Thursday, Dec. 06, 2007
Dear Diary:

It's not often that I find myself drinking alone in the afternoon but it was right there in the recipe so hey, I had to do it.

Had to.

Canadian chef James Barber a.k.a. The Urban Peasant died last week at his home on Vancouver Island. I only heard about it today because apparently I live under a rock.

My original copy of his cookbook Ginger Tea Makes Friends, a gift from my dear friend Annie about 35 years ago, literally disintegrated because I used it so much. It was replaced by one of my three loyal readers from Diaryland and even that copy is starting to show wear and tear.

Simple, tasty, inexpensive food cooked with what's at hand. When I want that, I turn to him.

It's cold and snowy here today, so it seemed the perfect day to pay homage to his passing with a dish of his that's real comfort food for me. The recipe calls it Six Pak Stu, and if you want to be fancy, you can call it Carbonades du Boeuf la Flamande.

James Barber's Six Pak Stu from Ginger Tea Makes Friends

Chop and fry in 4 tbsp. of butter very gently 2 large onions, low heat, 20 minutes, turning frequently
Time for a beer
Now: Onions out of pan, add 2 tbsp. oil, high heat, fry quick 1 pounds stewing beef, floured. Brown all sides.
Now: Meat out. Heat down. Add 2 tbsp. flour, stir, stir, stir until light brown. If there's not enough oil to cook the flour, add a tiny bit. Make sure that every bit of sediment from the pan gets mixed in. This is what makes the difference between it being merely good and being simply delicious.
Add 1 beers to the pan and beat smooth.
Time for half a beer.
Add: 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. thyme, tsp. basil and salt and pepper to taste.
In a casserole: layer of onions, layer of meat, layer of onions, layer of meat, top with onions.
Pour beer sauce over it all.
Cover tightly with either a lid or foil. Set your over to 250-275F, forget it for three hours or so.
If you want, when it's done you can garnish it with chopped parsley and crumbled crisp bacon. I give them a pass, myself.

It's great served with a vegetable that has some gumption, such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts. Because I love the gravy this makes, I always have mashed potatoes with it, too. You've gotta have Mount Mashed Potato erupting gravy. Gotta. It's a rule, eh.

When I went to his web site today, I was by turns weepy and bemused by the condolences left there. The thing that came through most was how he managed to touch people. He made me and people like me feel less klutzy. When things went wrong on his show they weren't edited out. He got around the problems, demystified cooking.

"Cooking," James Barber once said, "is the simplest way of saying, 'I love you'."

I think he's right.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 434.34 milesTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Half way there

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2007: 500 miles


.:Comments (13 so far):.

Old Drivel - New Drivel


Subscribe with Bloglines


Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -


.:Cast:. .:Diaryland Notes:. .:Comments (13 so far):. .:E-mail:.
.:Adventures In Oz:.
.:12% Beer:. .:Links:. .:Host:. .:Archives:.

Cavort, cavort, my kingdom for a cavort Globe of Blogs 12 Per Cent Beer my partners in crime


A button for random, senseless, drive-by linkings:
Blogroll Me!


< ? blogs by women # >
Bloggers over forty + ?
<< | BlogCanada | >>
[ << ? Verbosity # >> ]
<< x Blog x Philes x >>


This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

Kids, don't try viewing this at home without Netscape 6 or IE 4.5+, a screen resolution of 800 X 600 and the font Mead Bold firmly ensconced on your hard drive.

2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.