Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Traditional British Food, Part 37: Making Do

Boiled Beef with Carrots and Dumplings really is a cool-weather dish. However, and I'm about to go on a tangent here, I had a large roast that was absolutely unsuitable for roasting. Evidently here in Kansas, a roast isn't a piece of meat that is roasted in the oven but a piece of meat that is pot-roasted. If you remember, my friend Jessica's neighbor asked her and her husband to go in on a side of beef. Paul and I then shared Jessica's take. We then all decided that her neighbors were obviously idiots when it came to ordering cuts of meat (20 pounds of ground beef? Icky minute steaks? A measly two sirloin steaks?!), plus Jessica got stuck with practically all the offal. Also, I am refusing to buy anything else from Yoder meats (which happens to be basically the only processor around here) because their butchering work is crap. We didn't have a single cut of meat that didn't have fat and tendons running through it-- not pleasant to eat medium-rare. So, we made our last roast Friday night and we boiled it until the tendons were no longer a problem. My Boiled Beef with Carrots and Dumplings recipe also took care of some carrots that no one would eat raw (I hate not actually being able to see the carrots in the bag!). Plus, I never posted a good photo back in October, so here's Friday's Boiled Beef with Carrots and Dumplings:

P.S. It's not really that horrible to make in warm weather. The only slaving over the stove you have to do is skimming the stock as it comes to a boil the first time.
While we're on the subject of making do, it seems that Barbara Pym's spinsters spend a lot of time doing just that. I've recently read both Excellent Women and Less than Angels and throughly enjoyed them both with their teas and church jumble sales and anthropology lectures. I plan to read the rest of Pym's novels sometime in the near future.

I've always felt an affinity for novels about spinsters, because I used to feel there was a good chance that I'd end up as one. I can't believe I found someone who puts up with all my eccentricities. Not that Paul is a saint and I prefer it that way. Anyhow, if you're feeling your own affinity toward spinsters, you might check out the Marple page at pbs.org. Right now, The Secret of Chimneys and The Blue Geranium are available online, which is awesome because it means that I don't have worry about being finished with dinner before 8 p.m. on Sundays and sometimes it's nice to watch a movie with breakfast!

1 comment:

  1. I never thought you would be a spinster, although I do confess, I thought it might take a lot longer to find someone like Paul! Got to love Miss Marple!


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