November 7, 2006

Election Stew

I am embarassed to admit that I left the polling place this evening without voting.

It was chaos. They had run out of English paper ballots. 3 of the machines were down. They recommended that people go provisionally vote in nearby districts. The district in the building next door was making similar recommendations and sending people to our district. After about 30 minutes of observation and asking people who were leaving how long they had waited ("1h35 from where you are standing 'til now"), I looked at E and admitted the sad truth, "There isn't anything on this ballot that I believe in more than the stew I wanted to make for dinner."

So here you go. I'll make it next year too, only next year I'm going to remember to get my absentee ballot application in on time.

Fall Vegetable Stew

Step one: collect all the fall vegetables that are almost ready to be tossed.

2 small squash/pumpkins that were decorating the table for halloween etc. (toss 'em in the oven on broil while you make the soup base to soften the tough gourds)
1 half onion
5 cloves of garlic
olive oil
5 stalks of celery
4 yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup pickled horseradish

Step two: make the soup base

Chop the onion. Peel the garlic. Chop the celery. Sautee all three in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add 1 large can of chicken broth (1 quart?). Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer.

Step three: chop autumn vegetables.

I don't think you need to be too picky here. Peel the squash & pumpkin if you like. Cut warmed & softened squash/pumpkins and remove the seeds. Chop into bite-sized pieces. I like big pieces, but E always spends the first half of the meal chopping his pieces into mini-pieces, so I'm willing to believe that there is room to disagree. Clean and chop or slice the potatoes. Same for carrots, cabbage, anything else you've got lying around that would go in stew. Toss 'em all in the broth along with the horseradish.

Step four: season to taste.

I added paprika, red pepper flakes, garam masala, & coriander.

Step five: cover and simmer 'til vegetables are tender (approximately 45 minutes)

Step six: allow to cool briefly and serve topped with grated swiss cheese.

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