Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The Manly Stew 

Hehe. There's a Manly Stew competition. I'm tempted to enter it. I can make manly stews all full of hair raising spices and meats, and a few potatoes to soften it. Lima beans are quite the manly food, too. I've met few men who didn't like limas. They like limas better than butter beans, even though the two are closely related and virtually indistinguishable flavor-wise once cooked.

Must be the color thing. Limas are green, butterbeans are yellow.

So, what exactly goes into a "manly stew"?

Meat, of course. Slow barbecued beef, deeply smoked with a dense combination of hickory and pecan, so toothsome it falls into shreds. Small cubes of real German smoked ham. 2 whole onions, nicely caramelized, with destringed celery (women will eat celery with the string in, why won't men?), 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, a habanero, diced tomatoes, lima beans, whole corn (especially if they're still on the cob and cut into "coins" - this just seems to thrill the men around here), new potatoes because they don't get mushy in the stew, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cayenne, Maggi seasoning, chicken broth (it adds depth to the flavor and ties the ham and beef together), and a few other odds and ends of spices (I like adding a touch of cloves, what man doesn't like the bite of clove?).

Maybe we'll make this stew in the winter and actually call it The Manly Stew.

On a more sober note, we've been investigating health insurance alternatives. We're not sure how legal a "pay as you go" system is supplemented by major medical, but it looks like a good plan that isn't as likely to be abused, and may garner better medical care.

We'll see how it flies with the authorities.

Still waiting to hear about the herb issue.

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