If it’s my birthday, it’s beef stroganoff.


My favourite meal is beef stroganoff. I’ve loved it since forever. My mom made it regularly since it was a meal that pleased us all, and with five, that was rare.

Though I think one brother, like my son, picked out the mushrooms. For both of them, it’s a flavour and not a texture thing.

I love mushrooms. Cooked or raw, they’re delicious.

We make stroganoff with ground beef. I suspect it started that way as a cost-saving initiative – I grew up with money very tight – but that’s how I like it best.

And while I’ll have it with noodles, my preferred base is rice. Brown rice because it’s better. In that it has flavour.

Stroganoff is a relatively easy meal to make and quick with it, so I made it lots when I was working and my son was small. The window between home and bedtime was tight. I don’t miss the freneticism of those years.

It’s also the meal I made the first time I cooked for my son’s girlfriend. I’d met her, but this was the first big do at the house, and I was nervous. Luckily, there was wine. The first glass didn’t do much to quell my nerves, but the second one gave everything a rosy glow as I got started on prep.

Thank God I didn’t chop off my finger.

Things went pretty well. Even drunk, it’s hard to mess up a meal you’ve prepared hundreds of times.

I’d chosen noodles after consultation with my son – he figured it would be preferred. If the drunken stroganoff was fine – that’s the name my son gave the evening – cooking it longer simply improved the flavours, the same cannot be said of the cavatappi.

I was a very mellow drunk that evening, as is mostly the case even when I’m dancing in the clubs. Mellow cooking is great -you’re basically the human equivalent of a slow cooker. But one mostly doesn’t cook noodles in slow cookers. Not everyone likes the consistency of mush peas.

On the bright side, less chewing was required.

I told you – life is just marking time and collecting anecdotes.

I also have warm feelings about baked mac and cheese, but that’s a story for another day.

14 thoughts on “If it’s my birthday, it’s beef stroganoff.

  1. I like it with rice, too!
    As a kid, I acted as if I didn’t like it. It was grownup food and didn’t include fries. The color palette wasn’t inviting, either.
    Now, I know better!
    Also, when cooking something to impress someone, chances are something will go wrong. Every time. It’s a thing. Google it. Well, I don’t know, but that’s what happens to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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