Improvising Stew

A colorful holiday dish.

Holiday cheer may be muted by unfortunate events, but that doesn't mean it has to be kicked in the ribs afterward. That sort of thuggish behavior has no place at the table, and doesn't sit well in the ornamental chairs my grandmother so lovingly painted while she waited for the stew to congeal.

This year, it was tradition I had in mind as I prepared my own version of her celebrated holiday stew. The exact ingredients she used are lost, alas, in the mists of time, but that's where improvisation comes in. During the holiday season the air is thick with candy canes, which lend credibility to any festive dish. The small citrus fruit is a crucial ingredient, because holiday stew isn't worth beans if it isn't colorful.

Having accounted for the primary ingredients, I turned my attention to the stethoscope around my neck. I use this to listen for the telltale sound of boiling water, which, as my grandmother so relentlessly pointed out, is the crucial point in any culinary process. Then, satisfied that the liquid had reached its optimum state, I added the final ingredients.

I believe granny would agree that cotton socks simply make better stew, but as the kids are so fond of saying nowadays, your mileage may vary. In a similar way, the cigarette you choose for your own holiday stew is largely a matter of taste, while the number of miles you're willing to walk to obtain the smoothest blend is not.



  1. Because I'm still in the holiday spirit of giving and charity, I am going to let you have all the stew to yourself.

  2. Because no charitable act goes unpunished, I'm going to let you have your way.