Special to the Cherokee Tribune
All in all, last week was physically and emotionally cruddy. I literally had the “crud” all week with a terrible cough. I finally surrendered and went to Medical Associates of North Georgia on Thursday, and I was diagnosed with a bronchial infection. Apparently, there is a lot of this going around. After losing my voice completely on Friday, I am finally beginning to feel a bit better. On the emotional side, I have visited Darby Funeral Home twice last week. The first time was for my friends Carrie Budd and Mike McGowan who lost their son, Adam Budd, way too early. The second time was a visitation for my friend, Jeannie Lathem Adams, who lost her long battle with cancer. Jeannie was a remarkable and inspiring lady, and she was a huge advocate for Canton and, especially, our historic neighborhood. I rallied long enough to make her visitation on Thursday, but my persistent cough kept me from attending her service on Saturday. I heard it was lovely, and she will be greatly missed by her family, friends and community. On the positive side of things, the Canton Main Street program hosted the initial First Friday of the year in downtown Canton. We made a valiant effort, but it was simply too cold to attract a large crowd. I want to give a special thanks to Canton’s Chief Floyd for bringing the volunteers some hand warmers from the fire station. We hung in for a while but retreated to The Painted Pig Tavern for libations. After a cold and challenging week, I really needed some good comfort food for this week’s Sunday Supper. At our last visit to Mountain Valley Farm in Ellijay, I bought some beautiful grass-fed beef, and it has been waiting in the freezer for the right occasion. So I made a big pot of beef stew for dinner. I added a local beer, Sweetwater Georgia Brown, to the stock, along with the beef and organic vegetables. I also added some organic kale to the stew, and it was healthy, delicious and filling. To go along with the stew, I baked some fresh focaccia bread with rosemary from the herb garden. It was well worth the effort and helped to “sop up” the earthy stew base. The “beef stew for the soul” really hit the spot, and I am hoping for a healthier and happier week ahead for everyone. I dedicate this Sunday Supper to the loving memory of Jeannie Adams. Rest in peace my friend. The Menu: n Georgia Grass Fed Hearty Beef Stew with Organic Vegetables and Kale n Rosemary Focaccia n Angel Food Cake with Florida Strawberries Hearty Beef Stew 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 2 pounds stew meat (preferably grass fed) 1 whole medium onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 bottle beer — your choice 4 cups beef stock 1 to 2 cups additional water (as needed) 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 to 2 splashes of hot sauce (optional) 4 whole carrots, washed, unpeeled, and roughly sliced 4 whole new potatoes, quartered 2 stalks celery — rough chop Small bunch of kale — rough chop (optional) Minced parsley (optional) DIRECTIONS: Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside. Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, hot sauce and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed. Add carrots, celery, potatoes and kale, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve in bowls next to crusty French bread, focaccia or cornbread. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired. Bill Grant is owner of Grant Design Collaborative based in Canton and chairman of the Canton Main Street Board.