My Version

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?”

“Whatcha makin?”


“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.


10 thoughts on “My Version

    • Chelsea, how kind! But what can I say, I’m in the “honeymoon stage.” Stick with me and we’ll see where this goes! Dinner was scrumptuous!

  1. Perhaps you could inspire Greg – we are the opposite of your household. He makes take out Pizza, and sometimes will BBQ a burger if he’s desperate. I do all the other cooking/baking.

    Tonight, in exchange for painting his bathroom (I wanted him to do it for the experience, but alas he wore me down – on top of cooking, I also do all the painting/mudding/taping/sanding in our house). He does install most of the shelves though.

    I am having him make Pierogies and a salad. Not from scratch, but from a package. His response at 4pm, “I had better get dinner going, it will probably take about 2 hours for me to cook all that.” Realistically it should take 30-40 minutes.

    I would love to have him cook more than 12 times in almost 19 years……maybe there is hope yet!

    Hope you are enjoying your new found skill – it takes tome to feel comfortable in the kitchen, but you will get better every time you cook!


    • “He makes take out Pizza.” I love it, Heather. Your marraige sounds like J-M and me, only reversed! But it’s true, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!

  2. oh your friend Pearl is funny alright! hahahahaha

    I got yo back sista!

    For a tablespoon of chopped fresh marjoram, you may use any of the following substitutes:
    One teaspoon dried marjoram
    Three-fourth tablespoon dried oregano leaves
    One teaspoon ‘herbes de Provence’ (a mixture of herbs)
    One tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    One and a half teaspoon fresh sage (chopped)
    One tablespoon fresh sweet basil (chopped)
    One teaspoon Italian seasoning
    Read more at Buzzle:

    • You might distract me while I’m cooking, but you’ve got my back. Thanks sista! (Although it tasted just fine without marjoram, this is good info to file away.)

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