Saturday was the day my 3 were scheduled to return home from WVU, and I was hopeful for no delays. You see, my son is an RA this year, and stayed late at the beginning of Thanksgiving break so he'd have no set return time at the end. Of course, this means they must go through all rooms, and make sure there are no fire hazards, nor people trying to remain in the dorms even though they're closed. So there were 2 teams, one of girls, and the other my 6'5", red pony tail sporting son with a "skinny little guy". Sure enough, the girls found 2 guys who were refusing to leave, so they called "Big Red" for backup. After a quick stop at the supply closet, my son's team showed up to help the stragglers find their way out. The first one said it would take him a few hours, because he hadn't packed anything, to which my son responded, "No problem. Get your wallet and keys, and I'll help you pack," pulled a couple of trash bags out of his back pocket, and dumped the contents of a couple of drawers into them. Tying a knot in the top, he handed the 2 bags to the kid, said, "Look! New matching luggage for you!", and steered him to the exit. The process was repeated for the second straggler, and the RA teams were out only 2 hours late. Fortunately, there was no need to provide anyone with new matching luggage before Christmas, and at 6PM the call came that they had just hit the highway.
"Beef stew will be waiting!" I chirped.
"We'll be there at 11:45!" they promised.
At 11:27, they stormed in, having made no pit stops, and having filled the 40 gallon tank in my Suburban the week before, explaining that they just LOOOOVE beef stew!
I'd give you my guidelines, because calling this a recipe is absurd, but when I got to the part where you need 6 to 8 quarts of beef broth and/or water, you'd all laugh at me. What does make my stew spectacular is that I grate potatoes, about 3 per pound of meat and half gallon of water, which dissolve and thicken the broth over the course of the 4 to 6 hours cooking time. Sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, barley and celery round out this delight. I usually ad spinach to it 15 minutes before serving, but I had none, and wasn't going out in 19 degree weather for it. Parsley was a poor substitute, but I need green in my bowl! Choose your bread product; we usually opt for baking powder biscuits.
Tomorrow, we present the eggnog ice cream, with a humorous Patrick story to go with it. See you then!