When you get close to Christmas and New Years it’s too easy to sink in to the hole of your living room, stuffed from eating and drinking heavily since Thanksgiving and let the anxieties of 12-hour family days and new year’s expectations to start creeping in.
So if that is what actually ended up happening to you (like it did for most of us), take some time doing some awesome shit you will actually remember. I recommend tapping in to your inner caveman (or cavewoman), building a big fire outside, and cooking your heart out while drinking strong beers for at least five hours straight. And for you folks in the cold weather (like me sitting in Rhode Island), this is the best day you’ve spent all winter.
Yesterday was 8 degrees outside, so we chopped wood, built a fire, and cooked a big pot of rustic soup on the open flames while polishing multiple growlers of strong beer. It was a glorious day! Below is a rough recipe (from what my foggy memory serves) guaranteed to bring in your new year with high flyin’ vibes. Also, big thanks to my brother in law Edwin Porter Drew V for showing us the way on this one.”
- 1 big open fire (in a fire ring, or pit – we are NOT trying to re-create the Thomas Fire)
- 1 cast iron pot (don’t use anything else, the coals of the fire will melt the weak stuff)
- 5-6 potatoes (any kind will work, Russets or Reds are my fav)
- 1 white or yellow onion
- 2-3 bell peppers
- 1 can of corn kernels
- 7-8 garlic cloves
- 3-4 eggs
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- 1-2 cups of arugula
- 1 bag of egg noodles
- salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 quarts of water or vegetable stock
- *actual amounts of everything will vary depending on how many people you have. The above will feed about 4 people.
After chopping your logs down to suitable fire wood, take at least 2 hours building a fire so you have plenty of hot coals. You’ll need to lay a grate or something across the fire to hold the pot of stew – this gets heavy so make sure it can support at least ten pounds or so.
Dice all of your veggies so they are approximately the same size, this will make sure they all cook evenly. Place the pot over the fire, just 4-5 inches from the flames. Drizzle a little olive oil or a couple tablespoons of butter in to the pot, and throw in all of your veggies (except the arugula) and start to sauté them.
After 4-5 minutes when the veggies start to soften add in the water or vegetable stock and season generously with salt and pepper (add the cayenne here if you want some heat). Bring everything to a boil for a few minutes, then add in the bag of noodles and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Before the noodles are fully cooked, crack the eggs and drop straight in to the soup. Pull off of the fire and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve in bowls, garnished with arugula and a side of cornbread. Wash down your open-fire warmed soul with a tall Saint Archer IPA to complete it all. If you’ve played your cards right, you will be hungover by 9 pm, wrapped in a blanked on the couch watching a Die Hard marathon. Yippie-Ki-Yay Mutherfuckers!—Adam Warren