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Needed: Five-quart crock pot or dutch oven.

So I ended up with a quart of glorious broth. I hunted for a good recipe in which to use it. I liked the idea of a hearty main-course bean soup at this time of year, so I thumbed through a popular cookbook I own for the slow cooker (of which Rival makes the best-known brand, called a "Crock Pot," now the generic term for that appliance).

I found a recipe in this cookbook for "cholent," a traditional European-Jewish bean-and-barley stew, served on Shabbat. In observant homes, this dish was placed over lit coals late the day before Shabbat, and cooked in the dwindling embers until the following midday, after services. This long-cooking was to prevent believers from having to engage in work on the "day of rest," including the work of lighting a kitchen-fire. The soup lent itself well to slow cooking in the modern, every-day crock pot. I was charmed. I wanted to make it. Then I read more closely. What I found is below.

As is true of too many recipes in this nameless book, this one relies on ready-compiled flavoring ingredients. In this case, the recipe called for a store-bought soup-mix, one that contained the additive monosodium glutamate, "MSG."

Now, MSG derives from seaweed. It's made in a laboratory, to enhance the flavor of food. It's ubiquitous in mass-produced convenience foods, under such ingredient names as "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" and "modified food starch."

The presence of this additive in food troubles me for two reasons. The first is that MSG likely affects human health. It seems to cause short-term disturbances like headaches and flushing in some people. Its heavy use also results in long-term, repeat human exposure to the molecule, with effects difficult to quantify in the population, but which possibly include weight-gain, and other undesired outcomes. The second reason MSG-use troubles me, is the hard questions that arise about reasons for its widespread presence in food. Why does food's flavor so commonly need "goosing" to begin with?

The tradition of disguising or enhancing inferior food to pass it off as being more expensive has roots in antiquity, with elaborate Roman wine-making practices. Generally, wine from commoner dark grapes was the wine of the lower classes and slaves. Wine from more-expensive lighter grapes was reserved for aristocrats. But winemakers engineered their product so wine from darker grapes would look and perhaps taste as if it came from lighter grapes.  That appealed to social pretension, for the need of lower-class people to drink what "high-class" concoction they could afford.

American society, though, is without formal class distinctions. What tastes good to one, tastes good to all, and food manufacturers, at the lowest possible cost, want to sell what people will buy. Notwithstanding, if a mass-produced convenience food needs MSG to taste good, I fear it may be a sign we have no business eating that food, in the first place. Besides the excessive salt, those chips and that frozen dinner are likely to contain low-grade, questionably-sourced ingredients that cause and abet various kinds of human disease and dysfunction in society.

Although my anti-MSG bias extends to home cooking—to sympathize with the editors of the cholent recipe—some foundational ingredients in home cooking are naturally drab. Beans, for instance, sop up salt and seasonings like crazy as they simmer, and if you want them to taste like anything but mush, you can't mess around. It isn't a matter of artfully spicing an already-flavorful food to set it off; you have to scheme to "goose" the taste of the homely legume. The exact same is true of less-expensive cuts of beef. Even from animals raised in healthy conditions, these tend to be tough, bland, or both. Home cooks have long recognized this. I have a recipe for beef stew, from a fairly "classy" source, where red wine is the only added liquid, and the stew also contains ingredients like "pancetta."  Well, the recipe calls for common "stew beef," and for "worcestershire sauce." The latter is a fermented anchovy-based sauce sold specifically to enhance the taste of savory recipes.  (The most popular brand these days, unfortunately, also contains MSG.)

Now, back to the cholent. I had my heart set on it, since I'd hardly have to buy anything to make it. It was hearty; if done right, it promised to be tasty. The long-cooking interested me, since I believe many ingredient-combinations only realize their full flavor potential this way. More philosophically, the soup evolved in old Europe because of the recognition, common to many spiritual traditions, that regular, sacred rest offset the effort and trouble of living well. Life couldn't be about the quest of ease or convenience.

I Googled "cholent" to see what other recipes for it I could find.

The New York Times to the rescue! This delicious, simple cholent, is made from whole, natural foods, with attention paid to those ingredients with muted flavors at risk of fading out in the final dish. Honey flavors meat and beans, although only as an accent; you won't add enough that eaters register its taste it as "sweet." In my version, abundant salt and olive oil also boost the soup's flavor. (For a vegan dish, omit the meat, use vegetable stock, and use molasses instead of honey. To make the dish healthier, reduce salt and oil.)

