A stew of leftover gravy, with some school holidays reflections

A stew of leftover gravy, with some school holidays reflections

I had quite a bit of leftover gravy after our Christmas in July lunch.  It went very nicely into a stew along with some pumpkin and parsnip that never saw the inside of the roasting tin.  I made the stew during the day and it stood me in good stead on a crazy day in a busy week just when I was trying to get over the school holidays.

After making the stew, I got into the car to take Sylvia to swimming I found the battery was flat and then when I got to swimming we found that her lesson had been changed without notification.  Thank goodness that the swimming coordinator was really helpful and we had a delicious stew waiting  at home that night.

As stews are not at all photogenic and I was too busy while making it to take photos, I am taking the chance to share a few school holiday snaps.  First are these lovely "apple" cupcakes that Sylvia made especially for me.  She was very sweet and checked which cupcakes I liked in her book and spent a long time planning.  As I love chocolate I had leftover chocolate ganache with red sprinkles.  The other cupcakes had buttercream frosting.  They all had spearmint leaves and chocolate dipped pretzel sticks for leaves and stem.

We went to the La Mama puppet picnic and enjoyed it so much with all the quirky puppets (dinosaur, misinformation man, chameleon, fox lady) that we went along to a puppet show of Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.  While the puppets were fun, it was the umbrellas of special effects and light boxes that really impressed me.  Think an umbrella opened up only to have blue glitter fall from it and blue streamers blowing around to create the effect of a whirlpool. I love a show that is low on resources and high on innovation.

We went to the Speigeltent to see E perform at a West Papuan fundraiser.  It was a fun night out, though Sylvia preferred hiding under the seat.  As well as dancing, singing and music, our tickets included a vegan dinner of delicious West Papuan curry, tofu and rice with some colourful crackers.  I am not sure what the crackers were but we checked and were told they were vegan.

After last year's Minion fever, Sylvia was excited to see the new Despicable Me 3 movie.  She was so excited that Mr Cuddles was dressed as a Minion.  I thought that the movie wasn't as good as some of the previous Minions movies but was still fun.  Sylvia loved it and even was tempted to get the Minions happy meal from MacDonalds.  Her dad ate the burger and she had the 3 potato Minions.  I was shocked to see how few she got and you just don't want to see the ingredients list. 

And lastly I wanted to share the beautifully presented food at the event I helped organise last week.  As usual I always think that the end of the school holidays means a bit of let up but it never does.  Last week was crazy with extra time at work helping with this event.  This week I have finally crashed and taken it a bit quieter with one day in bed with a headache.  Maybe next week I will be back on track.

Meanwhile I was very grateful to have this stew to see us through the week.  The gravy meant I could On the first night it lacked in flavour.  I added a generous amount of mustard which fixed it.  We all have our magic seasonings.  Mustard is one of mine.  I also would have loved to have tried cooking the stew with these dumplings but lacked the energy.  The stew went very well with brown rice.

I am sending this stew to Meat Free Mondays.

More winter stews at Green Gourmet Giraffe.

Bean and beer stew with dumplings (v)

Chickpea, potato and tomato stew (gf, v)

Coconut black-eyed bean stew (gf, v)

Coconut vegie and tofu stew (gf, v)

Honeyed beer and barley stew

Prune and bean casserole (gf, v)

Tempeh vegetable stew with dumplings (gf, v)

Gravy, pumpkin and parsnip stew

An original Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe


  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 2 large parsnips, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup thick gravy
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 400g tin black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 400g tin lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tsp Vegemite
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp salt, or to taste1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
Read the whole recipe on Green Gourmet Giraffe