After ten years of research, I have finally found out how to hack hunger with a diet that is healthy, affordable, and easy to prepare. It’s called The Perpetual Stew.
You might be a student like I was. I know you have a lot on your plate, whoever you are. You don’t have time to cook, but you want to eat well. You know which foods are good, but you don’t know how to prepare them. So you waste all of your money on takeout, or you just give up and eat pizza all semester, saving the boxes to build a pizza tower to impress your friends.
I’m here to tell you there’s a better way. Let me demolish the Pizza Tower of Babel. This “one secret trick they don’t want you to know” has all the creative potential of a pizza tower, but it’s healthy, it’s cheap, and it doesn’t require you to cook. It’s the solution to all of your troubles. It’s the…
(in a crock-pot)
The Medieval Cauldron
A perpetual stew is exactly what I just described. Take a witch’s cauldron (a crock pot) and pour in a base of water, vegetables, and meat. Let it cook, eat from it whenever you want, and replenish it with new ingredients whenever it gets low. What an aesthetic causal chain.
Reay Tannahill talks about the use of perpetual stews in Medieval inns in her book Food in History,
“From the cauldron, the original stockpot or pot-au-feu provided an ever-changing broth enriched daily with whatever was available. The cauldron was rarely emptied out except in preparation for the meatless weeks of Lent, so that while a hare, hen or pigeon would give it a fine, meaty flavor, the taste of salted pork or cabbage would linger for days, even weeks.”
The Chinese Master Stock
A perpetual stew is closely related to the master stock of Chinese cuisine. A master stock is used for poaching meats and is never thrown out, but instead stored and boiled again when needed. Each time it braizes a new meat, it absorbs the flavor of that meat, getting better as it ages. Master stocks can be passed down through generations, sometimes existing for hundreds of years. If it sits out too long, they just boil it to kill the bacteria.
How to Make Your Own Perpetual Stew
“The Answer:” in a crock pot with healthy veggies and meats.
You can get a crock pot at a Thrift Store for about 15 dollars. A crock pot uses 75 percent less energy than a simmering pot on the stove. It should cost about 10 dollars per month. Not only that, but it’s a lot safer, and it frees up your stove for other purposes.
Get a big one.
Total Starting Price: $20
Since this is a sentimental project, put your favorite foods into the stew from the very beginning, whatever they are. Just make sure there’s cabbage and barley in there. They will give the stew a nice flavor and consistency once they break down.
The amount of nutrients you’ll get from throwing mixed vegetables and meats into a pot and stewing it every day is insane. Also, it’s easy on the stomach and it will heat you up during winter.
I would start with some stewing beef. Go to the supermarket and get a pound of it. Or you can just get a steak and chop it up into squares.
Get some barley. Pour a cup into the crock pot. Cut up a cabbage. Throw it in the crockpot.
Get an onion, some celery, a few carrots, and 2 big potatoes. These add a ton of flavor and will never completely break down – you want your soup to be chunky.
Next, add all the spices you most enjoy. Start with pepper, paprika and fresh garlic. Thyme and sage go well with meat. Rosemary goes well with potatoes. And throw in a little cayenne pepper to heat it up. Don’t forget the salt. Iodized sea salt is best.
Now pour in some extra virgin olive oil. It will slowly bind to your vegetables and grains.
Let this bubble on a medium setting overnight.
The next day you can start eating from a pot which will potentially feed you for your entire life.
Go to the supermarket and pick out anything that interests you. Bok Choy. Cabbage. Ox’s tail. Radishes. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Just keep in mind that when adding exotic flavors, they’re going to stick around for a long time (and traces will stick around forever). Foods like beets, cinnamon, and certain kinds of fish can overpower all of the other flavors, so be careful.
One final tip (the secret ingredient): you can add cannabis to this stew.
Put your buds into a tea-strainer and dip them in the stew. The terpenes taste great and the THCA will decarboxylate into THC and bind to the oils in your soup.
You can throw in about a gram a week for a very mild, relaxing and medicinal dose. This soup will be your lifeblood after coming home from a long day of classes and studying.
Thanks for reading. I hope you try this out. It’s a great way to save money and nurture a cooking hobby. Leave a comment of your own with any ideas or experiences concerning perpetual stew.
Catch me on twitter @rtmanke or on my personal blog, rtmanke.com. You can even send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org