Years ago, when people had wood stoves, soups and stews were commonly found bubbling away on some back burner. A good stew takes a long time to cook down properly, but cooking time was once plentiful. Today, homemade stew is less common. I find the whole process of searing the meat, chopping the vegetables, and simmering everything slowly very comforting. I like the sound of the knife on the chopping board, as well as the sight of the food itself. Making stew for one person is a nuisance, because potatoes don't freeze all that well, but making stew for a crowd is a pleasure.