Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the season to be in the kitchen!

I spent all yesterday afternoon and this morning in the kitchen.

All by choice. ...and doing two totally different activities yesterday and today, I might add.

Let me tell the story chronologically - that means starting with yesterday. But first:

2 KINGS

Chapter 4

1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.

6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

Now for my story.

I've wanted to try making stock for a long time. It sounded a little complicated, but I wanted to try it, nevertheless. I found some very simple-sounding directions online a few weeks ago, and that gave me the motivation to actually do something.

The instructions called for as many chicken or turkey bones as I could come up with.

Turkey.

Ahhhhhh!

Oh yes! I used all the leftover turkey bones I could find in the refrigerator. Mom had saved me the "unusable carcass," but I even went through the meat she was saving for dinner, and picked out all the bones. (With permission, of course!)

All that couldn't fit in our big pot...so I descended into the basement to find THE POT. The biggest one we own. It is gigantic.

This was in our basement, so I won't tell you what I found inside the pot, but let's just say I scrubbed it well before using. Incidentally... I really dislike washing pots that don't fit in the sink!

Anyway.

In went the bones, in went the celery, and in went the carrots and onion. Cover everything with water. [By the way, I found out that carrots and bones sink, and celery, onions, and meat float.] On with the burner, and presto!

Oh - question: how do you "cover completely with water" meat that floats? I added as much water as I dared, not wanting to come too close to the edge of the pot. That was one full pot.

I let the potful simmer about 24 hours. The house smelled like Thanksgiving! Mmmmm!

Then, yesterday, Mom helped me strain out the veggies and meat and bones. I wanted to use the veggies for something (I hate to throw anything away!) but Mom tried a carrot and said there wasn't any flavor left. I tried one too.

She was right! Weirdest sensation, that - a carrot with no flavor.

Anyway, after removing the stuff, I staggered with the pot to the table and let it cool there. When the fat rose to the top, I skimmed it off.

Then I went jar hunting.

I found five fairly large jars in the basement (quart size, I think), and prepared to fill them. Oh what a lovely golden color the broth was! It smelled good, too. La-da-da....There - my last jar is filled.

The level of broth in the pot had hardly gone down.

It was about then I starting thinking of 2 Kings chapter 4, and wondering where I was going to store all this good stock!

I filled two ice cube trays with stock. They took about four dipper-fulls a piece. Not much help.

I then thought of making condensed cream-of-chicken soup. I doubled the recipe, filling a soup pot on the stove.

I still had about half a pot of stock left.

I picked out two large glass bowls from the cupboard, and - praying as I poured - emptied the broth into them. The last drop just filled the last bowl. Whew!

So now we have a LOT of broth sitting in our refrigerator, while I'm figuring out how to store it long-term.

Okay; that was yesterday. I'll be brief about today.

I made a pumpkin-cream-cheese layered cake for supper's desert, and Cinnamon Morning Delight cake, for breakfast tomorrow. Both were new recipes to me. I'll post them here if I like them well enough. They sure smell and look good!

My baking seemed to turn out really good this morning. Picture-perfect. The cakes turned out of the pans beautifully, leaving hardly a crumb behind.

The disappointing part? No fallen pieces to sample!!!!!

Dear dear. Perhaps I'll have to go back to making cakes that come out of the pan in pieces. I'm so used to no one noticing if I nibble!!! lol.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing about your experience making stock, Amber! It sounds like you did a great job. :)

I have never made stock before, but it is something that I would like to try sometime!

Amanda said...

How fun! Have you considered canning the stock? I've never done anything like that, so I wouldn't know if it would work or not. Also, please do post those recipes; they sound delicious!! :)

Anonymous said...

We were blessed to share Thanksgiving with friends at thier home this year. The only negative thing is no leftovers.
I can almost smell your stock from your description. I store my chicken stock in ziploc bags and lay them flat in the freezer. when they freeze you can stack them nicely.
I really enjoy your blog!
Connie in CA

Amber said...

Thank you, Connie in CA, and welcome to my blog!!!

Amber said...

Amanda....

Hmmm...I'll have to think about canning the stock. That's a good idea. :)