making stock

It’s chilly out (41 degrees as of 11:53 am) and my sweetheart’s not feeling well, so I’m brewing up a pot of pure healing love. It’s really a simple recipe, I learned it from Leda of Leda’s Urban Homestead.

It takes a little bit of foresight, or really just having a habit of hoarding. I save up all of my veggie scraps, veggies on the verge (of going bad), and chicken bones and throw them in the freezer. Once there’s enough goodness to fill my 12-quart stock pot, in they all go. Bones on the bottom, veggies on top, fill it up with water. The flavor of the stock might vary depending on what I’ve been stockpiling. This one will be a rich stock filled with whole pieces of spinach, kale, cabbage, scallions, half onions, onion and carrot butts, broccoli stalks, fennel fronds, and the requisite bay leaves and peppercorns. Leda suggests a splash of vinegar to release calcium from the bones. I want it to be as nutrient rich as possible, so I heed this good advice.

After a full day of simmering — boiling would make it cloudy — I’ll strain out the bulk and then run it through a food mill. This results in two kinds of stock, one clear and one full of pulverized vegetable matter. The former is great for any recipe that calls for broth or stock. The latter makes a great soup all on its own, even better with some chopped carrots and onions and maybe some rice thrown in for good measure.

The aroma is filling our apartment. It’s quite comforting. It smells like home.

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