Saturday, November 12, 2011

Library Update and Hunter's Stew (Bigos)

Back in late spring, I told you about the ground breaking for our new library.  It was a joyous day in the open field where the library would be erected.  Putting that shovel in the ground (proudly sporting a hard hat with my name on it) was momentous but the actual building seemed a long way off.


Since that day, and long before, I've been in almost every meeting with the architects, construction managers and design team.  It has been most interesting and much to absorb.  When I left on my southern vacation, the steel was up.  Men (maybe women, too?) were sitting and walking about on girders.  Sparks were flying.  The weather was still sunny and warm.

Imagine my surprise when I returned home on a rainy and chilly Sunday evening two weeks ago and saw brick and mortar in place!  I almost came to a halt on Main St. to take it all in.  How was it possible in only ten days?


Slowly it came back to me and made sense.  The concrete and brick "pieces" are precast in Kentucky.  They are driven north on I-65 and stored under an overpass on the outskirts of town as there is no room on the building site.  There's no danger of anyone making off with a "piece" as the average weight of each one is a bit over 22,000 pounds!!  The entire north side of the library is in place!  Work continues on the other sides.  All should be in place soon so the inside work can continue through the winter.

I had a long library meeting last week.  It was all about choosing furniture.  Four hours flew by but, sensing I was tired when I got home, The Baker and his sous chef made dinner.


Oliver, at the ready to hand over an ingredient, gives me the "we've got this under control" look.


Watching the pot.


Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew--a simple variation)

2 pounds smoked Polish sausage cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large onions, diced
1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 cups dry white wine
5 peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf

1.  Cook and stir sausage over low heat in a six quart heavy pan until browned--about five minutes.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft--about 15 minutes.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer on low heat for about two hours, stirring occasionally.  This is even better the next day.

ENJOY!

34 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this post! Will look forward to pictures as the library progresses. Where can I hire a sous chef like that? Does he need a hug now and then. Nice, nice dinner. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I know you have to be beaming with pride to see all your hard visualized and you can actually touch it. Don't pop too many buttons on your shirt or they will take you in for indecent exposure. Congratulations!!!

    Now that is one awesome looking stew, what a delight that must be to come home and have the house full of those aromas and know you did not have to cook.

    Ollie...what a cutie! Don't forget to kiss the cook.... the non furry one that is.

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  3. ooohhh wow....this sounds wonderful....(gathering purse and keys and heading to store now)....hehehe....your library looks wonderful too!! will be fun watching it come together :D

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  4. You're certainly going to have feelings of "ownership" for your new library. How exciting for you to be involved in the whole process. Also exciting--having someone making dinner for you after a hard day's work!
    Best,
    Susan

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  5. I LOVE YOUR Sous Chef, really I do. forget the cook and the delicious smells coming out here, just let me hug ollie.
    several years ago i watched as they built an office building like this. like pieces of a puzzle, it is amazing.

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  6. How delightful to come home to that after an exhilarating library day! You have every right to be proud! (Mr. Rosemary would kill for that stew.)

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  7. Oh yes I must first say thank you to your husband and son who have served, and are serving this great country of ours. Next I have to say, how wonderful to get to be so involved in the library project. And lastly, what a nice treat to come home to such a a wonderful meal at the end of a long day!!
    Enjoy the weekend. We are heading up to the mountains in a bit.
    Kris

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  8. How wonderful that you are so involved in your new library. Yummy! This recipe looks wonderful, and makes my mouth water. Pinterest is basically a glorified bookmarking system. I have boards for art, illustration, healthy blogs, recipes, and cooking, etc, etc. I'll give more details on my blog soon. :)

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  9. So happy to see that your library is inching closer to completion!! I didn't realize they put up walls of bricks rather than doing it the old fashion way ! I bet it was fun deciding on all the furniture :)

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  10. Oh, what a wonderful, warming and comforting meal to come home to! I have never heard of these pre-molded sheets. Is it actual bricks and mortar or does it just look like that? Is is fake bricks? How on earth can they transport it when they weigh that much?? Wouldn't regular truck tires just go flat? What kind of motor could haul it??? I an just flabbergasted and have many questions!!!

