A New Year

That is the popular slant on the first Monday in September, that it is the actual New Year’s Day for many of us. Football is in full swing, the kids are tucked into school, and white is safely back in the closet where much of it belongs. (You know I’m right.)

I myself celebrated the New Year by finishing a wool sock that I started last spring. With the cooler temps, I actually wanted to knit the damned thing, and I am not part of the love-to-knit-socks contingent. I even cast on the its mate right after, resisting my procrastination tendencies. Look – fulfilled resolutions abound!

Today, it drizzled all day long. We didn’t get above a quarter-inch of rain, and we’re down by 14 inches. But it was grand to have wet weather and cool temperatures. K and I drove to the Eastern Shore to have lunch at Sting-Ray’s and then spent the afternoon putting together a birthday package for our grandson. To finish one of the nicest Sunday’s that I’ve had in a long time, I put a beef stew in the pressure cooker. The ingredients come from this recipe on Cookstr.com, which I actually plan to make as written when I learn how to plan ahead.

To adapt it for the pressure cooker, I omitted the bacon steps (sorry, Benita). I also didn’t brown the meat, because pressure cooking authority Lorna Sass advises against it. I sautéed the onions, carrots, and garlic in the olive oil while prepping everything else. I added all of the other ingredients and cooked it at full pressure for 16 minutes then let the pressure come down naturally. I didn’t cut the fat off of the meat so I degreased a bit. When I put it in the fridge, the remaining grease will solidify for easy removal.

Half-eaten beef stew

You really can cut the meat with a fork ...

Ah, that’s some good stuff. With all the barley, the stew was wonderfully thick – no flour or cornstarch needed. This will be some good eatin’ this week.

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