There’s a wonderful children’s book that I used to read to my kids when they were younger, called “That’s when I’m Happy“. It’s about a little bear and his parents and each page is devoted to his most happiest moments. As winter weather approaches, with my family cuddled on the couch with their favorite books, and me in the kitchen creating deliciously fragrant stews, that’s when I’m happy! The process of chopping veggies and layering flavor upon flavor into the large pot puts me in a wonderfully relaxed mood. Add in some mellow and passionate female acoustic folk music and life is perfect!
There is something very special about creating a hearty stew. My grandmother, Nana Terri, taught me years ago that the greatest way to create deep rich flavor in a soup or stew is to add each ingredient one at a time and let the pot come up to a boil again and again in between each layer. Since then, there have been times where I have nurtured my stews and taken the time to add each ingredient in one at a time… and of course, there have been other times, when time was of the essence! Though the quicker version was delicious as well, there was a depth of flavor to the ‘nurtured’ stew that always makes me think of her with a smile!