Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I'm back. For now. I may have mentioned once or twice how I feel about fall. It sucks. Everything dies, it gets cold, the sun goes into hiding. Ugh. There's just something about a dreary autumn day that makes me feel small, alone, and well, desolate.
I retreat into a funk and find it nearly impossible to get anything done. I overslept on Monday. Tuesday, it got bad enough that I just called in sick and slept all day.
Finally, sometime yesterday afternoon, my sniveling self pity made me disgusted enough with myself that I hauled me out of bed and got crackin' - in a small, mostly insignificant way. I did a load of laundry - the bathroom rug and my junk towels; I took the trash out; cleaned out the litter box; watered plants; straightened up the kitchen; then - ugh! - I ended up scrubbing out the fridge 'cause when I dug around for the stew meat, I discovered that the package had been shoved to the back and kind of tipped and it bled all over the back of my refrigerator. Yuck, yuck, yuck! Now, my hands are all cracked and dried from the bleach, but you could, if necessary, perform a sterile operation safely on any inside surface of the fridge.
Then I made comfort food - braised beef and noodles. Yum! I'm feeling better now, although I did burn the roof of my mouth. Ouchie. So, if you're all depressed on a grey fall day, spend a few hours making this, then curl up with a cat, and a good book. Things will fall back into place in fairly short order.
Braised Beef and Noodles
from the kitchen of... my mom
Trim excess fat from package of stew meat and cut (if necessary) into bite sized chunks. Add enough olive oil to a large pot to cover the bottom. Brown beef, then add about half of a coarsely chopped onion and 3 or 4 cloves (not the whole bulb, the little cloves!) of garlic, minced. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.
Add water to fill pot. (Last night, I used a stock pot and filled it about half way - with approx. 8 cups of water.) Add 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. (Depending on your fondness for pepper, you may want to add closer to 1 tsp - 2 is kinda peppery.) Simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
Add 3 beef bouillon cubes. Boil for 10 minutes. Add 4 potatoes (peeled and quartered, lengthwise) and half a bag of egg noodles. Cook until potatoes are done.
Optional bit that we always do: removed meat, noodles and potatoes from pot. Make a paste of flour and water. Bring liquid to boil, drizzle in flour paste slowly, while stirring constantly. Bowl for a minute or two, stirring constantly. When thickened to taste, put meat, etc back in pot.
Note: the image above is the soup tureen that Mom always serves this dish in. I love this pattern - Johnson Brothers "The Old Mill." It's one sure way of getting me to do the dishes 'cause I pitch a fit if she tries to put the tureen into the dishwasher.