I’m waiting, the work has been done. My version of beef barley stew sits simmering on the stove top.
I have to say Becky was entirely wrong about how it would take less time doing it on my own. Whatever she and I added to the prep time with our chit-chatting, I used the commensurate in trying to locate ingredients and tools and second-guessing myself.
In fact, the preparing of ingredients alone (chopping and dicing) took 40 minutes total. And may I be honest about something? Onions are MEAN. I will take any and all suggestions to stop the stinging.
I only put in two calls to Becky. The first one to say, “What happens when you forget to buy marjoram?!”
She replied calmly, “You don’t necessarily need it. Make it without and if it tastes like it needs it…. well, if it does, run out and get it.”
I don’t know what marjoram tastes like so I don’t know what it would be missing. Also, today I’m car-less as J-M travels to the city on Thursdays for his M.Div. course. All that to say, if it turns out any different than Beck’s version, I get to blame it on the marjoram.
Second phone call. “I don’t have beef bouillon powder, just cubes. How do I translate?”
“Read the instructions on the beef bouillon cubes. I think it should be one for every two cups water.”
I was holding so tightly to the recipe, I forgot about common sense.
In the middle of browning the meat, the most exciting event of the whole thing, I got a text message from my friend, Lisa. “Don’t distract me!” I replied, “I’m cooking!”
And then she sent me these text messages in sequence:
“How are ya?”
“Who ya cookin with?”
“Oh ya! First day on your own.”
Not helpful at all. And I’m sure it added 10 extra minutes to what is my personal best (a time to beat!).
ANYWAY. As I said, the pot is simmering. Today my kids will come home from school and be greeted with a delectable smell coming from the kitchen. Oh yes. I am that woman for the first time.