Summer, Diary 4, 2016

Tawny Scrawny Carrot Stew.

Doesn’t that sound divine?

My kids love the book The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson. Incidentally, I do too… the copy we have is mine from when I was a little girl. We read it at least twice a week at bedtime, and lately James has been talking about having bowls of carrot stew and heaping his bowl with berries, and soon enough Roman and Rose started relishing the idea too.

So last week I made Tawny Scrawny Carrot Stew.

I looked up several recipes for cream of carrot soup, and then modified slightly to match the stew the rabbits make Tawny Scrawny in the book. The description was a carrot stew, with fish and herbs and mushrooms.

Oh my gosh… it was so good! I wasn’t sure at first, as it’s not a combination one often sees, but it was delicious and easy and I would make it again in a heartbeat.

My kids ate it for supper, grinning from ear to ear, and then we heaped our bowls afterward with fresh raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. A perfect finish to this dish.

I LOVE to cook from a good book. Redwall, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Little House, Boxcar Children, The Tawny Scrawny Lion, Miss Suzy… gosh, there’s so many wonderful books out there that just make me want to eat! 🙂

(Not the best picture. Sorry. I took it with my phone, after my growing hoard had all but consumed the pot.)

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Tawny Scrawny Carrot Stew

Ingredients
• 6 cups Carrots, chopped
• 6 cups Liquid (all water, or a mix of water and vegetable broth)

• 15 oz White Fish (I used Cod)

• 2 T Butter
• 2 cans Mushrooms (4 oz each), drained

• 1/2 tsp Thyme, dry
• 2 tsp Garlic, chopped • 2 T Butter
• s/p to taste

Directions
Put the carrots and liquid in a pot and boil, uncovered, till carrots are soft (about 15-20 minutes). Scoop out into a bowl, leaving liquid in the pot. Add the white fish to the pot, another 2 cups of water, and simmer till cooked (about 10 minutes), till opaque and flaking. Pull fish out, and add the carrots back in. Add the thyme and garlic. Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender, and puree the carrots and liquid.

In a small pan, sauté the mushrooms in the 2 T of butter.

To the creamy carrot soup, add the fish, the mushrooms (and mushroom/butter drippings), and another 2 T of butter. Mix to break the fish up. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Enjoy.

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Family Roast

Who doesn’t love a good beef roast? That’s what I made yesterday, throwing it into the crock-pot at eight-thirty in the morning in preparation for the fifteen family members that were going to descend upon our home that afternoon. My mom brought a fantastic potato salad and a fruit salad with crunchy, candied pretzel pieces in it. My two sister-in-laws brought hot, creamy spinach dip and delicious cranberry-white chocolate bars. There was also salad and homemade biscuits-n-butter. Yum!

Sackett Man camped out in his recliner, resting and icing his knee (which is doing well), though he did rise up and, crutch in hand, venture outside to try out his new turbo flashlight. No animal is safe from detection in our woods anymore.

We opened presents; we shared good company and good food.

That’s why I like the roast. I had a TON on my plate (pun intended) that only grew larger when it snowed and I had to spend two hours yesterday morning plowing our driveway. Yet I was able to do so without stress, because I knew that in the house it was starting to smell wonderful as the feast cooked and grew delicious all on its own.

I don’t really have an exact recipe, because I tend to eyeball it. But it’s a very forgiving recipe; you can adjust all of it to your taste.

1 Beef Roast (any kind)

Crockpot Roast with: onion, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, red wine, mushroom soup

Crockpot Roast with: onion, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, red wine, mushroom soup

2 onions, quartered

2 packages of sliced mushrooms

1 T minced garlic

1 T rosemary, dried (I would do less if you’re using fresh)

1/2 – 1 Cup red wine

1 can cream of mushroom soup

s/p to taste

Set your crock-pot on High for 6 hours.

Now, I usually like to start cooking my roast around nine or ten o’clock and let it cook (first on High, then on Low for the remaining time) all day for a five or six pm supper. The meat is literally spoon-tender at that point and moist and succulent. Yesterday we ate at two-thirty, so the meat wasn’t quite as falling-apart as I prefer, but it was still tender and moist and fantastic!

This makes for, honestly, one of the easiest decadent meals I’ve ever made. All you need to do that night is steam a veggie and put out some delicious bread. Mashed potatoes are good with this, too.

Enjoy!