IMG_1654

What follows is my adaptation of New York Times cholent:

Serves 12-15
Prep time: 12-15 hours

5-6 whole small red potatoes
1 large onion, cut into ½-inch slices
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1.5 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-1/2 pieces
1 cup dried pearl barley, sorted and rinsed
1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 cup dried lima beans, sorted and rinsed
1 quart beef or chicken stock
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon of salt, more if your broth is unsalted
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika
ground pepper to taste

1.)    Combine all ingredients in the crock pot or dutch oven, layering the potatoes, beef, onion, garlic, beans, chicken stock, other liquid ingredients, then salt, pepper, and paprika.

2.)    Set the crock pot on "low," or set the oven or stove on a very low flame and position the dutch oven to absorb the heat. Let the let the soup cook for 12-15 hours. You should see light bubbling. If your crock pot runs hot, as mine does, then please stir the soup every so often, as you're able, so it won't burn.

3.)    Dilute with water, as needed, and serve in bowls or big mugs. Goes great with a steamed green vegetable and crusty bread.

Originally posted to karmsy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:09 PM PST.

Also republished by Elders of Zion and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I loved this diary, and the recipe looks so good. (17+ / 0-)

    Am bookmarking this diary so that I might buy some barley and cook this yummy cholent soon!  Thanks!!

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:30:57 PM PST

  •  "Ready-compiled flavoring ingredients" (12+ / 0-)

    are easy to avoid with just a LITTLE bit of spice and cooking savvy. On the other hand, using them and cooking is probably better than just buying prepared food.

    THIS recipe intrigues me because for all of the legumes I make, I have never made lima beans. Looks like a good way to ease into them!

    You need an inch sign (") after 1 1/2.

  •  I notice your recipe commits the (24+ / 0-)

    grievous sin of salting dried beans.  According to most cookbooks, salting dried beans prevents them from softening.

    Good for you.  I'm with Mark Bittman on this: the only difference between dried beans cooked in salt water and dried beans cooked in unsalted water is that the first batch tastes saltier.   (And toss in other seasonings too when cooking from dried, if one wishes.)

    I'm not (just) nitpicking.  I think one of the reasons people avoid cooking dried beans, despite the convenience of crock pots and pressure cookers, is that the results are never flavorful -- and that's because they don't season the beans until it's much too late.  But as you well know, most canned beans have additives . . . and you pay a lot more for the convenience.

    Looking forward to your next recipe!

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:20:58 PM PST

  •  Don't buy stew beef - buy a good knife (30+ / 0-)

    Where I live, stew beef is $4.59/lb. Even worse, beef for stir fry (the same as stew beef, but longer pieces) is $4.99/lb.

    Around here you can almost always find a beef sirloin or round cut for $2.99/lb or less - sometimes roasts, sometimes steaks. The difference between that a stew beef is that a) stew beef is leftovers of variable quality; b) sirloin and round are very low fat cuts of beef that turn out extremely tender when cooked with moist heat, as in a pot roast or stew. Make your own stew meat - takes about 5 minutes.

    What we did last time is buy 2 whole rounds - about 15 lbs each - for $2.59/lb, grind most of it for hamburger and leave some for pot roast and then freeze it all. It's less than 5% fat - something you can't find in a store, and burger is never that cheap here even when it's 20% fat. If it were cheaper (it wasn't a few months ago) we'd buy a case of sirloins - about 70 lbs - at Costco and process that into ground meat and other cuts.

    Then we'll pull out a roast, thaw it, and if we want stew, cut it into stew meat. It seems crazy to use the better cuts for stew - it was originally intended for using the poorest cuts - but it's a lot cheaper.

    No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by badger on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:11:42 PM PST

  •  Looks good ! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, RiveroftheWest, Skyye, barbwires

    I'm definitely going to try this - cut in half !!!

     And thanks for the info on MSG - I knew that some people are sensitive to it, the headaches and etc., but did not know that there are general bad effects. Yuck.

    “Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

    by Dvalkure on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:55:26 PM PST

    •  Mind you, the "general bad effects" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Skyye, mikidee

      aren't well-proven at this point. They are still only "common sense."

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:18:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no proof of long term or (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee, greengemini, Mikey, Matilda

        "general bad effects." And "common sense" is short for "I don't really know but I like to think" something or other. It means you have absolutely no backing for your whim.

