"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Monday, 6 December 2010

The stinky things in life

One of the things I love - and sometimes loathe - about my lovin' hubby is how opposite we are in many ways. A relationship of opposites can be disastrous, but ours works. When it comes to politics, money, childcare and the merits of Prince's music, we don't always agree. We do, however, share the same taste in jokes; otherwise I never would have married him. Sharing a sense of humour is deadly serious in my book.

The fact that D and I are ofen on the polar opposite sides of an issue is never more apparent than when I cook certain foods. For example, I can predict with some measure of accuracy what he will say when he walks in the door tonight: "Geez Kim, it smells strong in here. (sniffs the air suspiciously) It smells like....(wrinkles nose)...geez, it smells like onion. (a dramatic pause) I hate onion."

My response has already been rehearsed: "Yes, darling. I know. I've cut up ONE onion and ONE (a slight lie) clove of garlic to make the stew you will later rave about. Trust me."

I come from a Russian heritage where onion and garlic figure predominantly in every meal except for breakfast. My Babushka ate garlic every day of her life and she lived to be 96. Even my Dad, a non-russkie, eats raw garlic almost every day. But D hates onion. And garlic. And cilantro. And goat cheese. All those delicious, smelly things that make my culinary life complete.

So to perserve marital harmony, I don't make him eat raw onion very often, or raw garlic ever. I keep the cilantro separate when I make fajitas, and sprinkle heaps of goat cheese on my salad, but never on his. I do continue to cook with the other unmentionables, because it would be sacrilige to make a beef stew without onion or borscht without garlic. And there are very few meals he's ever made a negative comment about; I've lucked out in that department - the man eats everything I ever put in front of him!

So anyway, tonight is Easy Beefy Stewy night. It's redolent with aromas and your kitchen will stink to high heaven after you're done chopping up the smellier ingredients. But your tummy will thank you. Just like my husband will thank me after he's eaten his 3rd bowlful.

Easy Beefy Stewy
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite sized chunks
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and paprika
1 medium onion, chopped
2 rib celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups broth
1 cup red wine
1 bay leaf

1. Toss beef with seasoned flour to coat.
2. Heat oil in a heavy pot and brown beef lightly.
3. Add onion and celery; cook 3 minutes.
4. Add sliced carrots, garlic, broth, wine and bay leaf.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour, or until beef is tender. Serve over orzo.