It has been raining here for the past few days. Gray, rainy, yuck. Not a Carolina blue sky to be seen. However--there is a *huge* bonus for bad weather and days of rain. No, it's not my children prancing around with their favorite Christmas present--matching rainbow umbrellas. No, it's not even the excuse to wear fleece and sweats 24 hours a day.
The greatest thing about days of rain on end??? One must absolutely have stew. Really, really yummy stew.
And if it also happens to be St. Patrick's Day week, that stew is best served with Irish Soda Bread (which, I've discovered, is a HUGE BISCUIT, and who doesn't need a ginormous, hot, crumbly biscuit??)
In case it's raining where you are:
Great-Aunt Irene's Stew
1 lb. stew meat -- browned
2 c. carrot slices
1 med. onion -- chopped
2 c. potatoes -- diced
2 celery stalks --slices
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water
1/2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp herb spice (I use various kinds, tarragon is my current favorite)
3 T. tapioca (minute brand; I actually skip this step)
Cook slowly in the crock pot of oven or quickly on the stove top.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.