Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Not to panic!
I am going to tell you a story. A story that involves a lot of pictures. I have to warn you, these pictures may be damaging to your facial/belly muscles, the ones that enable you to laugh.
A word of advice here.
1) Boiling liquids and glassware are not a suitable couple, but you knew that already, I know I did. Some time ago. Back of my mind.
2) When in panic, push camera button first. Like I learned years ago. See above.
Yesterday I had this flowing feeling going, you know when you clean the kitchen, do the floors, shop groceries, tidy the pantry (!), clean the fridge, have a satisfying phone conversation, decide to cook up a storm. I made sauerkraut, cooked bacon bits, peeled potatoes, made a wonderful pineapple surprise pie, made apple sauce, defrosted the last bit of stewmeat to make a Greek Stifado, made a satisfying ground beef/peanut sauce to freeze and use later…. Well you know…flooooow!
All was well.
Took a kid to the hairdresser, had dinner, got two of the kids to soccer practice. Husband returns from work, walks in the door, says: wow, this smells good! That was my stifado simmering away…
All was well.
So this stifado had to simmer and than the liquid needed to reduce. A lot. Say from 2, 2.5 liters to 1, 1.5. Now, of course you can trust your gut feeling but you may also think hey, why don’t I measure this carefully so I know I’m allright. I never, ever measure. At best I do the wooden spoon handle trick where you put the spoon in upside down and take measure. Good method. Strongly advised. By me. Since last night 11.30.
Suspence getting to you yet?
I strained the beef and vegetables, reduced the sauce (wonderful aroma I can tell you!), eyed the pan, concluded it was down enough. Hesitated..I wanted so much to do this right. Decided to measure. My pyrex measuring bowl was in the dishwasher. Grabbed a lemonade pitcher instead. Started to pour in the boiling sauce. Heard a loud, loud crack. Saw the pitcher split.
Watched half of my precious sauce spoil all over the kitchen counter.
In my drawer.
On the stove.
Said some very nasty words. Top of my voice. Another loud crack. My nerves.
Spend the next half hour scrubbing floor, stove kitchen counter, emptied drawer, cleaned some more.
You know what? I did reduce the sauce to exactly the right amount. I knew that.
I rescued half of it. Recipe will follow. When I am sufficiently recovered from shock.
An hour ago....see the sparkle?