What else could I do in view of my heritage. AS with all traditional recipes everyone has a family variation on a theme. Make it today, it will taste even better tomorrow. My mum had two:-
1 lb of lamb neck [on the bone]
yes I know I’ve lost you right here as American do not eat little lambkins
2lbs floury potatoes chopped into halves or quarters depending upon size
1 lb of carrots chopped into chunks
1 lb of Swede peeled and chopped into chunks [Rutabagas]
2 lbs of onions rough chopped.
1 tbs all purpose flour
1 litre of stock
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Handful of parsley washed and rough chopped
Brown the lamb on a high heat to seal and then remove.
Add the onions to the ‘dirty’ pan and brown. [this takes about 12 to 15 minute on a low heat.
Add all the other vegetables and toss together until coated and thoroughly mixed. [*]
Add the flour and pepper, and toss through the vegetables.
Add the stock and mix through. [this will thicken later]
Add the meat back in and leave to simmer for a few hours on the hob. [this makes it a stew rather than a casserole which is ‘baked’ in the oven]
Leave to cool.
Skim off any surface fat.
When you reheat the next day add the parley just before serving or it will lose colour and go all stringy.
Omit the rutabaga and stock.
Make 2 pints of béchamel.
The same until [*]
Cook together for an hour in the béchamel [low heat or the béchamel will burn]
Add the parley and serve.
Interestingly to me, whichever version I choose to cook and serve, there is now the remote possibility that all of my different family members will eat some of it. Quite a feat around here. My youngest son will scream with protest but this is more from habit than any real angst. We will all be at the dinner table at the same time and some of us will approximate ‘sitting.’ Soon we hope to fade the spoon-feeding. If I’m very lucky, my stew will score a 2 out of ten, which is a great improvement upon a minus infinity. I doubt if any pleasure will be gleaned from the menu itself, but there is no end of delight to be extracted from communal gathering, assuming you have your ear plugs of course.
The person who suggested this topic specifically asked about the teenage years, so if you have experience in this stage of life, we would love to hear from you next week. If your children are younger, what is working for you at the age they are now?’
Whilst I would love to address this particular topic myself, my typical daughter was a teenager a long time ago. I would encourage everyone to take a peek and note the comments as although we may not have reached that stage ourselves, I can assure you that it will be coming along all to soon, and it’s always good to have a jump on impending developments.