changing horses midstream

I had to cook two dinners last night, because I made a mistake on the first one. The beef stew made with our own chicken glaze was filling the house with delicious savory smells, when I remembered to my chagrin that I had browned the steak in seasoned flour and butter, meaning that if I fed it to Shannon and Cian, both violently lactose-intolerant, I would poison them.

Luckily Shannon had brought another chicken, brined with kosher salt. I sliced up some carrots and Yukon Gold potatoes and threw them in the roasting pan with olive oil and ground pepper. There were vine-ripened tomatoes and avocadoes and baby spinach for the salad, and the very last bottle of the celestial 1999 Adastra chardonnay to drink. I threw the gold-and-blue Provencal tablecloth on the kitchen table, and the six of us had a proper Sunday roast. The bird was juicy and tender and delicious and the schmaltzy vegetables disappeared in nanoseconds.

We sent the boys out for a couple of bottles of cheap red, and peeled five overripe pears. They went into a pot with an entire bottle of wine, a couple of spoonfuls of sugar, sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves and a dash of vanilla essence. The pears simmered for an hour while we finished off the chardonnay, and then we ate them, poached to a nicety.

Claire ate her pieces of pear, and her face filled with wonder.

Tonight: stew!

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