        From Wikipedia, search Glutamate:


        Glutamic acid (abbreviated as Glu or E) is one of the 20-22 proteinogenic amino acids, and its codons are GAA and GAG. It is a non-essential amino acid. The carboxylate anions and salts of glutamic acid are known as glutamates. In neuroscience, glutamate is an important neurotransmitter that plays a key role in long-term potentiation and is important for learning and memory.

        Snip~~~

        Glutamic acid, being a constituent of protein, is present in every food that contains protein, but it can only be tasted when it is present in an unbound form. Significant amounts of free glutamic acid are present in a wide variety of foods, including cheese and soy sauce, and is responsible for umami, one of the five basic tastes of the human sense of taste. Glutamic acid is often used as a food additive and flavor enhancer in the form of its salt, known as monosodium glutamate (MSG).
        snip~~~

        Glutamate is a key compound in cellular metabolism. In humans, dietary proteins are broken down by digestion into amino acids, which serve as metabolic fuel for other functional roles in the body.

        snip~~~~

        Glutamate also plays an important role in the body's disposal of excess or waste nitrogen. Glutamate undergoes deamination, an oxidative reaction catalysed by glutamate dehydrogenase, ...  effectively allowing nitrogen from the amine groups of amino acids to be removed, via glutamate as an intermediate, and finally excreted from the body in the form of urea.

        I'm skipping some of the heavy duty sciency stuff  but a little won't' hurt ...
        Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system. At chemical synapses, glutamate is stored in vesicles. Nerve impulses trigger release of glutamate from the pre-synaptic cell. In the opposing post-synaptic cell, glutamate receptors, such as the NMDA receptor, bind glutamate and are activated. Because of its role in synaptic plasticity, glutamate is involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory in the brain. The form of plasticity known as long-term potentiation takes place at glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus, neocortex, and other parts of the brain. Glutamate works not only as a point-to-point transmitter but also through spill-over synaptic crosstalk between synapses in which summation of glutamate released from a neighboring synapse creates extrasynaptic signaling/volume transmission. In addition, glutamate plays important roles in the regulation of growth cones and synaptogenesis during brain development as originally described by Mark Mattson.
        A reference for the laugh:  "Renton, Alex (2005-07-10). "If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-11-2"

        That great taste from long cooking is from freeing up some of that glutamic acid to free glutamate — giving you that umami flavor.

        And MSG is not IN those other foods. They contain glutamate which makes up 78% OF MSG. But they don't naturally have MSG in them.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:17:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a troubling statement: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fiona West, viral, RiveroftheWest
          It means you have absolutely no backing for your whim.
          Because hard science doesn't back something--yet--it's a "whim," of no value?

          Of course, this ubiquitous artificial molecule in food is "harmless," because science yet hasn't yet weighed in fully. Got it. Thanks.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:32:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you have freezer space, make the (7+ / 0-)
      I'm definitely going to try this - cut in half !!!
      whole thing and freeze half.  Then you have a meal in reserve for an emergency.  Cooked dry beans freeze very nicely.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:42:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A note about "stew beef" (14+ / 0-)

    You are better off buying a larger piece of meat and cutting it down than buying "stew beef." Why? Because the package of "stew beef" at your local grocers usually is nothing more than trimmings from various cuts of beef. The reason this might not work as well is carious cuts have various tendencies when cooked long and slow - some cook before others and might be tough.
    The best thing to do is buy a slab of less expensive beef, one that might have some gristle to it and let it cook. The gristle will melt an add to the stew's flavor and texture.
    But what ever you choose, be sure your meat is all from one cut. Works better.
    And thanks for the recipe. I'm getting my slow cooker out this weekend to make a lamb stew (been trying to use the slow cooker once a week the fall/winter). But the cholent sounds like a good project for my next soup/stew.
    Nothing better when it's cold out is a good pot of stew/soup, some crusty bread and a nice red wine!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:44:02 PM PST

  •  Worcester sauce...MSG... (6+ / 0-)

    Hmmm...

    ...recipe calls for common "stew beef," and for "worcestershire sauce." The latter is a fermented anchovy-based sauce sold specifically to enhance the taste of savory recipes.  (The most popular brand these days, unfortunately, also contains MSG.)
    I just checked my "L&P" ingredient list and the only suspicious entry is "natural flavorings".  Do you suppose that's at least in part MSG?

