Be Stew

A couple of days ago, I was diddling around in my local Trader Joe’s Market and saw myriad small packages of pre-cut and miniature vegetables.  Now, I’m not one to buy pre-cut vegetables, since I have no confidence in their nutritional value, but the hour was late and I was tired and supper was going to have to be made.  So I bought fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, French green beans, cubed sweet potatoes, and miniature sunburst squash, took them home and dumped them in a pot with chopped onion, three or four sliced cloves of garlic, and broth, and stewed them slowly for a couple of hours while I worked on the manuscript.  It was delicious.


We were able to get two meals out of the pot.  I was so thrilled with the outcome of my pot luck that a couple of days later I went to Whole Foods and bought all sorts of odd and fun root vegetables for a root veggie stew.  I used fingerling potatoes, pearl onions, cloves of garlic, a small fennel bulb, a small celery root, a parsnip and a rutabaga.  Stewed in broth for a couple of hours again.  To die for.


I was reminded of my mother’s routine of by cleaning all the week’s leftovers out of the refrigerator every Friday and making a stew out of them.  Talk about true pot luck - and it was always spectacular, since she grew most of her vegetables herself.  Of course, she always had bits of pot roast, chunks of chicken, shredded pork, corn cut off the cob, freshly shelled peas - truly, whatever she had.  She learned this routine from her mother, I’m sure, when the competent housewife did not let anything go to waste, and she did it in the most tasty way!

4 comments:

Marian Allen said...

Oh, that does sound good! I love making soup out of whatever doesn't actually run away from me. Beans, tomatoes, leftover succotash, that last bit of gravy.... And then Charlie says, "Save that recipe." And I go, "...recipe?"

Donis Casey said...

Gravy! I forgot about gravy. The most delicious addition to any soup or stew.

Judy Alter said...

When my kids were young I used a custom of my mother's and made soup of the week one night a week--it was bits of leftovers of whatever we'd had that week, maybe a bit of roast, maybe a casserole, whatever (okay I did draw some limits). When necessary I beefed it up (forigive the phrase) with broth or diced canned tomatoes or whatever. Somehow it usually came out brown, which reminds me of the jokes about brown food in Texas--beans, chili, gravy, etc. But with a little creative seasoning, it was always pretty good--and a great way for a single mom on a budget to feed four teenagers. Actually I think it's a French custom.

zhadi said...

I love a good stew...and it's getting to be the weather for it too. And I've always found TJ's veggies to be pretty good...