Monday, June 25, 2007

Comfort Foods

What the..? Stew in the summer? I contemplate this, as I shop for the ingredients to make Irish Beef Stew on this day in late June. But it's downright chilly outside. The kids are on summer holiday, friends have all left to go back to their home countries, can't go to the pool-- there's not a whole lot to do-- so we cook!

I want to cook something that will take all day to come to fruition, that will fill the house with a salivating aroma, that will comfort and coddle my tastebuds. And today, that means beef stew served with a hearty side of colcannon (mashed potatoes cooked with shredded cabbage--- so good!)

This is our fourth summer here in Switzerland and the third that has been this cold and rainy (for most of the season). The first summer we spent here was that terribly hot one, the hottest on record, I think. It was horribly hot, and there was no way to get away from the heat. Most of Europe does not have air conditioning, but in Zurich at least, it is actually not permitted. Hospitals, banks, trains, trams, shopping malls, office buildings-- not allowed to have air conditioning (and of course, neither are homes). From an environmental standpoint, I think this is awesome. But from a practical, hot-as- hell point of view, it tends to suck.

Anyway, right now it is cold and rainy and I need to get into the kitchen to dish up a mound of colcannon with a laddle of Irish beef stew nestled comfortably along side it.

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