    T&R'd, bookmarked for community edu.

    Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

    by kaliope on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:58:56 PM PST

    •  "Natural flavorings" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kaliope, RiveroftheWest, mint julep

      is one name for MSG, per at least one list I found on the internet. Also, I'd heard this before, can't remember where.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:20:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If MSG is added it must be listed (5+ / 0-)

        by name under law.

        It causes that unpleasant flush and so people got that passed.

        DON'T rely on the general info on the internet. The list you linked to just lists food containing Glutamates even where natural. And that list is nuts. It lists milk powder but not milk — which contains as much glutamate. It lists Pectin,  Lecithin and Annatto which probably have 0 glutamates!

        All foods containing protein contain glutamates but if MSG is added it will be listed.

        Most of the glutamates in you are in your brain and pancreas. You would be in trouble without it.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:35:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure enough, MSG occurs naturally. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep, blue91, RiveroftheWest

          We need it in our bodies, even. OK, why is there so much artificial MSG dumped into prepared food all the time, and what effects is it having in the population? The first question has disturbing answers that uncover problems with our whole food supply. The second question leads to disturbing inquiry.

          To insist an ubiquitous artificial chemical is "harmless" because its bad effects aren't proven, is irresponsible.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:51:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How much is important. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            viral, RiveroftheWest, karmsy

            I'm pretty sensitive to MSG, though my reaction is nothing like that of MB's ex, thank god. It makes my face feel funny, and it's not pleasant.

            However, the amount matters quite a bit, and the most egregious overuse I have encountered isn't in processed foods, though I don't eat much processed food, but rather in inexpensive Chinese restaurants, and especially in their soups, which are sometimes thickened with MSG.

            After one particularly memorable dinner, three out of the four of us diners were shaking and had clenched jaws. Most Asian restaurants in my area no longer use any MSG at all because of consumer demand, but if you are in an unfamiliar area it doesn't hurt to request that they omit it.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:38:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  For people with special sensitivities... (10+ / 0-)

    ...MSG is even worse. My ex-wife is one of those. It doesn't take much to sent her into anaphylactic shock, just as bee stings will do. She knows it and is cautious to ask before ordering what's in the makings at restaurants where MSG is likely to be used. But she didn't know that beets naturally have MSG in them. At a restaurant several years ago where the veggies in her order included some beets, she was on the floor within a minute. An injection from her bee sting "pen" brought her around. But it was a scary few minutes.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:08:58 PM PST

    •  Oh, MSG naturally (4+ / 0-)

      occurs in some foods. Your body seems to need traces of it, too. I'm just not sure adding it to food is any good, particularly in the amounts we use.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:17:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yikes! Had no idea. Thankfully, the hubbie and I (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, karmsy, sidnora, RiveroftheWest

      have no such intolerance. We are both beet addicts. Roasted, pickled - yummmm....

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:18:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That reaction sounds like allergy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, RiveroftheWest

      not just sensitivity. The restaurant could have gotten some msg ON the beets but they don't have MSG in them. The probably don't have much in the way of glutamate since they don't have much protein.

      Actually beets have been found to lower blood pressure and have other good effects — but not for your Ex.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:48:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for a lovely diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, karmsy

    cut and paste into my digital recipe collection!

  •  I recall eating this dish years ago while visiting (8+ / 0-)

    the home of a Jewish friend's parents. Being a gentile,I helped do some of the stiring. I remember my friend's mom used cranberry beans in the dish and they were very pretty as well as tasty.

    The Japanese also like pinto bean soup.They add konbu,
    a type of seaweed, for flavor.

    If you brown the meat before adding to the crock pot, it gives it a carmelized flavor that is richer. I have known some people to put in a bottle of dark beer to enhance the flavor of a beef stew. The Belgians do this.

    •  Kombu is loaded with glutamates (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, sidnora, greengemini

      which is what MSG is the salt of.

      In fact the developer of MSG, the salt, MonoSodiumGlutamate, discovered it from evaporating a large amount of Kombu broth.

      Browning the meat releases the glutamates which is why it tastes richer.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:54:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quantity plays a role in toxicity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, karmsy

        One piece of kombu added to a big pot of bean soup versus pure MSG by the spoonful.  

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one would add pure MSG (0+ / 0-)

          by the spoonful nor would they  salt!

