Last night, with nothing else in mind for din-din, I decided to make a beef stew (pronounced ‘stoo’) type of thing.
Aside: (This is important, people. Read it.) Whenever I have leftover veggies or beef gravy, I put it in a zipper bag in the freezer for times such as last night. After the bag gets a whole bunch of stuff in it, I cook up some beef, toss in the veggie/gravy stuff, and, Eureka! Beef stoo! (sort of)
Ok, so anyway, I’m getting ready to make the stoo. I remember me dear sainted Mama Yip sometimes including barley in soups and stoos.
As it happens, I have some barley in my extensively-stocked pantry! (By ‘extensively-stocked’, I mean there’s 1 bag of penne pasta and a can of crushed tomatoes. I think there’s a half-eaten Hershey bar and some kosher salt in there too.)
I throw a bunch of the barley in the stoo. After a while, dinner was served, with a glass or two (Ok, 7 glasses. Or was it 8?) of red wine – shiraz/grenache to be exact. Pretty damned good, if I say so myself! I mean, I’m no Bobby Flay. I’m no Ming. I’m no French dude (can’t remember his name). I’m no Julia Child – though we do bear a striking resemblance. But all in all, it was pretty tasty.
So. Here comes the reason for this missive.
Thank the gods there IS a point to this tedium.
Later, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, because god knows no other swingin’ richard in the place is going to do it, I look in the Dutch oven …. JEEzuzMaryandJoseph! The barley has grown! It’s soaked up all remaining liquid and expanded to roughly 6 times its original size.
I guess I put too much in to begin with. One day I’ll learn.
I rather doubt it.