Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pass the Posole!

  Hello, all! The Fresh Pioneer is back! Fall is officially here and we're all hunkered down over our stew, wrapped in quilts by the blazing fire.

   Except we don't have a fire. We have electric baseboard heat, which isn't quite the same.

  And no stew. I love the stuff but hubby hates cooked carrots. Sometimes I make stew without them, then try and add in cooked carrots at the end, after I've separated the bowls. Sometimes I try to sneak the carrots out of his bowl... But he says he can taste them.

 I read a great quote the other day by Eckhart Tolle...

                          If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy,
you have three options: REMOVE yourself from the situation, CHANGE it, or ACCEPT it totally.
If you want to take responsibility for your life,
you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now.
Then accept the consequences.
No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear.

Huh. Not sure what he means by psychic pollution (I'm wearing my foil hat like a good girl!) but it got me thinking about the things that drive me nuts. Like carrot-less stew. I'm in an intolerable situation with this stew deal. With carrots= hubby whines. Without carrots= I whine.

Since I can't REMOVE myself from the situation (divorce over carrot-less stew is frowned upon in my church), I could try to ACCEPT it totally. I 'ommmmmm'ed my way into the zone... imagining years of those Fall months bearing steaming bowls of creamy potato and beef stew, with just a few springs of fresh parsley and maybe some crunchy French bread on the side.
Total acceptance.
I was zen.
I was at peace.
I was hungry.
For stew with carrots.

*sigh* So, back to Tolle, and my third choice which was CHANGE.
(picture removed of people white water rafting)
This is how I feel about change. (What are all those people so happy about?? This is not fun, this is terrible! Get back on dry land! You're all going to die and your tombstones will read: "Happy now?")

(Edna saw Mindy's mixer had a matching spatula and cutting board. She thought we should redecorate in 50's chrome handles and pulls. Hubby feels like he's in an old space movie. I figure whatever makes Edna a happier mixer is okay by me.)

So, I'm not a fan of change, but that seems like where I was headed with the issue of the stew. I decided to think of all the delicious things that were like stew, as close to stew as I could get, yet not missing some major ingredient, or have something picky eater wouldn't touch.

  Posole! Say it with me! (Oh, pronunciation? Po-ZO-lay.)

So, here we go: (gratuitous shot of our attempt at Jan's garlic cheesy twist bread. Mmm.)

One whole medium onion chopped with three cloves of garlic minced, 2 TBS olive oil, sauteed in the bottom of a soup pot.
Add two cans of tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. (These are our tomatoes from the garden, I added two quarts, and the sea salt was a gift, yee haw!  I don't think it made much of a difference, but it was fun to pretend we were in Sicily... cooking posole.)
Hominy. 50% off. I have no idea where this came from, but it was in the pantry. Probably planted by my husband. This was a huge can, but even with this, it seemed a little short on hominy. So don't add a small can unless you're hoping to get a bowl without any. Add 6 cups of water or chicken broth. Of not chicken broth, you can season with boullion. If no boullion, just let the chicken cook, it will be good anyway.

At this point, you'll get it to a rolling boil, including 4-5 chicken breasts. Some recipes call for a deli chicken deboned. But who can buy a deli roasted chicken and save it for posole?? That sucker would be 'deboned' within minutes in this house. So, some frozen chicken breasts (which NO ONE wants to see) into the pot, boiled, and then simmered for 30 minutes.

During the final phase, you add the CUMIN powder. I put that in caps because don't think you can add oregeno and get away with it. That would be something else entirely.

Cumin is related to caraway which is related to parsley which is related cilantro which is related to feet. It smells a little musty, but in a good way. Cumin powder- 3 tsp. You can add some hot sauce at this point, but I didn't.
Here's a dish for one of the kids. It smells delicious!!
And here's mine. Come to Mama!  Usually, there is shredded cabbage and corn chips, but I just plopped some lettuce and sour cream on there and called it good.

  So,  I needed to check in with dear Eckhart and see what to do next.

Then accept the consequences.
No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear.
Well, there was definitely no negativity, no excuses and I'm guessing no psychic pollution. My inner space was clear, except I was full of posole.
 All in all, I could live with this. Stew has a special place in my heart, but posole is gaining on me. Or making me gain. Either way.
And my breath is killer. Cumin AND garlic. Yeee-OW.
  Keep warm until next time!




  1. Oh, I used to love hominy and grits. Now? Corn allergy! But I bet I could put in garbanzo beans and pretend!

    In my house, Man O has a special carrot recipe that I bet your hubs would eat. They are cooked to death in sugar and butter until all the nutrients are gone and they taste like candy. He has to bring them to every family dinner AND make them.

    Glad you have your priorities on keeping that marriage intact.

