I knew I was in trouble when my eyes slammed irrevocably open at 4 AM. There is no sheep counting or backwards counting from 100 with jet lag. I’m just awake and will be until I fall prey to narcoleptic–like somnolence at around 7 PM, crashing hard, dizzily trying to keep myself awake until something a little past a toddler’s bedtime.
This is the price I pay for my jet set life style. It’s not pretty, but it’s worth it and I try to make the best of it. I spent the dark pre dawn trying to decide what I’d cook for supper since I was past my limit for consecutive meals eaten out and have been looking forward to the comforting routine of my own kitchen. I knew I would need something familiar that I could cook with half my brain tied behind my back, something savory, and since the weather has been raw and rainy, beef stew sounded perfect.
Beef stew is familiar and comforting, something I’ve made my whole life and refined as my taste and skills have improved. I’m able to move easily through the process, browning peppery pieces of beef chuck, adding garlic and shallots and then deglazing the pan with wine and tomatoes before putting it into a low oven with a spoonful of harissa paste and a bay leaf. About an hour before we eat, I’ll add the vegetables I’ve prepped- cubes of white turnips and creamy yellow potatoes, discs of carrot and snapped green beans. Add biscuits or cornbread and it’s simple and satisfying, definitely a meal worth coming home for.