          MonoSodium Chloride is common table salt.

          MonoSodium Glutamate is the salt of glutamate but it has less sodium than salt. It can be used to improve the taste of low salt foods. "But like other basic tastes, except sucrose, MSG improves the pleasantness only in the right concentration: an excess of MSG is unpleasant." Wikipedia.

          the very popular kombu broth is made by boiling lots of kombu,  not just one leaf. When it was evaporated all that was left was the glutamate.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:47:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Was totally good with the whole thing until I read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, karmsy, greengemini

    Lentils and Lima beans. I was the kid that would eat every bean and pea on my plate.

    Except for Lima Beans - totally picked them out of every soup my dad made. And my dad made really good soups. And the parental units didn't bitch - coz I was the kid that ate every bean and pea on my plate!

    Lentils - didn't have those growing up. Just tried them recently - they taste like dirt. Add a sh and remove a couple of letters and you'll discover what I REALLY think they taste like.

    Minus the Lentils and Limas - that sounds really good. I love barley! Something to put into the dutch oven on the wood stove while it rains. GAWD I hope it starts raining in CA!

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:30:20 PM PST

    •  I hope it starts raining soon, too. (3+ / 0-)

      I am too worried about drought to be much enjoying this "summer" in mid-January, in truth.

      As for dried lima beans in the soup, they really aren't bad. Trust me. They don't look or taste at all like the stuff from the microwaveable freezer packet, or canned. They absorb the flavorings in the dish. No mealy texture.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:37:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Karmsy, please (0+ / 0-)

        read my comment at http://www.dailykos.com/...

        "Common sense" and what you read on the internet is why some people don't believe in global warming — especially those areas hit hard this year.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:56:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason some people don't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep, RiveroftheWest

          believe in global warming is a vast well-funded disinformation program by big fossil-fuel interests.

          In my diary, talking about MSG's potential effects, I deliberately used wording suitable to still largely unproven--but fruitful--conjecture.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:06:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Looks great. That's enough for a week of meals for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, karmsy

    me. Does it freeze well?

  •  I have to laugh. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, RiveroftheWest, barbwires, karmsy

    Cholent occupies a well-defined place in Jewish cultural history, both because it is the traditional post-Sabbath meal, as you noted, but also as a notorious heartburn generator. There are many jokes built around this property.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:43:50 AM PST

  •  You can turn this into gluten-free (6+ / 0-)

    by using buckwheat instead of barley and get about the same texture and flavor in a slow-cooked dish.

  •  I have to laugh, too, but at myself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, RiveroftheWest, karmsy

    I misread your diary, at first glance as:

    "Addictive-Free Living and Pot Winter Meal"

    Too many diaries on marijuana, lately, and I almost passed yours up because of it, but luckily I stopped and re-read it and thank you for a wonderful diary and a recipe that sounds absolutely delicious!

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:03:57 AM PST

  •  Looks great! (4+ / 0-)

    I would probably use more paprika, add a good bit of cumin and a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and skip most of the salt.  Maybe a little garlic also.

    But it looks like an excellent recipe for cold weather.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:41:46 PM PST

  •  No bay leaf ??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, karmsy, Skyye

    My "recipe" goes to picking victims by proximity to my hands when I get to the fridge and the canned food rack and the cabinets. Left overs are fine.

    Pre-soak beans as a bow to habit.

    Throw it all in the slow cooker. Yes to salt, pepper, garlic, always onions, olive oil, beets, bay leaf.

    Chicken, beef, anything that fails to outrun your hunting dogs -- throw it in the pot.

    Reheat once a day to kill botulism & friends.

    Yes, I am the worst cook in the world. But it usually tastes good!

  •  We recently made a bison and barley porridge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye

    Similar to your dish. And very tasty and filling.

    In a soup pot or large casserole, brown 1 lb ground bison in about 2 tsp olive oil. Add and saute a chopped onion and a sliced carrot for a few minutes, add about 3 c. organic or homemade beef broth, one c. pearl barley, and stir. Season to taste (we add some garlic, parsley, half a glass of red wine or sherry, a chopped tomato, along with a bay leaf and ground black pepper), cover, and simmer for a while. Add more broth or water if it gets too dry.

    Cook covered over low heat for about 30-40 minutes total until barley is soft.

    Serve with a salad of leafy greens, and you can add some good wholemeal bread for the truly hungry.

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