    Peace, Julie

    1. Julie,

      I think my dad makes that dish. He calls it candied carrots and it has A LOT of butter and brown sugar.

      I don't think hubby would eat that. I think he's got something against carrots in particular. :D

      And yes, if I left the marriage over carrrot-less stew, I'd have to make up something much more impressive or I'd be beaten over the head by my sister.

  2. Husbands. My goodness, if we knew what we were getting into when we married them would we all stay single?

    But then, we'd miss all the good stuff, wouldn't we?

    My dear husband has been revealing his picky eating to me little by little over the past 30 years. For example, I knew he liked his meat well done. Cooked to death. No pink (except in ham!). So I worked to find ways to cook meat to his taste (well done)and mine (not dry as dust) at the same time.

    The verdict? The texture is wrong. He can't eat it because it isn't hard and dry. He FEELS like he's eating raw meat. Sheesh.

    I would blame my mother-in-law, but one day a couple years ago, she told me the story of how she spent 64 years cooking around my father-in-law's fussy eating. So now, do I blame HIS mother?

    I think I'll blame the men.

    And I won't be making the Pisole. My husband hates corn, but he loves carrots in his beef stew.

    Virginia, maybe we should trade husbands - just for one meal, though!

    1. By the way - I love cumin! Hate the smell, but I love what it does to food!

    2. HAHAHA! Totally! Let's trade! I have a friend who's husband talks CONSTANTLY. He makes friends with everyone, is never on time anywhere, and loves to go to the movies.

      We talk about trading... and then realize we'd be sick of the other guy just as fast. She'd get tired of not know what my hubby was thinking, always having to be exactly on time, and never leaving the house. :D

      We definitely choose our spouse for a reason.

      Darn if I can remember what mine was.


    3. Oh, mine also prefers his meat cooked to death. Like jerky.

      I blame growing up without refrigeration. That ahd to cook it to death or they'd get sick.

      Maybe your husband's father in law was the same?

  3. Well, you've enlightened me today, Virginia...except for hominy. What on earth is that? And do we have it Canada, I wonder? -- And guess what I ordered from Harlequin over the weekend? :-)

    1. LOL that was my first thought. Then I slapped myself. DUH!

  4. Virginia, I'm gonna have to try this. I love hominy.

    Kav, hominy is dried corn that has been soaked. In what, I can't remember. It's bigger than sweet corn, with a milder flavor, but still has that hint of corn.

    I ordered a new book too :-) Can't wait for it to be delivered to my Kindle.

    1. Gee, all these new books!

      And I have a box of author copies... I throw them at the heads of all, near and far, and still have tons.

  5. P.S. Someone just told me Eckhart Tolle is New Age.

    Ya think??? Psychic pollution... I still don't really know what that is.

  6. P.P.S No one commented on my bowl.

    That was hubby's bowl. If I ate like that I'd have to be cut out of my house doorway by the fire department.

    Men and their metabolisms. *sigh*

  7. LOL, Virginia!! I love this post. I'm still cracking up about divorce over carrot-less stew. :)

    In my household, it's celery I have to live without. Unfortunately, I'm outnumbered 4 to 1, so I lose. No celery. Even diced so thinsit's like paper. They always discover it.

    So...I should try posole! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I love celery! There's no reason to make chicken noodle soup without celery!

  8. Virginia, you need to save some of those author copies for that time, years from now, when your #1 fan confesses she has all of your books except that first one - the one that made you famous. Then you'll be able to present her with an autographed copy, and in gratitude she'll leave her fabulous riches and country house in the Lake District to you in her will, and you'll live happily ever after.

    Now, isn't that a good reason to keep those extra copies around?

    1. Hm, Jan, you'd think wth her fabulous riches and country house she'd hire someone to go to an out-of-print book shop and track down a copy.

      But I think you're right.

      It could totally happen. *hides the 3/4 full box*

  9. Psychic pollution - you knew I had to Google.


    My husband tolerates carrots in his stew but I get lectured about not putting in too many. How can there be too many of the best part?

    1. Mary, I totally agree! They make stew STEW.

      And now I have to go check the link...

  10. Mary's psychic pollution link---

    "I see it as grayish and sticky-like. It is terrible; it is horrible to see! It is alive! I send Light to it because it is too painful for me to look at! I don't want to see it anymore."

    Oh, boy.

  11. Ginny, this looks wonderful! Banana bread yesterday, posole today, and I'm two hours away eating shredded wheat for dinner--you're killing me!

    Gotta say I'm enjoying the 50's sci-fi thing you have happening in your kitchen too. Edna and I would get along just fine.

    I'm telling everyone about your book now available on shelves--congrats you multi talented sisty ugler!

  12. Hey now, shredded wheat is good for you! Takes like cardboard, but it's good for you! :D