Thursday, January 27, 2011

A story of beef stew, a new veggie, a fight with a turnip, and more snow.

It snowed again today. At first, they were expecting up to 30 cm (about 12 inches), then they changed it to about 15 cm on the coast (where i am) and up to 35 cm inland. The storm was supposed to start at 4 am and be done by noon. I got up at 6 am and peaked out the curtains, to see just how bad my walk to work was going to be. It was fluttering down, but not much; comparable to sprinkling rain. 35 minutes later when i walked out the door, it was snowing and blowing full force. The street was covered with a heavy dusting and it looked slippery. I walked through the mess to work and on breaks all day peaked out. It finally stopped sometime between 2 and 3 PM, when i was off. And i got home to the following on my doorstep.

Yup, i walked through it to get in, up to my knees on the top step. The wind had blown snow about 1/4 way up the door. Thankfully, while i was upstairs getting changed into jeans, the sidewalk plough went by; so instead of having to shovel from door to curb, i only had to do the steps and what the snowplough had pushed onto them..

While i was at work, one of my teammates and i were discussing dinner. I told her i planned on making a beef stew tonight, because of the storm and i knew i would be shoveling, i thought i deserved a nice warm dinner. She was looking for parsnips for a recipe, and had been having a hard time finding them in the supermarkets. I advised to go to the City Market, which is attached by pedway to the mall that our call center is located in; since i have been able to find some things there that i had not been able to find elsewhere. She came back with a bag of parsnips and offered me a couple for my stew, since i have never tried them before. In case you have never had them, parsnips look like a white carrot. I really liked the smell when i was peeling them, it kind of reminded me of a sweet apple.

On my walk home, i stopped in the City Market myself and picked up a turnip and a sweet potato for my stew...and then while i was prepping my veggies i had a fight with the turnip. I have eaten turnip, but I have never cooked with it before and didn't realized how hard they are; and so i managed to get my knife stuck in it. It is a brand new knife, and therefore very sharp! I had to carefully cut my knife out with chunks of turnip using a paring knife, i then peeled the chunks and used in my stew. Here is my poor knife, i could neither push it the rest of the way through, nor pull it back out. 

I also threw in a few small red potatoes and a large carrot chopped up. By the time i was done shoveling and cutting veggies, it was after 4 PM,and since i wanted to use my crock pot and still wanted to eat sometime tonight, i threw all the veggies together in a large pot and boiled them for a bit. While making my broth, i cooked the meat until it was about 3/4 done, in the frying pan. I left the temperature on high a bit to long, and therefore almost burned it. Thankfully, i caught it on time. 

As for the broth, i didn't use a recipe this time. I had some leftover chicken broth in the fridge, so i poured that into my large measuring cup, it was about 2 cups. I added another cup of beef broth, and then for kicks, i added about a Tbsp of beer & chipotle BBQ sauce, a generous couple of Tbsp of HP sauce, and a half tsp of prechopped garlic from a jar.

Into the crock pot i chopped about 1/4 of a red onion which i sprinkled Italian spice over.  Finally, i added the broth, cooked veggies and meat.

I turned it on high about 2 hours, and made dessert, which i will post tomorrow night. And i served this with leftover bread sticks that i had thrown in the freezer last weekend. 

I knew my mixed up stew was going to be delicious before i even tried it. The smell was divine!! It was mostly the HP sauce, i believe. It tasted almost exactly as it smelled, i can't wait to dig into more for lunch tomorrow! I will leave you tonight with one more snow picture, i took this while walking through the graveyard on my way home. It was very windy and i thought the snow blowing around the tombstones looked eerie. Good thing it was daylight!! 


  1. You've made me very glad that I live somewhere that doesn't get much snow! I'm not fond of the white stuff. The stew on the other hand, that would almost make it worthwhile to get out a snow shovel (which I don't own). I love the recipe with all the winter vegetables. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I don't like the snow much, but i think if i lived somewhere warm, i would miss it. Right now, though, my opinion is that it is only god for taking pictures...and they are calling for another 10 cm next Wednesday!