Daily Archives: October 6, 2009

Fun with Food

Okay, if you’re a foodie, food is always fun.  But I was surprised with a gift by my friend Steve.  He and his significant other, Joy, spent the summer gallivanting and I looked after things for them.  He felt I needed a thank you gift.  The other day he said he’d found something that he thought I would enjoy.  He was right.  It’s a card set called Food Smarts.  Filled with mini food quizzes, ingredients, cuisine, lingo – to play alone or as a game.  I thought it might be fun to start sharing the best ones with you.   We’ll start with these three:

Ingredients:  When a recipe calls for one teaspoon of granulated salt and you use corse or kosher salt, do you use more than one teaspoon?  Yes, because coarse salt packs less compactly than granulated salt,  use a bit more.

Trivia:  The charcoal briquette was created in 1920 by …. Henry Ford.  He took sawdust and woodscraps from his car factory and with the help of Thomas Edision they created the briquette.  And barbecue was born.  barbecue is said to come from the Spanish word barbacoa, a framework that raises meat over a cooking fire to roast.

CuisineKetchup comes from the Chinese word ketsiap.  This is a sauce made from the brine of pickled fish or shellfish.


Growing Up Trixie: Venison Stew

This book takes place over the Thanksgiving holiday, so it is full of good food.  My favorite recipe comes from Mr. Maypenny, an independent gent, who lives in the middle of the Wheeler game preserve.  They think he’s a poacher and he ends up becoming their gamekeeper, but not until he shows off his cooking skills to Trixie and Honey.

From Trixie Belden and the Mystery Off Glen Road:

“Well, now,” Mr. Maypenny said, sitting on the bunk, “a stew just isn’t worth putting into a pot unless you put everything in your garden in it.  In that I got turnips and parsnips and carrots and potatoes and beans and corn.  And I don’t use any water a-tall.  Why should I?  Onions and cabbage and tomatoes are full of water – the right kind of water.  I must have used a peck of tomatoes in that goo-lash.  Spices, too.  I’m a bit heavy with garlic and basil and thyme.  There may be some folks who don’t go for such, but it suits me to a T.”

 Trixie had been eating steadily…..”It suits me, too.”

In all honesty, I think that recipes says it all.  Start with 1 pound of stew beef or venison, cut into 1-inch pieces, brown in a bit of oil.  Add  the meat and the remaining ingredients, cut up about 4 tomatoes, 1/2 head of cabbage, 3-4 carrots, 2 turnips, 2 parsnips, 4 potatoes, 1/2 lb of green beans, 1 onion,  1 cup of corn and 1/2 cup water or wine, also – salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, basil, salt and pepper to taste – into a slow-cooker, cover, set on low and cook for 8-12 hours.

Beef Stew

  • 1 lb lean stew meat
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz baby carrots, halved
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 tbsp flour


Place meat, onion, potatoes, carrots & spices in crockpot, add 6 cups water and cook according to crockpot directions, (usually 8 to 10 hours on low). Before serving, turn heat to high, mix 1 cup water and flour completely, add to stew, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, about 1-3 minutes.