Dead squirrels and beef stew

If I cast my mind back last weekend I wrote about being out in the garden and planting what felt like an hundred tulip bulbs and some garlic. The planting of the tulips involved a smal metal device, probably called a dibber, that was screwed into the ground to a few inches deep and pulled out the with whatever soil had been screwed  caught up in the metal cup, just right for plonking the tulip bulb into the hole and releasing the soil back in. So enthused was I with the job that I didn’t notice that my palms were blistered and blood had been drawn with the use of the metal dibber. When I started to feel the pain it didn’t mater as a hundred tulip bulbs had been planted and my award would come next Spring.

A week later and the patch of ground had been dug over and neat piles of soil were left next to all the holes I had dug and each tulip bulb had gone. Looking round the garden the only possible culprits were the grey squirrels. They had clearly built up some confidence around the cats and had no doubt been watching me dig holes for their the lunch. The cats looked on shamefaced. They knew they had instructions to show no mercy to anything grey, bushy tailed and with a look of aminosity towards my tulip bulbs but all the could do was lick their backsides and fight each other.

So a weekend later more bulbs have been planted and have been marked off with what will probably prove to be some ineffectual plastic.

By way of compensation we have eaten beef stew. A kilo or so of stewing beef cut was into cubes and browned in hot oil and bacon fat with some bits of chopped ham. That was taken out of the pan and three, different coloured onions were sliced, and stirred into the hot oil. They all took on colour.

Garlic was added along with some  ground cinnamon and oregano from the garden. The bef was tipped in along with a few glasses of wine and a couple of tins of chopped tomatoe. A bay leave was pushed in and it was all left to simmer, at low heat for quite a few hours.

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It was very good.

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