I'm indulging in some "creative procrastination" today -- as I slowly reenter the regular world after nine days of the altered state brought on by a death in the family.
And I just have to say, I've thought about doing recordings of my stories for years, and I'm loving it!
"Anomalous Fields" takes place in my mythical California city of San Andreas de Pacifico. It's unpublished, so this is a Red Room exclusive.
Here's a snippet:
For three years the words have refused to string themselves into more than random thoughts, interesting phrases. But strange things happen in San Andreas; earth movements and small magic. There's a small stream in Chert Canyon that runs slightly uphill. There's a "perhaps" here that keeps me turning on the computer. Perhaps that's why I've come back here, fetching up on the shores of San Andreas de Pacifico bay.
And here is the recipe. It requires a time committment. But it is worth it.
Oxtail Stew for 4
2 Oxtails, well trimmed (good hormone-free beef)
3 large onions, chopped
1/2 head garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons canola oil
Dusting of paprika
1 cup stock
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
2/3 cup red wine
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon dry basil
2 Tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
THE EXTRA VEGETABLES
3-4 cloves garlic
THE NEXT DAY
other root vegetables if desired
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
In a good Dutch oven, brown the onions and garlic in canola oil. Remove and set aside.
Rub the oxtails with lemon juice. Dry with paper towels. Brown the oxtails in their fat. Dust oxtails with paprika while frying. Remove.
Make the sauce by combining and heating the ingredients in a small pan, but do not boil them.
When the meat is brown, de-glaze the oxtail pot with a little sauce.
Place the chopped celery, pepper, and both cooked and raw onion on the bottom of pot. Set the oxtails on top--you may need to put them in two layers. Pour the hot sauce over. The sauce should reach at least half way up the oxtails. If it doesn't, add a little broth (or red wine). Cover tightly. Bake.
IMPORTANT: After 10 minutes, reduce the oven to 275°F.
Bake for 3-4 hours at 275°, turning the meat once.
Remove the pot from the oven, let it cool, then refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim off all the fat with a spoon. Slowly reheat the stew on the stove. When melted, remove the meat and set aside.
Add chunks of potatoes, carrots, other vegetables to the broth. Cook on a slow fire for about one hour. Add the meat back in and cook until heated and melded, about 20 minutes.