Fantasy Trope Beef Stew

It’s Friday, my darlings! Friday, Friday, Friday. The end of the week, the gateway to a potentially glorious weekend.

I’m in an exceedingly good mood. Autumn has officially arrived, with cooler temperatures and low humidity, and all the seasonal consumables.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Apple cider. Soups, stews, cornucopias of goodies filled to bursting.

I made my version of beef stew this week to celebrate the occasion. Every time I eat it, I feel like a fantasy character sitting in the common room of some inn listening to a Ranger or a wizard or recovering from a fight. I love this stew for that reason (and the fact that it’s yummy, if I do say so myself).

I love it so much, I have decided to share the “recipe” with you all. Here goes!
Fantasy Trope Beef Stew (for the Crockpot):

1 package stew beef (pre-cubed)

1 package baby carrots

1 package mushrooms of your choice (I used pre-sliced baby bellas)

1 handful of fresh green beans

2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 carton beef stock, 26 oz

1 package of Fingerling potatoes (these you’ll need to cut yourself)

Thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, sage to taste.

Use about half the baby carrots, half the potatoes, and half the beef stock. Dump everything into the crockpot. Turn crockpot on LOW and let cook between 6-7 hours. Serve hot with your favorite bread.

I was lazy this week and just used Pillsbury biscuits, but if I were feeling fancy I would make beer bread. Beer bread is amazingly delicious, and goes well with stews of many varieties.

The bread recipe I linked to is super easy, but it calls for self rising flour. That’s just flour with baking powder and salt added in, which you can do yourself if you don’t have any on-hand. I also reduced the amount of butter you put on top of the bread before baking to about two tablespoons. The whole ¼ cup ends up dripping all over the oven and that’s just messy.

I recommend serving this meal in a rustic bowl, while seated at a rickety wooden table wearing a cloak. Perhaps share a fermented beverage of choice with your traveling companions and try to guess what that mysterious man smoking the pipe in the corner might be up to.

Now, go forth and eat!

1,000 Words VI: Ruins

A ruined building, which I do believe was at one time a church, in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

Every time I see ruins, they intrigue me. There are so many unanswered questions. What caused the structure to be abandoned? Why did a town or city spring up around it and leave it in such a state? Sure, it could be a historical marker, but not all ruins are such. Who used it? Why? What was inside? Do the ruins seems sad, happy, angry, good, or evil? Do they have a soul?

What ruins have you all seen recently? Did they inspire any stories? Ruins always get my creative juices flowing.

1,000 Words V: The Garden

This is a picture from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I had the chance to visit it two years ago. Be warned, sea-level dwellers: the atmosphere is thin at that elevation, and if you are not acclimated, you will get a headache just walking around. I know from experience. But, I think the pain was well worth it.

Now, without looking anything up, and just going on the name of the place, I want you to tell me: What kind of gods created this place? Are they still there? Write me a fable, link to it in the comments.

Road Trip

I went on a bit of a road trip this weekend with my mother for a family friend’s bridal shower. I always like road trips, if only because you come back with weird stories.

For example, when I go on road trips or extended local drives with one particular friend to somewhere we’ve never been, it is always an adventure. We generally get lost for a short amount of time, or stuck in horrendous traffic, or run across some unusual event or roadside display. It’s quite entertaining.

This weekend, I learned the primary difference between driving somewhere with my mother, versus the same trip with my father.

Mother:

“I’ll drive, Mom.”

“Okay.”

*ten seconds later*

“Watch the traffic, hun. Oo, brake lights. Curb! More brake lights. Don’t mess with the radio while you’re driving. Where are the tissues? What’s that clown doing? Careful of the trucks. Did you see how close he got? He was practically in our backseat! Brake lights!”

“Mom, relax, I got this.”

“I know you do, honey.”

Father:

“I’ll drive, Dad.”

“Okay. ZZ Top?”

“Sure.”

*synchronized head bopping*

“You know where we’re going right? Good. I’m gonna take a nap.”

Have you all been on any interesting trips lately? Tell me about them in the comments!