Day 24 - Homemade Stock
A couple days ago I wrote a post about making the most of your onion, and not letting the little bits go to waste. For the last week, any tips or leaves of vegetables that haven't made it into whatever dish I was making have been saved in a bowl in my fridge for stock.
This weekend, Mat and I cooked a Saturday brunch for some friends, and roasted two chickens. We are still weighing the pros and cons of eating meat vs. abstaining, taking into account the environmental impact of meat production (more about that soon). We haven't arrived at a game plan or a decision just yet, so for now, we have two chicken carcasses in our fridge, with a little bit of meat left on them, which will be perfect for a stock base.
There are a lot of stock recipes out there, and I've made stock before, but usually I don't have all the necessary ingredients on hand, so sometimes I just simmer the chickens in water with a few garlic cloves and whatever herbs I stuffed it with in the first place, add some salt, and it turns out to be a great base for risotto or polenta.
However, now I have my vegetable scraps, I can add these as well, along with a few other bits, and make a more robust stock. The below recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver:
- Chicken carcass(es) with legs and wings removed for easier fitting into your stock pot
- Leftover vegetable bits (I have cauliflower leaves, onion ends, green bean ends, tomato ends, cabbage bits, carrot tips, bell pepper seeds)
- 1 fresh onion roughly chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, smashed
- Fresh or dried herbs you have on hand (I'm using dried rosemary, bay leaves, and peppercorns)
- Enough water to cover the carcasses in the pot
Place all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming when necessary. Drain the stock through a fine sieve, then transfer to containers for freezing or refrigeration. It should be clear or light amber in color. Stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 days, in the freezer for about 2-3 months.
Can't wait to use my stock to flavor rice and make risotto. How would you use yours?
Mat and I are moving out of our apartment today, and we are headed out on a traveling adventure before we return to the Western Hemisphere.
My beautiful farmer friend wrote me an email with a whole lot of information relevant to my current quest for the right balance in my food choices, and the unique perspective of someone who spends every single day in the dedicated service of the animals in her care.
Spending the weekend in a place like this gave me hope that despite what humans have done to ravage the planet, incredible biodiversity still exists, and there are people who are actively safeguarding it.
I WANTED TO SCREAM. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop every person I saw walking along the water and say "WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?!" at the top of my lungs.
Remember that this exercise is about awareness and gradual change, not overnight perfection.
I won't say that we stuck to 100% vegan foods the whole week. But we did completely abstain from meat, and we stayed away from dairy probably about 90% of the time.
Here was someone who got it! Someone who understood! Hallelujah!
It takes 660 gallons of water just to produce enough beef to make 1 burger.
Some of the data referenced in this film was new to me, and at first I was skeptical, but the longer I watched, the more convinced I became that a plant-based (vegan) diet is healthier for humans.
How much can you refuse? Can you keep your plastic waste to under 5 pounds for the whole month? To under 3 pounds? Can you actually manage not to discard any plastic at all?