Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shame Stew, Easy on the Onions

On a recent evening I decided to make myself a nice dinner of beef bourgine, because as usual I wanted an excuse to cook with red wine. My first stop was to Balducci's for fresh herbs, mushrooms and beef. I asked the butcher behind the counter for one-third of a pound of sirloin.

"Three-fourths of a pound?" he asked.

"No, ONE-third. Why? Is that weird?"


Was this butcher judging me? So what if I'm cooking for one? Is that so unusual?

"This is about half a pound," he said, holding up a piece of sirloin.

"Ok?" I replied, not knowing if he was asking my permission to sell me half a pound, or just educating me on the cut of meat. But next thing I know, he's wrapping up the not-exactly-cheap sirloin and passing it to me over the counter. Apparently it's not ok to eat for one.

Indignant, I headed to my neighborhood grocery store for the less-fancy staples for this dish, which included frozen pearl onions. Of course, the store has no pearl onions, but after three passes through the frozen section I did find "Stew Mix." This store-brand veggie mix showed a photo of potatoes, carrots, celery, and abundant pearl onions. That should work! Surely you see where this is going...

Upon opening the "stew mix" at home I found, amid the golf ball looking potatoes and icy carrots and celery, exactly ONE pearl onion. Friends, beef bourgine was a bust -- shamed and duped all in one meal. A single onion for a single girl.

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