Opinion: Stewing question


For many of us, the lockdowns and closed restaurants precipitated by the pandemic and our reaction to it led to a renewed interest in the food we eat. For months, it was nearly impossible to purchase the ingredients for us to make our own bread. The lowly yeast packet was elevated to a highly prized and often hoarded treasure. Still, benefitted by countless cookbooks that we’d not touched in years, or by the ubiquitous nature of the internet query (ask your browser how to boil an egg and you will find nearly infinite advisors), we came to experiment with home cooking. The plebeian meatloaf became an Epicurean delight. And common stew was explored in every variation.

There is Irish stew. Sure. But it is only the beginning. Wikipedia’s page, List of stews, outlines a few, 177 to be exact, with advice on ingredients and preparation strategies. So, the earnest among us might undertake to experiment a bit. Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, a bit of meat, maybe it is seafood, and spices to bring it all together. Into the pot or pan it goes, and with some time and attention, voilà – we have stew. All the ingredients, measured, prepared and warmed together, over time, deliver a tasty treat.

But what if we’ve allowed our concoction to become under salted? Well, wouldn’t we add a bit more salt? But what if we’ve allowed our concoction to become too salty? That is trickier. We could start again – throwing out all ingredients and the time to prepare them. Or could we simply put in more stew until it is to our taste? Even as we continue to grow our ongoing melting pot, if we don’t like the flavor, do we dispose of it all or instead consider how to offset the abundance of deleterious spice?