May Your Pockets Be Heavy and Your Heart Be Light

That title is an old Irish blessing.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.  I’ve been hiding in the recesses of my mind these days.  Depression has engulfed me and days feel dark and long.  Grief has it’s grip on me making it so difficult for me to do the necessary activities to get through my day and to do much more…well, it just isn’t happening.  I’m still waiting for my heart to be light again.

We’ve had some beautiful sunshiny days, warm enough that one could say Spring is in the air.  Days like we’ve had usually fill me with joy.  Spring is my favorite season, especially here in Portland where the cherry blossoms pop out in huge pink fluffy clouds on tree tops and Daphne scents are intoxicating.   However, not even the gorgeous weather that brings flower buds to a blossom, rich with their fragrances has been able to pull me from the depths.

I’ve temporarily lost my desire to enjoy my most favorite past time; cooking.  All inspiration is gone.  Making any food seems like way too much work and my body is simply heavy and tired.

Today I wanted to recreate a delicious dish from happier times when we visited Ireland this past summer.  While in Dublin, we found a quaint Irish Pub that served a fantastic Irish stew.

I thought getting in the kitchen and preparing some food would help lift my spirits as it always does.  It didn’t do that for me, but I did manage to pull off one mighty good stew even though every bit of it was such an effort I just wanted to get it done.

The stew from Ireland used the traditional lamb meat and I used beef since that’s what we had on hand.  All other ingredients I tried to match as closely to what I enjoyed in Ireland.

Here’s what went into my stew:

1 pound of beef stew meat

1 Tablespoon Sunflower Oil

2 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons basil

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 1/2 cups red wine (Guinness is true choice, but it’s not gluten free!)

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 small russet potato, cubed

1 medium red garnet yam, cubed

1 cup sweet peas

2 cups beef broth

2 large carrots, cut into rounds

Using a 5 quart dutch oven, dredge beef in arrowroot powder and saute’ the beef in 1 Tablespoon of oil until just browned. Add wine and continue to saute’ as the wine reduces. Add spices and stir to heat so aromas are released from them. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes then add remaining ingredients. Set to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Ladle into a bowl and add a dollop of mashed potatoes in the middle, drizzle a little stew gravy over the top and enjoy!  Slainte!Image

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4 thoughts on “May Your Pockets Be Heavy and Your Heart Be Light

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