autumn vegetable stew, & some stew lessons, too.

oh dear.  this stew had such good intentions.  

but... it was not very good.  i mentioned on


that it made me feel like a sad pilgrim while eating it.  i also envisioned myself in some rainy irish village shack in like 1756 forcing down these vegetables and then pushing the bowl across the wooden table and going to bed hungry (and cold, probably).  it was just too too bland.

look how pretty they are, though.

it was also partly my fault for not considering the timing on everything.  with a crockpot, you can't always just "set it and forget it," like they say.  you sometimes need to "plan ahead, think about stuff, set it, pay attention, and give it enough time to cook."  and maybe then you'll have a quality product.

i went for the 4-hour blast-it-on-high method.  because i wanted a veggie stew in a hurry! or something.

the 4-hour blast was not conducive to the quality of this stew in the least bit.

here are the lessons i learned about crockpot stews during this process, mostly regarding the impatient 4-hour-blast-it-on-high method.

lesson #1:  potatoes.

if you think you can put raw taters into your crockpot and get them cooked all the way through in 4 hours on high, i guess its not a thing. sorry.  my 4-hour stew had some crunchyyyy potatoes (and not in a good way).  if you're going for an 8-hour on low method, the potatoes may turn out fine.

i would definitely boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes before cutting them up and throwing them in the crockpot.  this will help them cook through all the way in 4 hours time.

lesson #2: onion.

one whole onion is TOO MUCH onion!  this was basically an onion stew.  not in a good way. i don't know what i was thinking.

lesson #3: "set it & forget it" does not always apply.

this particular concoction of veggies needed some extra thought and attention during the process.  next time, i would start with the vegetable stock and water with the heartiest veggies (in this case that would be the sweet potatoes and carrots).  let those cook alone for a couple of hours and thennnn add those mushrooms, green onion, garbanzo beans, and rosemary.

when there's about an hour left in the 4-hour blast, add the kale. actually, don't add the kale.  i wished i had left it out altogether. 

so i added EVERYTHING together at the same exact time and turned it on high.  what a disasterrrrr.  the potatoes were undercooked, the mushrooms and kale were overcooked, the onion was everywhere... it just wasn't good, y'all.

i added a variety of different spices and such like basil, oregano, garlic salt, black pepper.  it didn't help. sad sad stew.

the only thing that did help this stew was sriracha.  haha. yeahhh, just mask that earthy flavor riiiight up.

once i got to this point, i had to still take a photo.  it doesn't look very appetizing or pretty, but i learned some important stew lessons along the way.  and that's all that matters.

this just in from my friend jenny: parmesan rind during the stewing of the stew.  aaah! so smart, that jenny.  i totally feeeeeel it, jen.  and i saw a really pretty pic of a stew with a parmesan rind in a magazine, i just didn't put two and two together.

i get by with a little help from my friends.

here's a pile of veg for ya!

Usually, I would leave the recipe for this meal here!  However, what you see is what you get with this stew.  I literally just chopped everything up that you see in these photos, and threw it in the CrockPot on high for 4 hours.  The reason it is such a let down that it didn't turn out well is because I used a ton of vegetables that I could have put to better use elsewhere, and also because now we've got a giant pot of stew that we think is gross and nobody wants to eat it.  Wah.  I hate to waste.

this has been life lessons in veggie stew, from me to you.