And lucky for us, we had most of what we need on hand from local sources. In the main, I followed Alice Waters' recipe in The Art of Simple Food chapter on slow cooking. Her version calls for bacon, which I did not have on hand, so I skipped it. On the other hand, I had a few fingerling potatoes in the garden window and I decided to add them. Some of the ingredients I have not used in beef stew previously were 2 cloves, strip of orange zest and brandy. That all sounded pretty interesting to me and turned out to make a wonderful rich-tasting broth.
Her recipe specifies "grass-fed beef chuck" and, thanks to our beef share purchase this fall from Kookolan Farms, I actually had it (grass-fed, pasture-raised, no hormones no medications beef, pasture-killed and hand-processed) in our freezer. The vegetables (carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes) came from our CSA, Jennifer's garden and ours. I had some dried porcini mushrooms that came from "Fungus Amongus" in Snohomish, Washington - not in a 100 mile radius, but pretty darn close.
So, instead of singing the Rainy Day Blues, we're stayed inside and enjoyed a hearty, delicious beef stew. Not particularly photogenic, but very tasty.