I LOVE Stew!!!


Apparently most people think stew is like tuna casserole, something you’ll only choke down if there isn’t something better. But give me a bowl of stew and some biscuits, and my stomach goes into it’s happy dance. It takes a while to make stew, but it’s a good weekend endeavor. Kind of like a food mullet. Not much business to attend to up front, big party in the rear. Yes, my mind does work in mysterious ways.

Stew’s in the pot getting delicate. Think I’ll go read a book and enjoy doing nothing for a while, since it’s back to the old grindstone tomorrow. Sigh!

When A Pie’s Too Much….

When a whole pie is just more than you want, or making a pie is just too much trouble, don’t do without, make a galette! Nothing could be faster or easier, especially if you use a ready made pie crust. (I should have stock in the Pillsbury company.)

galette done

The nectarines are getting ripe on our little tree, so Mr. Man brought some in and left them sitting on the counter. Yeah, I can take a hint. But I could not possibly put out less effort making anything than it takes to make a galette, and he’ll be a happy camper. That’s what I call a win, win.

Of course most of the time we want some nectarines, we have to resort to buying them at the store or some local fruit stand. Either way, you’re apt to be looking at fruit that was picked before it was quite ripe and put into cold storage. So I’ll pass along some advice I got from a fruit inspector. Look at the nectarine right around where the stem was attached. You’re looking for a nice warm, golden yellow color. Those will be the ones that were ripest when they were picked. OK, there are white nectarines, and I can’t help you there, but those aren’t the ones you usually see at the grocery store.

You can make a galette with nectarines, peaches, plums, apples, whatever you have on hand. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s not really a problem for two of us to polish off a whole galette of an evening. But, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it makes a nice and rather elegant dessert for four.

Summer’s here and fruit’s ripe. Now’s the perfect time for a galette!

All I Know About Asparagus

All I’ve been doing for weeks is working. No time to cook anything really fun, let alone post any recipes. But, I have a little time today so let’s talk about asparagus.

First, what do you look for when you’re trying to get the best asparagus?  Well, it depends on who you ask. Some say it doesn’t matter what size the stalks are, it’s all good. Just pick whatever size works best for what you’re going to use it for.

On the other hand, I’ve heard that asparagus spears have X number of fibrous strands running through them, no matter how thin or how thick. So the thin spears are mostly fiber, while the thick spears have more “meat” and actually cook up more tender. Personally, that’s been my experience. The last time I cooked skinny little asparagus it was like trying to eat twigs, so I’ve sworn off skinny asparagus for good.

On the other hand, when the bottoms of the spears get really thick and old, and turn white, does that mean they’re tough? That’s been my experience too but again, to each his own. I figure it’s like men. You don’t want the scrawny wiry little dude, you want the nice beefy guy, until he turns old and grey, then he’s not so good anymore. And you want spears that are firm, and not limp or wrinkled, with a tight and purplish tip. Yes, we’re still talking about asparagus.

To store asparagus, you can cut an inch off of the bottom of the spears, drop them into a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom, and put a plastic bag over the top. Or you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in a plastic bag.

When it’s cooking time, most people line their asparagus up and cut off a little bit of the bottoms, so the spears are all the same size. I just snap off the tough part & don’t worry about uniformity. I hold the spear in the middle with one hand, hold the fat end in the other, and bend the spear until it snaps. In theory it will snap off where the stem is starting to get tough. That’s my plan anyway, and I’m sticking with it. It does waste more asparagus, which is expensive, so do whatever you want.

Types of asparagus? Well, there’s green, white, and purple. White asparagus is the geek version of green asparagus. It’s the same thing, tastes the same, it just never sees the light of day so it’s all white and pasty. Purple asparagus is a different variety, supposedly sweeter and more tender, but never having eaten any myself, I can’t confirm that.

Anyway, that’s all I know on the subject of asparagus. I make roasted/broiled asparagus pretty often, so you can check out my recipe if you have nothing better to do.