Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Child in me

If you haven't noticed, I'm doing some blog fests. (Festivi? Festivals?) Which, as I'm a new blogger is good! Plus, as I'm trying to get back in the swing of writing, is good! Keeps me in shape, mentally. Good for the arthritis...Maybe not so good for the butt.

One of these fests I'm working on is a Thousand Word Short Story inspired by a picture. I won't tell you which picture I chose. And I won't even HINT the direction that my story took...bwahahah! I will say that once again, I'm over by about 50 words. Damnit. EDIT! Anyway...in doing research for this short story, I was looking up children's nursery rhymes. Mainly because there was one in the back of my head that was pinging me...just out of the corner of my eye. I could ALMOST remember it. Not quite. But nope. And after a good 45 minutes of Googling and wandering about the internets I have no CLUE what it was now. What I do know is that Wow. Nursery Rhymes are twisted. They're Awesome. I want a kid simply so I can scare the Hell out of them just before I send them to sleep at night. I mean honestly. This one:

The Spider and the Fly
"For the last time now I ask you, will you walk in, Mister Fly?"
"No! If I do, may I be shot, I'm off now, so good-bye, good-bye, good-bye.
"Then up he springs, but both his wings were in the web caught fast;
The Spider laugh'd, "Ah, ah, my boy, I have you safe at last. Will you, will you, will you walk OUT, pretty Fly? …" "Tell me, pray, how are you now?" says the Spider to the Fly,
"You fools will never wisdom get unless you dearly buy;' 

This is an old one..the Spider and The Fly, warning children against the evils of Pleasure. 

However...This next one, I was at a total Loss as to what the heck it could possibly be getting at, except that the author had a bad opium trip when he had a tooth removed...

Mother Tabbyskin

Pray, send for a doctor quick-any one will do.
Doctor Mouse came creeping, creeping to her bed, lanced her gums and felt her pulse, whispered she was dead. Very sly, very sly, 
the real old cat open kept her weather eye, mouse beware of that!
Old Mother Tabbyskins, saying "Serves him right!" 
gobbled up the doctor with infinite delight.
"Very fast, very fast, very pleasant, too. 
What a pity it can't last. Send another, do."
Doctor Dog comes running, just to see her begs. 
Round his neck a comforter, trousers on his legs.
Very grand, very grand golden headed cane swinging gaily from his hand,
mischief in his brain. 

The later stanza's get worse and more twisted the more opium the author takes...

Anyway...After getting thoroughly terrified, and thinking about how soft kids have it now with their 'Fluffy Bunny' Books. I decided that I would probably be better off writing my own Nursery Rhyme. 

Now. Where do I get opium? 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stewing in my Juices

Now that spring has sprung here in the Northeast (Though it's questionable that Winter ever sprung..so Spring Springing is somewhat anti climatic...) I am in the mood for that most seasonable of foods. Beef Stew. Not sure why. Maybe there's a surplus of beef to be had and the Universe if having a sale. Who knows. Don't care. Want Stew.

Good stew. Not Dinty Moore crap ass from a can watery salty nasty can't taste my own tongue for a week beef stew. No. Homemade, stove top to oven takes 5 hours and you eat it for a week beef stew.

Growing up, I do not honestly remember having beef stew. This could be for two reasons. 1) My memory can be crap, and we possibly had it every month. (Doubtful). 2) Beef is Pricey! Feeding 5 kids is not cheap, or easy, and I think the last thing my mom wanted to do was stand in the kitchen for 5 hours making stew that was going to be gone in 3 minutes. Though I do remember her making bread quite a bit..  My first 'memory' of anything close to Beef Stew was a dish that one of my parents made that was whole potatoes, whole carrots, whole onions, and a cut of beef. Probably a brisket. Then they had thrown a can of diced tomatoes, or tomato paste over the dish, covered it and baked it for, oh, forever. It was amazing.  Not stew, exactly. But whenever I make beef stew, that's the flavor that I'm aiming for.

I love making stew. It's so satisfying. Taking cheap cuts of meat, turning them into a meal that can last for days with minimal investment. I think it's one of the few forms of cooking that can truly be termed 'lazy'. You literally chop up a bunch of stuff, sear some meat, throw everything together and walk away. For HOURS. How many dishes can you do that with? Not many. Minimal effort. Huge Return. And, done right, the flavor! So many layers of flavors in stew. The bacon (oh yes...always),sear the beef,  then the mirepoix, which doesn't really add a single flavor so much as the basis for the stew. Caramelized goodness. Deglaze with wine. Add the potatoes and herbs. Stock. Then tomato. Then my secret ingredient. Which I will now give to you. Secretly. Shhh. Sweet Potato. Just enough so that when it breaks down in the oven it thickens everything up perfectly. Throw in oven. Forget about.

Stew. Mmmm.

Or Sushi. I'm always up for sushi.

Thursday, February 23, 2012