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  11. What a treat to come home to after a long day! The stew looks yummy, and the library is really coming along nicely! :)

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  12. When I lived in CA, the hospital that I worked for built a two-story addition and used these kind of walls. It was interesting to see them go up. Nice simple stew, bet it tasted good!

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  13. I love the shot of your Chef and sous chef:)

    Great news the library.

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  14. Congratulations on the library's progress. Isn't it the best to have someone have a big pot of soup ready after a long day? The stew looks fabulous.

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  15. Yum! I LOVE sauerkraut but no one else in my family will eat it - can I come to your house for dinner? I'll even assist the sous chef!

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  16. Me again...in response (to your comment (at my blog)about the upcoming movie...wish we lived closer, we'd see it together! My sister, who I usually see movies with, has no interest in it. I'm hoping I can see it with my daughter while she's home for Christmas. She's the one who put me on to the books.
    Best,
    Susan

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  17. My sister makes Bigos for her Polish husband, but it has become a favorite of many!

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  18. I love sauerkraut! Sans the onions, I am all over this - nice that the hubs took over! :D

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  19. Bonnie, I know you are so excited to see so much progress on the library! I'm impressed. It is so wonderful to see visions and dreams become reality. I am so proud for you.

    The Baker and his sous chef whipped up a fine dinner!! Lucky girl. blessings ~ Tanna

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  20. How exciting to have a new library and to be in on the planning process too. That would be like Christmas for me!
    Love the pics with your "helper."

    Melinda

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  21. Aw, what a great picture of the Baker and his faithful sous chef! Oliver is such a beautiful dog! That stew looks great too and so perfect after a day outside in the cold.

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  22. Keep us posted about the library. It's fascinating about how they put of the bricks.

    Love your sous chef too. He looks so regal.
    Sam

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  23. How exciting to see the new library take shape! Great to see the chef and his sous chef so hard at work on this delicious stew.

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  24. oh that library is going to be AWESOME! Congrats! Now this stew- is just simply gorgeous and breathtaking and I can't wait to try it!

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  25. What good news about your library. It is unreal nowadays how construction has changed; we live in new instant world.
    That stew looks and sounds like a great meal. Now that is one cute sous chef!
    Rita

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  26. It would be impossible to not enjoy your stew. I'm looking forward to more photos of the library. Have they projected a completion date? Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  27. Bonnie what wonderful progress on your library!! And ur chef's stew looks wonderful for a cold evening. I'm wondering why this did not show up on my reader on Saturday....

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  28. Waht a beautiful library...and it's so exciting, isn't it? wow!
    That stew looks delicious, although it's been so warm here 77, 78...soup is NOT in the menu plans for the week. I had every intention of putting something in the crock pot and that went by the wayside.
    Good job on all the work for the library!

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  29. I love libraries and how cool to be a part of this beautiful new one.

    Fondly,
    Glenda
    ps. I sent you an e.mail a day or so ago about a date to meet. Can't wait to figure out a time.

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  30. It's amazing how quickly these buildings are erected these days and I can see how. Everyone should have a sous chef as good as the one in your kitchen.

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  31. Oh the hunters stew looks marvelous!

    It blows me away how quickly buildings go up these days. We had a o'Reilly's go up in a blink of an eye.

    God bless ya and have a marvelous day sweetie! :o)

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  32. How exciting the library progression is! Won't it be even more exciting when you walk into that beautiful new-smelling building sometime next year? You have been part of something extremely worthwhile!!

    Oh, adorable pooch!!!

    Have a great day,
    Patti

    P.S. I commented back to you about Christmas movies on that one post. I didn't want to leave a long, rambling comment about movies on your blog, so if you are still interested in Christmas movie suggestions, re-visit that post and look for my comment back to you.

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