I woke up this morning with a hankering for Guinness Beef Stew. When we were in Doolin on our (forced march) tour to Galway I had a marvelous shiny brown bowl of the stuff and here in sunny California with two days off to enjoy, I couldn’t think of a better way to pretend to be on vacation for a brief moment. Even reading Ginger Rutland’s review of Michael Lewis’ Vanity Fair article “California and Bust” describing California’s civic and financial collapse couldn’t dampen my spirits. I am alive, relatively healthy, and employed with great friends and family–why be depressed about my “scary” state?
I shared the stew proposition with my sweetie and the negotiations began–which pot to use, which method, which recipe, should we also have soda bread–cripes! It became a negotiation, discussion, argument, and we became opponents.
We retreated, ate breakfast in silence and then tried again. Later after a trip to the grocery store we peacefully made guacamole and salsa–our appetizers for the stew (California may be about to “bust” but we have great food options) and he left me to make it my way.
So, I put Etta James on Pandora and with her growling in the background prepared the stew. Now I sit here waiting for it and hope it turns out (sans fresh thyme– the plant died while we were on vacation)
What Is your favorite way to pretend you are on vacation?

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