Sunday, 11 December 2011

Stroppy Stew

Phil was on call all last weekend, and I took it upon myself to try to be the perfect housewife for him.

TRY being the word.

On Saturday night I managed to spill half of our spaghetti down the sink, and then on Sunday threw a Baxter strop rating 8.5 on the Baxter Strop Scale.... In my defence I had raging PMT and terrible IBS last weekend, so no wonder that resulted in EBS (Epic Baxter Strop).

I set about making us a beef and ale stew, with dumplings.  The recipe I found for stew and dumplings tried to fox me by telling me to cook the dumplings for three hours... Luckily I asked twitter and was reassured they didn't take 3 hours and would be done in 20 mins.

I browned the beef then removed that from the pan and added half an onion, three carrots and 2 leeks.  The leeks and onions as finely chopped as I can manage.  For the fussy eater in my life I need to start being able to chop the onion finer...  Phil didn't have a peeler so I had to use a knife.  I am very bad at peeling with knives and my carrots ended up looking very deformed...

Irritation implemented...

As I was in Tadcaster I opted for a York Brewery beer.

After the vegetables had cooked I added a tablespoon of plain flour, allowed time for that to absorb and then added the beer and some beef stock.  I added the beef back to the pan and left it to simmer.

Therein was my first problem.... My Crueset gets so hot that things stick to it, even when I'm simmering.  I knew that but still failed to think about putting it in the oven.  So I had to keep coming back and stirring it and relieving the bottom of any sticky bits.

Temper rising....

After two hours I went back into the kitchen and made the dumplings.

Then added them into my pan with 20 mins of cooking left to go, and popped the potatoes on to cook.

But the stew was sticking again, so I had to stir.  The stirring started causing the dumplings to break apart...

Anger rising further...

When the potatoes were done I managed to drain them, without spilling half in the sink, and then looked around for the potato masher.

No potato masher.

Temper volcano eruption....

It tipped me over the edge.  I attempted to mash with forks.  That was scratching the pan.  I spied the rolling pin and set about the pan like a demon, chucks of potato flying everywhere...Swearing that would have made Gordon Ramsey blush... Even a small screech of irritation....

Luckily Phil can handle the Baxter Strop very well and came and asked me if I'd finished having a paddy, which made me laugh.

I wasn't finished there though.

I dished up, sat down and then refused to eat mine.  I refused to even take a picture of it.  Upon calming enough to eat a smidgen I declared it unfit for human consumption, and that the stew was like dog food...

Phil had three portions just to placate me.

It's not often I throw an epic strop over something so small, the stresses of moving, work, PMT and then having the worst episode of IBS I've had in years certainly didn't help things.

I'm pleased to report that sanity has (almost) been restored, and I have no urges to batter the hell out of any potatoes with the end of a rolling pin today.


  1. Funny. Are you like me and don't hit the boiling point too often but when you do it is of epic proportion? Just found your blog via Twitter - I look forward to reading more from you.

  2. Oh poor thing! I do feel your pain, I've been in a total grump all weekend.

    Top mashed potato tip which I got from my sister in law - if you have a sieve to hand, once the potatoes are drained, place the sieve over the pan and push the potatoes through that. Similar effect to a ricer, so you get really, really smooth delicousness. It's worth slightly overcooking them so they're falling apart - makes them easier to force through.

    Bet the stew tasted delicious - hurrah for York Brewery beer!


  3. I'm in the middle of a crappy crappy crappy day (I started work at 7 and im still going) and this put a big smile on my face. I can just see you hitting those potatoes!!


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