2. I found a recipe for Irish stew that featured both red wine and Guiness beer. I cut back the amount of beef broth the recipe called for by a cup and put twice as much Guiness in the stew as the recipe dictated. Julie and the Deke loved the stew -- well, so did I -- and it made me very happy to have our one tip of the hat to St. Patrick's Day work out so well.
3. When the Deke and I left Eugene, we gave away our entire kitchen, including our slow cooker. I never purchased a new one because we didn't have room in our tiny kitchen for it. But, a few weeks back, we gave ourselves more kitchen storage space with some IKEA shelves. Today, because I wanted to slow cook the Irish stew, I bought us a new slow cooker. It performed splendidly on its maiden run if the quality of the Irish stew can be seen as a reliable measure. I'm very happy to have this appliance back in my life.