Tuesday, November 16

beef stew for dinner

This morning the girls and I woke up early with Scott, and got right after it, cleaning house in preparation for Scott's birthday party this weekend, and putting together a beef stew for dinner tonight.

As you can see, my kitchen does not have much floor space, and each of the girls insists on staking out one of the rugs while I'm working in there. We end up doing the kitchen shuffle, where one or the other has to get up and move when I need to stand in front of the stove, on the left, or the sink, on the right. It works out ok for everybody when I'm doing prep work on the counter in the middle. :-)

Sometimes I get fed up with the whole thing, and make them leave the kitchen. "Leaving the kitchen" means going out past the corner of the refrigerator. Somehow, though, they're very sneaky and quiet and end up back underfoot before I know it.

Lu likes to be in the kitchen, because she's our beggar. Fox really doesn't care. She'll take treats and tidbits if she's offered them, but she doesn't solicit them like Lucy does. And, I'm sure I do the bad thing by giving Lu the tidbits, like this morning when I was trimming the beef for the stew. She loved it.

Lucy also has a severe phobia about her tail being touched, grazed, stepped on, brushed, grabbed, or anything else along those lines. So, if I'm moving about the kitchen and happen to even touch the end of a few hairs, she panics and jumps up and looks at me like she just escaped a near-death encounter. I think she's sensitive about her tail because of how curly it is, because Heelers usually have straight tails.

We were making a beef stew recipe from Emeril Lagasse that's become one of my standby crockpot recipes. I've been making it for several years now, and I love the flavor and the vegetables and the house always smells so good when I get home after it's simmered all day.

And while I put the stew together and cleaned house I sipped on my usual morning coffee, but this morning I had my new Sugar and Spice creamer. Usually I just put a splash of milk in my coffee, but yesterday I finally had the time for an epic grocery trip - since I've been out of town so much it's been about three weeks since a thorough grocery trip, as opposed to just running in for a few things for a certain recipe - and while I was in Safeway I had a weak moment while walking by the special holiday flavors.

The mug is from Jamie's dad's outfitting business, when they still lived at Alcova. We have a set of them, and they're relics now that Sand Creek Outfitters is no longer in business. :-)

Tomorrow I hit the road - yet again - for a two-day annual meeting of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts in Worland, three hours from Casper. Yay for more driving! I think after this week Heather and I will be over the worst of it.

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