Sunday, October 18, 2009
That's how long it will take us to eat all the Bigos I made. Bigos, you ask? Well, I had never heard of it either until I came upon this captivating post by Pauline at Classy Chaos. I adore Pauline and even though she makes it sound like a dirty thing to feed your kids pizza, I still respect her. Chris and I enjoy ethnic foods. And we love pork. And sauerkraut. We LOVE sauerkraut. So with her endorsement and direction along with my full-fledge excitement over all that pork and sauerkraut, I set out. To make my own Bigos. I hastily wrote out the ingredients and intructions on paper and put them aside to shop in the afternoon, at about 4pm, when Katie would get home from school.
The recipe call for dried plums. Under the surface, I felt a nervousness throughout the day. Where the heck was I going to get dried plums? I tweeted to OHmommy (Pauline) begging for her assistance and was ignored. Probably because she didn't think it was a question worth answering. Or maybe she though it was a joke. Later in the day I tried again, something to the tune of "Dried plums. Where to buy? Respond. Can raisins be used instead?" She finally sent me a direct tweet "My girlfriend did use plums. Can you find prunes? Like bigger raisins. Let me know how it works out."
Chapter 2 - What was I thinking?
When I read Marinka's post here about starting her new crockpot recipe, I laughed about her being so excited to use her new crockpot that she began to cook at 8pm. Yet, I chose to go to the store at 4pm to shop for ingredients for a stew. I figured, home by 5pm - food done by about 7:00 or 7:30pm. The kids won't want to eat it anyway. We can have a nice luxurious meal once the kids are in bed. Little did I know that the luxurious meal would be hastily eaten at 10pm prior to me passing out from starvation. I failed to take into consideration that I would need more than 1/2 hour between steps of the recipe to cart groceries in from car, feed the kids dinner, keep a teething crying baby happy, reset the tv with a new show for Katie every 25 minutes, AND actually do the meal preparation.
Chris hates stews with fruit in them. Will he even eat this, with all the dried plums? I'll put in a little less than the picture shows.
OHmommy used 3 pieces of bacon, but it looks like I have more meat; I'll use 5 pieces to compensate. Oh wait, am I supposed to cook the bacon first to make it crispy? She didn't say to, I'll just cut it up and put it in raw.
Chapter 4 - Smoked sausage and other mistakes
I've also never bought smoked sausage before. Recently I've begun trying to be a little more conscious of ingredients and staying away from corn syrup, especially high fructose. However, I learned that there were only 2 types of smoked sausage offered at my supermarket. Those with corn syrup and those made with cow heart's. I opted for the corn syrup.
When realizing I still had to get a separate dinner prepared for the kids and that I bought way too much pork and smoked sausage I decided that the kids would have "hot dogs" (smoked sausage) for dinner. No complaints from them. I knew the stew would be done much later than expected since the pot was full to the tippy top. While I was waiting, I ate half of a leftover cooked smoked sausage. Mistake. I am certain that I tasted minced bone in there and spit it all into the garbage. Blah!!!
I also freaked for the final hour or so because there was so much in the pot that I could barely stir it and I was convinced that it would all burn on the bottom.
It was pretty yummy!
I chose to add cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It was a good thing since the mushrooms served an important role of disguising the mushy rubbery bacon as a possible mushroom. The crunchy sauerkraut disguised any bone crunch of the sausage. Chris loved it! Timmy loved his meal of leftovers the following day. I know enough to not even attempt offering it to Katie. The texture hodgepodge would be her mental undoing.
We have been eating leftovers for days now. Or rather, I should say that Chris has. Although I did quite enjoy it for dinner that first night, I can't let go of my flashbacks of eating the smoked sausage on it's own. I've actually had a nightmare about it, so I can't bring myself to eat any of the leftovers. Since Chris and Timmy enjoyed it so much I may try it again in the future. Maybe with kielbasa instead of the cow heart-free smoked sausage. I may fry up the bacon a little first, too. I think I'll use a bit more dried plums. Oh, and maybe not rinse off the sauerkraut. I missed it's yummy sour taste.