Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Blue Box, Homemade Stew and a Zombie Apocalypse

Tuesdays are a fairly busy day in our house. After work, Half pint usually rushes home and loves on the pup for a bit before she is out the door again to spend the evening with some pretty cool ladies.  I either meet the bestie for a quick cup of Joe and good conversation or I find myself hitting up the Kroger making sure there is some good grub happening in our home. Once I walk into the door of our humble abode, I throw some loving on the fur ball that has stolen our hearts and together we run around the crib making the floors shine and the laundry smell like a bed of roses. (It’s become this odd ritual of cleaning and preventing the beast from stealing socks or eating the vacuum.) Don’t hold this against us, but dinner is typically not fancy on these nights. If the lady doesn’t grab a bite to eat with her friends, and I didn’t steal 3 minutes to make a cheesy roll up (tortilla + cheese + cumin + jalapenos + cilantro + 45 seconds in the microwave = cheesy roll up & deliciousness) dinner can either be forgotten, leftovers thrown together or yes, even a glass of wine and stove top popcorn. (Don’t judge.)
This Tuesday was a little different.  There has been this blue box, making its home in our pantry for quite some time. Whether it is from when I moved in or, even scarier, since there was an occupant in the house who made consistent meals off the blue box, that box has been there FOREVER. We threw the idea out there and next thing you know, she was grilling the dogs, and I was slaving over the stove preparing the blue box of cheesy creamy goodness.
We sat down and reminisced over a bowl of Mac & Cheese and hot dogs. We retold childhood stories and college memories. We remembered other meals of savory poor nutrition that filled our days growing up. Sloppy Joes before softball games, a can of beanie weenies when the college funds were running low, and weekends of youth group retreats with pots filled with Dinty Moore Beef Stew.
Even though we both have a past filled with boxed meals, we learned early on in our journey together that there is something about cranking up the tunes, pulling out the pots and pans, heating up the grill and cooking a fresh homemade meal side by side that brings joy and happiness into our world.  Not only has it provided time to have good conversation and enjoy an evening of laughs after a stressful workday, but it’s also allowed us to learn a lot about food and to make some healthier choices in our everyday meals.
After ruminating over Dinty Moore beef stew, in light of our pending camping trip, we decided to pull out the cutting board, get down the spices, open up bottle of wine, and create our own healthy version of beef stew to fill our bellies in the cool evening of camping under the stars.
As we woke up in the wee hours this morning surrounded by an aroma of grass fed beef, fresh vegetables, fresh thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and a red wine reduction sauce, I warned Half Pint that the Zombie Apocalypse would be happening today and that our home would become the world’s safe haven because of our beef stew. (Yes, there was only one crock pot, but it work like the 5 loaves and two fish miracle of the Bible.)
I wanted her to be prepared.
She was confused.
And I was perplexed at where in the world our minds find this stuff while we are sleeping away the night.
No worries folks! It was only a dream.
But I can’t help but look forward to tasting that stew this weekend, because if my dream holds any truth, than that is going to be some REALLY GOOD stew.

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