beef stew

Tradition, Memory, and Cinnamon: Making My Grandmother's Beef Soup

My grandmother's beef soup, recreated

I grew up on a small dairy farm in western North Dakota, and I still get terribly homesick from time to time. Even though I've spent more of my life away from there, it still has my heart. It's still my home. One of the hardest parts of growing older is wanting those comforts of the past, but coming to terms with the fact that they'll never again be as you remember them. It's the pull of nostalgia, I suppose, to miss being that carefree kid running around the farm and seeing childhood friends, to miss regularly seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins. To miss talking with my grandparents, who have all passed away.  


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Sealing in Summer

Despite my crushing love for good food and an ongoing affair with Williams-Sonoma, I’m actually not much of a kitchen gadget fan. I’m a firm believer in getting the best kitchen basics you can afford and using them to death. Why do I need an asparagus stripper thing when I have a perfectly good, sharp knife? Or a flour sifter when a basic strainer does the same job? On the other hand, there is a time and a place for certain gadgets and appliances.

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