Fred Flintstone wasn’t one to stew over an unhappy situation, he’d just steamroll (dino-roll?) ahead with some crazy solution which often landed him in more hot water but somehow there’d be a happy resolution. Bamm-Bamm was even more unflappable, he had his stock percussive answer to any problem. It is not so easy for Chiefs fans who, while enjoying a great deal of success recently, have suffered through years of exasperation with some highs along the way. I no longer stew over that loss to the Bengals in the AFCCG, it is in the past and there’s nothing I could have done about it. Getting bent out of shape in the immediate aftermath is normal, letting it fester is unhealthy. There’s the rub: why stew over something that is out of your control. If you are directly involved in the situation then figure out how to approach it and act on your assessment.
As I start writing this the Chiefs OC position remains to be determined for the next season. That is not something to stew over, the future will tell. Naturally fans and journalists will mull over this situation and discuss what might have occurred to lend uncertainty to EB’s status, and what might be the best choice going forward. My own instinct tells me that Eric Bieniemy has earned another contract with the Chiefs. He is lauded by players and Coach Reid is loyal to him – high esteem from an estimable confrère. He’s not perfect, his play-calling can improve, the confusion during that AFCCG needs to be eliminated. So we mull and we ponder and we form opinions on Chiefs matters. At the moment snow squalls are gusting outside therefore, in my opinion, it is best to ladle up from a steaming pot of mulled cider, pick out a movie, and settle in for the night.
Using a crock pot is a great method for slow-cooking a stew – meat, poultry, veggie as you prefer. Carrots, onions, potatoes, turnip, mushrooms and peas are regularly used in a meat or poultry stew. A little wine or cooking sherry adds depth to the flavour. Throw in a bay leaf, some garlic and seasonings of choice and you are well under way. If you prepare it in the evening and let it simmer overnight then it will be ready in the morning to be put in a thermos for a hot lunch on the job. Or you can leave it warming in the crock and you’ll have supper ready at the end of the day. Have some fresh bread ready to sop up the juices. One thing about a stew is that the flavours continue to meld and you will find that the supper stew flavour is richer than the sample included in a thermos for lunch earlier that day. (The same occurs with cole slaw and other dishes: over time the ingredients combine and enrich the overall flavour). Below is a recipe from a cookbook we employ frequently. For those late season and playoff games at Arrowhead a warm pot of stew would be a fortifying centrepiece in your tailgate menu. Good eats and go Chiefs!
Epilogue: as I finalize this article the Chiefs announced they re-signed Coach Bieniemy for another year. In addition, Matt Nagy has been brought back to the Chiefs coaching staff. Fred Flintstone could not have settled matters better.
Yabba Dabba Stew
1 1/2 pounds boneless top sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups sliced leeks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups low sodium, reduced-fat beef broth
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
3 cups each chopped carrots and sliced mushrooms
3 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1/3 cup tomato-based chili sauce
1 cup light beer
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Spray a large saucepan with non-stick spray. Add beef cubes and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add leeks and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the beef broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Stir in remaining beef broth, clove, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes (stir every once in a while).
Add carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, and thyme. Stir well. Cover and simmer another 40 minutes, until vegetables and meat are tender.
Stir in chili sauce. Combine beer and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to stew. Cook and stir until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Stir in parsley and pepper. Remove bay leaf and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Looneyspoons, Low-Fat Food Made Fun!, by Janet & Greta Podleski (Cartoons by Ted Martin); 1996, Granet Publishing Inc., Ottawa, Ontario. Pa