We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For snorts and giggles, go to YouTube and put "Julia Child" in the search box. In and among all of the short clips of her in segments on other cooking shows you will find video from her 60s era show "The French Chef". The segment in which she makes beef bourguignon is one of the few available which you can view in its entirety. Classic Julia.
My one kvetch in making beef stew is the thinness of the stew juices. Julia solves that rather cleverly by creaming together butter and flour and then adding the paste to the stew in small amounts. You get a two-fer out of this: a perfect thickener and richness all at once.