Thursday, February 17, 2011

"There may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread -there may be." -David Grayson

Aside from unguarded stray desserts, my preferred breakfast is toasted home-made bread with home-made jam. I just made this basic whole wheat buttermilk bread this morning. It's rising now and I'll bake it later today. I don't think there is anything better than warm home-made bread. When I am on top of things, I make bread once or twice a week, but I am often not on top of things, and we sometimes find we're out of bread which makes the people I live with rather cranky -not that I blame them. Tomorrow, I will toast this whole wheat buttermilk bread to eat for breakfast. That will be much more cheerful than this morning, when I grumpily discovered I have NOT been on top of things, and we are now OUT of bread.

A beef stew is so simple to make, and mine at least, is rarely ever made the same way twice. I usually don't use any particular recipe, but simply brown stew meat (or not), floured (or not), add onions, leeks, or shallots, broth or water, and vegetables. I always include potatoes and carrots, but not always celery. In February I use canned corn, green beans and tomatoes, and in August I use an assortment of fresh vegetables from our garden. Stew can be made on top of the stove, or in a crock-pot; last night I started the stew on top of the stove and then finished it in the crock-pot. I find any type of stew (beef, vegetable or whatever) hard to beat for comfort, flexibility, and frugality. Really, what could be better than a beef stew?

I admit that if my oven didn't take forever to heat up, and if I didn't see a baked potato as a good excuse to eat a ton of butter, salt and sour cream, I would happily eat a baked potato every single day for lunch. Instead, I have my usual 'that's disgusting' (says my daughter) salad, composed of whatever leftovers I find in our fridge that could conceivably be eaten as a salad. This one is with supermarket 'spring' greens, salmon, hard boiled duck egg, chopped sweet pickles and corn. And a salad WITH a baked potato is my idea of the perfect lunch -or leftover beef stew and warm home-made bread!


  1. I want to come to your house! Dinner and lunch look so good. We have the same issue with bread, I bake all our bread, we either have too much and it goes stale, or we run out and everyone complains to the management. I tell em to stick it in writing! The wild birds are so used to my stale bread and the crusts as my youngest won't eat them they sit and wait on the fence daily, if I am out of bread I have to find the birds an alternative, stale scones or crumbled biscuits, stale cake...or they loiter and peer in the Kitchen looking disappointed and let down! lol Hitchcock has nothing on my birds!

  2. Inthesky -Those are awfully lucky wild birds at your house -I'm always forgetting to fill up the feeder here and the poor dears finally just give up and go somewhere else. Our chickens on the other hand, get all our table scrapes, including the bread crusts and loaf ends, and are very happy poultry.

  3. My salads are usually made of leftovers from the frig. I love leftover peas in a salad :)