Irish Stew

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

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.

Second version.
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.

If you have a few moment spare you may wish to nip over to “Trish” at “5 Minutes for Special Needs Moms” where she is tackling the issue of:- ‘Disciplining Your Child=

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.

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Breakthrough – carnivores gnash their teeth

A year onwards from where we were last year. Chipping away at “neophobia.”
[translation = a diet containing less than 20 foods]

We have been going great guns. Junior is now consuming oatmeal, pasta, rice, and applesauce. That constitutes four new foods! Feel free to congratulate us and send us your heart felt best wishes.

I know the campaign has been hard, months actually, added to every meal of the day, but it is beginning to pay dividends at last. Maybe he’s not really eating it as such, but those items do enter the oral cavity. He’s still at the ‘spitting them out afterwards’ stage, [after we’ve counted to four,] but it constitutes movement in the right direction. We count more slowly now too, which makes it more agonizing for him and for us, come to think of it. We try and persuade him to close his mouth, lip touching lip during the count, which is a great advance as you it is difficult to scream if your mouth is shut. [translation = more of a muffled drowning sound] Every time the mouth opens and the screams leap out, we advise him to close them again and begin the counting again, from one. Otherwise it doesn’t count. [translation = would be cheating of course]

Personally I think his therapist is getting a bit above herself. There’s ‘positive’ and ‘enthusiastic’ but there’s also ‘are you completely mad!” I think I managed to cover my surprise quite successfully at the time, when she suggested that we should put the pressure on and make him try meat. Yes! Meat! Has the woman taken leave of her senses? Is she completely insane or merely certifiable? My eyes are wide but I keep my lips firmly clamped together as I process this suggestion. Turkey? Perhaps a little beef? Now I know she’s lost it, but I smile cautiously giving the illusion of agreement and consensus. It’s not as if he’s a vegetarian by choice as such. In fact,if you consider his fish consumption this is clearly untrue, although categorizing ‘goldfish’ in that manner might be a bit of a stretch.

We leave occupational therapy with our four little tubs of tester food; oatmeal, pasta, rice and applesauce. I strap the children into the car, deep in contemplation.

Meat? Turkey, chicken, lamb, beef? What is the blandest, most textureless, flavourless meat on the planet?

Of course! Hot dogs!

I worship the ground that their little American feet walk on.

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