Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stew, you say???? --- jcarolek

Another story from the “my former life” series.

When I was a newlywed, living in a trailer park in Tallahassee, FL, we owned one car. My husband drove it to work and I, working as a seamstress at the time, took the bus to the mall where I made custom clothing. My husband and I worked different shifts…I worked days and he worked nights.

Those were the days…we were in love…I was pregnant with our first child…my husband was helpful…life was bliss….

One day, I got off the bus just across the street from the trailer park. My nostrils were immediately thrilled to smell the lovely aroma of a fresh baked apple pie! Yummy! I loved living in that trailer park, so close to my neighbors I could smell all their great cooking, even if I couldn’t have any!

As I walked the dirt road into the park, toward my trailer, the aroma of the pie grew stronger. I was loving it….the lady next door must have been baking all day! She liked me…I bet she’d give me a piece of that pie….

When I got to my own door, I used my key and entered my empty home….OH MY GOODNESS!!! The apple pie smell was GAGGING me now! It was coming from MY kitchen! What the heck was going on???

The phone rang, as I began to try to find the source of the now overpowering aroma. It was my dear, sweet, loving husband.

“Hi Judy, I made supper…it’s in the crock pot!” (I heard the pride in his voice)

So I go to the crockpot, lift the lid and YEP!!! That’s the source! WHEW!!! HELP ME!!! OPEN A WINDOW!!!

Of course, this is not the correct response to such a loving and caring husband. So, I asked,

“Really, what did you make?”

“Irish stew!” Was his proud response!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have never had Irish stew that smelled like apple pie before. So, of, course,

“Wow, where did you get the recipe?” I asked.

“Oh, it was on one of those cards in your recipe box. I went to the store and bought all the ingredients. It said to use two stalks of celery, but I thought one was plenty. It said to use two cloves, but that seemed too little, so I figured it was a typo, and it meant two tablespoons of cloves.”

Well, there you have it…the source of the apple pie smell…..and should I mention that this dear, sweet man did not know the difference between a stalk of celery and a head of celery? You guessed it…that Irish stew was chock full of celery (thankfully he stopped at one head) and overpoweringly favored in cloves.

And that, my dear friends, is the true story of the first ever (and last, I hope) Irish Cloved Celery Stew!

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