Brrrrrr! I Love It!

Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is what I awoke to on Saturday morning. Frosty-feeling temperatures and what appeared to be, through my sleep filled eyes, a massive blizzard outside my windows. Fortunately for most Edmontonians (I would have been ok with an early snowfall), it was only thick fog. I couldn't even see the parking lot below us. It was horror-movie thick fog. Wicked. The temperatures stayed fairly cool, at least for August, for most of the day. There was very little time spent on the balcony by the furry boys, they much prefer the hot sun.

For me, this weather screamed fall - the other day I even saw some of the leaves in the river valley had started to change colour. I'm going to try and get a picture when I go to work tomorrow morning. Today, Sunday, has started off cool as well although minus the fog. What better way to spend the day than with football on the television and a hearty bowl of yummy stew in my belly! So, in between various sports events, I'm going to attempt to make the first recipe from my new French cookbook, Beef Bourguignon. As with just about any recipe I've ever attempted, I'm not going to stick to the exact list of ingredients or instructions. This could be my downfall. I don't know what it is but I have trouble following instructions.

Here are my ingredients. The first thing some of you may notice is the lack of bacon and pearl onions. I'm not making the topping thingy that is standard for every version of this recipe I've found. This is because (1) bacon is expensive; (2) bacon isn't good for me - too salty; and (3) I forgot to pick some up when I went shopping. The next thing is the addition of canned (no salt!) tomatoes. One recipe I read (not the one in my cookbook) added this and it sounded like a perfect idea so I'm borrowing it. Also, I do not have any bay leaves or parsley stems but I do have the thyme it called for. So much for bouquet garni - perhaps I'll add something else. I was stunned when I went to the meat section and there was no stewing beef. What grocery store doesn't have a package of cut up stew beef? Grrrrrr. I couldn't remember what the cookbook recommended I use so I grabbed a couple of sirloin tip steaks. Apparently I'm a meat genius because that was exactly what I should have picked!

The wine? The recipe calls for burgundy. When the Admiral (who was kind enough to supply the wine) went to the liquor store to pick up a bottle, she asked the clerk for a burgundy wine. He apparently looked at her and said "Burgundy is a type of grape" and left her alone. I was a bit dismayed when she showed up at home with a loaf of crusty french bread (yum) and a bottle of Dan Aykroyd's Cabarnet Shiraz. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in. ***hums Jeopardy theme song*** Yes, you read that correctly. Dan Aykroyd. The actor/comedien. Who knew he made wine? Now I don't know anything about wine other than red vs. white, dry vs. sweet. Names mean nothing to me. So, I'm going to give it a try. According to Dan's website, it's an award winner's red. Sounds good to me. However, I don't think I can honestly call this beef bourguignon now. Perhaps beef a la one of the two wild and crazy guys? Stay tuned for more on my culinary adventure.


Gardenia said...

Ah, love the fog. Even in Florida, the subtle shift in the air is whispering, "Fall, fall." In Wyoming it was 40 degrees at night - I loved my long walks at 60 degrees - but soon there snow will fly too. Even got in the mood and fixed stew out there too - hadn't made stew in years. Yours sounds better though.

Heather said...

Good luck with your dish! I suggest wide, flat egg noodles. They're scrumptious. We don't do ours with bacon, either - it's just a bit much, meat and salt-wise.

It's chilly here, too, but not foggy. I'm going to knit my sweater with a vengeance!

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