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.