Archive for December, 2007

Lazy man’s house post

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 December, 2007

We got the keys, have ordered flooring, and begun some minor demolition…
Read all about it here:

Sorry bout the cop out…

Raz’s Whisky Barley Stew

Posted by on Monday, 10 December, 2007

Raz’s Whisky Barley Stew as Posted to the 3DC Site at


1 lbs cow meat (1/2″-3/4″ cubed)
1 onion (I used a yellow one, chopped course)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 turnip (1/2″ cubed)
2 good sized red potatoes (1/2″ cubed)
1 Can Beef Broth
1 Can Tomato Paste
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
3 1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup whisky (should most likely be a full cup)
1 good splash Olive Oil
1 cup Pearled Barley



Place Olive-Oil, Salt, Pepper and Garlic into a large stock pot and heat up a bit.

Add the Onion and Meat. Brown until onion begins to caramelize (5 min for me)

Deglaze the pot with the whisky, being careful to not expose the liquor to open flame.

Add the water, beef broth, turnip, potato, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer (covered) for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Check the moisture level. If the stew has thickened considerably, add water at this point to ensure the barley will cook properly and to get the consistency you prefer in a soup or stew.

Add Pearled Barley and simmer (covered) for an additional 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring regularly. It’s done when the barley is soft all the way through.

Eat. Enjoy. Blog about it…



Raz’ Notes:

  1. Adding some highland whisky in at the browning section would probably be really good. If you try the whisky addition let me know how it comes out.
  2. This is based on a Scotts recipe I found on the web. I changed a few things, most notably adding the spuds because spuds are good.
  3. Towards the last 15 minutes the broth had become quite thick so I added a half cup of water and stirred it in. The original recipe called for 1 ½ cups of water.


Seamus’ Notes:

  1. I added 1 tsp dried Thyme, 1/2 cup Caol Ila 18yr. Scotch, an additional 1 1/2 cups water
  2. Use the Scotch to deglaze after caramelizing the onions and meat. Add the water/broth/etc. only after deglazing with the whiskey. 1/2 cup of scotch may be too little. Next time I will add a full cup and see how that fares.
  3. A bay leaf should probably be added next time. If this is done, put it in when the initial water is added.
  4. Following the directions, I added 2 1/2 cups of water at the beginning, and then found it necessary to add another cup of water when the barley went in to ensure proper saturation. This is a full 2 cups more than the original recipe.
  5. I added an Islay Scotch (Caol Ila 18yr.), not a highland. After cooking off the iodine nose, the end result was a fairly mild smokiness without any sweetness added by the whisky. Next time round, I think I will try adding a Balvenie to try and capture the sweetness too.
  6. I’d recommend using only potato OR only turnips. Using both increased the amount of food substantially and tended to make the dish a bit more complex. Next time, I think I will remove the potato and use only turnips for a more accurate representation and to simplify the dish.

Pictures of the process…









Alas, freedom, we hardly knew ye….

Posted by on Friday, 7 December, 2007

Ah, yes. We are now officially in debt and tied down to property, again.

Yesterday at noon we met with our escrow officer as well as lender and real estate agent to sign all the paperwork involved in buying a home. The seller had their appointment scheduled for yesterday afternoon as well, so everything should be finalized at this point and recorded on Tuesday.

Since the seller had requested a few extra days after Escrow closes to move out, we won’t be taking possession of the property until December 15th. Once we do get the keys, however, we will begin the whirlwind of repairs and improvements which need to be done prior to move-in.

We plan to move around the middle of January, so that should give us a solid month to get the floors done to a point where it is livable. I expect the next month will be a very long one… I foresee long hours spent at the new home working to get it to move-in ready, and at the same time, slowly moving the smaller items every time we go over.

As it stands currently, we still need to decide on flooring, then BUY it and have it shipped over to the new place after the 15th. We also need to get in and do some serious measuring and some destructive investigations to determine what exactly needs to be done and how to do it. Unfortunately that means we are stuck in a holding pattern until the 15th when we can get in and really get to work.