There are things in life that we can’t change, no matter how much we try or wish they were different. But, there are things that we can change.
You can’t change which family you are born into. But, when faced with poisonous relationships, you can choose to let them continue to hurt you, or you can move on and become a better person without them. The person you were born to be.
You can’t change the past, but you can change your present and your future. You can’t go back and unsay things you’ve said, or undo things that you’ve done, but you can learn from them and you can use what you’ve learned to make a better path for your future.
You can’t always know if the footprint you’ve left behind is one that will be followed. Were you good enough, strong enough, giving enough, loving enough? Did you make everyone that you came in contact with in this life feel like a person, a welcomed face, a fellow man? Maybe not, but it is something to be more aware of, something to strive for, something that you can change.
Yes, there are things you can’t change, but there are things that you can change. And there’s something comforting in that.
A delicious meal to serve on a cold winter's day. Hearty beef stew can be frozen in freezer safe containers for future dinners. Thaw before reheating.
2 lbs stewing beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 button mushrooms, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock (Use home-made or a gluten free brand for a gluten free diet option.)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt / to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper / to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
24 mini potatoes, halved (or 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed)
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons corn starch
Heat a frying pan on medium high heat until it is really hot. Add the olive oil and butter. Add some of the stewing beef pieces, without overcrowding the pan, and resist the urge to move the pieces around because you want the meat to caramelize (take on a nice, dark brown color) before turning. Fry on at least two sides, but the pieces do not need to be cooked all the way through. Repeat until all the pieces are browned. Add the meat to a large pot.
De-glaze the frying pan by adding 1 - 2 cups of beef stock to the pan and use a rubber spatula to gently scrape off any of the beef bits and juices from the bottom of the frying pan. Add this liquid to the large pot.
To the pot, add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, celery, carrots, the remainder of beef stock, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, and sugar. Add enough water so that the vegetables and meat are almost covered. Cover the pot and bring the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and frozen peas. Increase the heat and bring the stew back up to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat back to low and simmer for an additional hour.
In a small dish, mix together 1/3 cup cold water and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Discard the bay leaf before serving.