There are the nights when dinner can't come fast enough — when we need a hot meal on the table in less time than it takes to watch an episode of TV in our pajamas (and when we proceed to watch five episodes after that). On such nights, we pat ourselves on the back for the fact that we cooked at all.
And then there are the long winter days that turn to night far too quickly, when we'll jump at any excuse to stay indoors. Puttering lends itself to projects, and that's where these meals come in. Thirty-minute meals they are not, though we promise they're not fussy. While the former sizzle and boil, these prefer to cook slowly — simmering on the backburner or braising until they're fall-apart tender — and leave you to your own devices whilst you knit socks, add kindling to the fire, and do other things that putterers do.
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