A Bit Too Much Stroganoff, and Far Too Much Pie
Made some beef stroganoff Saturday and it was not bad. One of Mr. S’s Top Ten Meals, for sure, and right up there on my list, too. He’s been away in Chicago giving a talk on Cognitive Dissonance and How to Be Fair In An Unfair World, and rolled in just in time to eat. There was salad, too, with beets (he’s not a fan but I am) and blue cheese, a pan full of brown butter carrots, and for dessert, his favorite candy replicated: Almond Roca Bars. “A triumph, my dear!” he said, as he sipped his coffee. “A triumph.” Straight out of “A Christmas Carol.” Sigh. And then he leaned over and smiled, “And I don’t feel crapulous. Not in the least.”
Sometimes I have to look up words Mr. S uses (that’s a whole other story), and I found Webster’s defines “crapulous” as one “marked by intemperance, especially in eating or drinking.” Which means Mr. S didn’t overeat to the point of feeling sick. Which is a good thing. I’ve always been a fan of moderation, and don’t find myself feeling crapulous much in my life. Though I must say I did get there with TV and the news a couple months back. Just too much. So I shut ‘er all down and it’s done my spirit good. No TV apart from my National Geographic shows and an occasional episode of “Law and Order.” (Shh.) Sometimes there’s a documentary which I feel compelled to watch (stories about advances in Alzheimer’s treatment or music as a form of therapy or great white sharks), and the weather on the local news is always a must, but lately I’ve taken to listening to music, or the wind outside, or silence. No newspapers, even, for the time being.
A person can get caught up in swirls here and there. News flashes. Breaking news. Gossip. Rumors. Reports. The Latest. Bah. It’s important to be informed, of course. But consider your sources, consider your prime directive, consider a stretch of quiet. Not everything happening out there is worth much attention, and frankly, if I’m gonna get to a point of feeling “crapulous,” let it be from walking out in the cold a bit too long, or drinking too much coffee at a cafe with a friend, or a bit too much stroganoff and far too much pie after a couple hours of shoveling snow..
Turn off your TV, just for awhile. Give it a week, or maybe a month. Listen to the winter birds, or Mozart, or your children. Listen to your partner telling about the day. Listen to your cat purring, the rope clanging on the flagpole, your heart.
Here’s one for the recipe box. Just plain delicious, and one of the simplest comfort foods this side of the Canadian border. Serve it with some good bread, cooked beets on the side, and a full glass of red red wine.
12 ounces boneless beef sirloin steak
18 ounce sour cream
2 T flour
½ cup water
2 tsp instant beef bouillon granules
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T butter
2-3 T cooking sherry or white wine
2 cups hot cooked noodles
If desired, partially freeze beef for easier slicing. Trim fat from meat. Thinly slice meat across the grain into bite-size strips. In a small bowl stir together sour cream and flour. Stir in water, bouillon granules, and pepper; set aside.
In a large skillet cook and stir the meat, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Drain off fat.
Stir sour cream mixture into skillet. Add sherry. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Serve over noodles.
Makes 4 servings.
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