As I mentioned yesterday, I spent my leap-day evening with my great guy and a great friend of mine. We made dinner in our great kitchen in an antique copper pan that my uncle gave me last winter. It is ridiculously heavy (unlike modern copper-bottomed pans which are feather-light) but it cooks stews and sauces so nicely.
I made a meal which is legendary in my family. It used to have a proper name but no one remembers it as anything other than Dunkin' Ginny. Ginny is my grandmother and she used to make this for us when we were kids just about every time she saw us. She would make a HUGE pot of it and buy about a million baguettes. When it was sufficiently reduced to a deliciously saucy melange she'd place it in the center of a table, in the pot, with a serving spoon and the basket of bread and she'd let us go to town. Go to town we did, because this dish is so incredibly delicious you can sit with it for hours, soaking up the sauce with piece after piece of baguette until you're stuffed like a turkey. I'm guessing that as a welcome side effect for our parents this dinner also put us directly to sleep, due to a food coma, after dinner.
My mom gave me the recipe in our wedding cookbook of family recipes, which isn't actually a cook "book" but a box of cards with recipes on them (I'll write a post about it someday). According to the Dunkin' Ginny recipe card the final and most important step of this dish is to stand over it for two hours or more, lovingly spooning the juices over the pieces of vegetables and chicken while drinking the rest of the bottle of white wine that was used to start the stew. Even though last night's iteration was superb, it wasn't the same as Ginny's and I have a feeling it is because she put so much love into the spooning that it could never be replicated.