As someone who has been plagiarized in the past, I have been following the whole "Cooks Source" and Judith Griggs saga with keen interest, particuarly on Facebook, where the commentary and web page changes have been way better than the telly. On one of the pages a presumed "Judith" requested some beef recipes, and here is the recipe I created for her, in the form of an open letter. Facebook wont allow wall posts of more than 1,000 characters, so I had to post it piecemeal. Here it is in full for those who are interested:
You asked for a beef recipe. I have a beef stew on the stove right now. You see, I like to cook. It allows me to keep my hands busy while my mind roams. I can concentrate and reflect at the same time, you know?
While I made my stew, I thought of you, Judith. I think we are probably alike in many ways. I'd imagine you take as much care as I do to trim the as much fat and gristle from the beef as possible and to cut it into bite-sized chunks.
To dredge or not to dredge? That's the first question with stew, isn't it? Some people don't believe one should dredge the cubes in flour before you brown them. Indeed, some people don't believe you should brown the meat at all. Personally, I always brown, but only sometimes dredge. I decided that this would be a "dredging" stew, as there has been quite a lot of dredging going on around here; -not all of it good. I seasoned the flour with some garlic and onion salt, some regular salt and both black and white pepper (you need both, as the black pepper falls down to the bottom). I mixed it well before dredging the cubes of beef. Then I placed them to brown in batches in some hot canola oil.
It is a lovely day to cook. The newly denuded maple tree now allows the sun to dream in the kitchen window, warming my right shoulder like the hand of a friend. The smell of seasoned beef permeates the kitchen and my children emerge, one at a time to ask what's for lunch. "This is dinner." I reply. "There are leftovers for lunch". They accept this and one helps to heat the leftovers. I have great kids.
As the cubes of beef sizzled and changed colour, I planned ahead. Would I add tomatoes this time? I normally don't to a dredging stew. In my head I have some "stew rules"; like no tomatoes in a dredged stew, and no mushrooms, barley or carrots if tomatoes are present. Maybe these are silly rules, but that is how I always made beef stew. I decided that as you are clearly a rulebreaker, I would throw caution to the wind and break some of my own rules. If I want to dredge and add tomatoes, mushrooms AND carrots, then I will; begrudgers be damned. Thank you, Judith for freeing me from my stew restraints.
Just let me clarify what I mean by "rulebreaker" in this context: When I say "rulebreaker". I mean ballsy woman who may flaunt conventional norms, as opposed to "lawbreaker", which is a completely different kettle of ... stew. I don't think you deliberately set out to break the law. In fact, I think you honestly and utterly believed that your business practice of "lifting" content from the internet was ...OK. Maybe not the done thing; but as you credited the articles (I think), then it was OK. There is no way you could have been so demeaning and high-handed to Monica Gaudio had you not believed you were at least mostly in the right.
When all the meat was browned, I rough-chopped two large onions and about five celery stalks. I threw them with the all the browned meat into the pot. I added about two teaspoons of chopped garlic. I stirred and watched the vegetables start to soften, releasing their juices to make a kind of roux. Then I added a large can of tomatoes, which I had rough chopped and some store-bought (sorry, it was all I had) beef broth.
Time for seasoning: A good pour of Worcestershire (did you know it is pronounced "Wooster"?) sauce, some salt, pepper and about two teaspoons of sweet red paprika. I am out of fresh herbs, so I had to use dried; I poured some sage and thyme into my hand to measure, a little hill the size of a quarter for sage, two of them for thyme.
My stew is cooking in it's own juices now, Judith
And so are you. You must be in a frenzy wrapped in a turmoil, feeling misunderstood and put upon. You must have spent many hours on the internet in the past few days, watching this storm brew and trying to deflect and brazen your way out of it. But you can't. You probably don't even understand what all the fuss is about and why so many people are after you (but I bet it is starting to sink in).
You're a strong character, Judith. That much I can tell. However, there is a big difference between being a strong character and having strength of character. It is strength of character you lack. Had you strength of character you would have owned your mistake and apologized. You would not have become defensive and compounded your error(s).
I realized all this while making beef stew. So here is my advice to you: Get off the internet and if you truly love to cook, go and do so. And while you are cooking: think. Think long and hard about your next moves.
But don't make any until you have eaten the food you cooked. Maybe it will calm you and give you perspective.
And on my stew: I plan to add carrots about 30 minutes before serving and to serve it with boiled potatoes and some crusty bread with Irish butter.
I am going to call this recipe Judith Stew and I am hereby making it freely available to be copied and pasted all over the Internet; but only if the original text is kept intact.
*Note: I left the original text intact but my carrots were too "al dente" this way. If anyone is making Judith Stew, it is best to add the carrots earlier, either at the beginning, or about an hour before serving.