here's a pic from today - sooo blue and sunny and white!
here's a sunset from the other night - just breath-taking!
and here is some liquid gold...otherwise known as bone/veg broth.
in the comments section of the last post, longtimewife asked why did i cook and re-cook the broth. and fiona asked if i roasted the bones first and what kind of bones did i use. (check out of their blogs by following the linkbacks)
anyway, i will start with the process that i use for making broth. i used to make veg broth, beef broth, chicken broth and ham broth. huh? why? finally i came to my senses that i could just make "broth"
out of all of it! we have a big freezer bucket in which we save all bones - be it from roasts, steaks, chicken carcasses, ham bones - whatever bones we have. these bones will all have been cooked prior to going in the freezer bucket, whether by roasting, grilling or slow cooking. i also save all cleaned veggie scraps - potatoe peels, the ends and tops of celery, the bottom sticks of parsley, apple peels, apple cores - you name it - i save it and freeze it. i also save and freeze any veg or fruit that looks like it might go off soon.
then i start with a good dollop of EVOO and a nice chunk of butter in a big stock pot. i cut up a whole onion into 6 big wedges and drop them in. next up, a nice fat peeled carrot cut up into chunks. last up is a few fresh tops of celery. all of this gets a nice dumping of sea salt and a small handfull of uncracked black peppercorns. next up a whole clove of garlic, skins removed but cloves left whole. i stir all of this on medium high until the onions go translucent and the garlic is giving off it's fragrance.
next i dump in a litre of previously-homemade bone/veg broth. give this all a nice stir and dump in your frozen bones. i try to make sure i have beef, chicken, ham, roast and steak bones. give it all a good stir and let the bones melt in the pot as they will add additional liquid. next up i toss in a bunch of frozen saved veg/fruit scraps and let those melt their liquid into the pot.
next up - another whole clove of garlic, skins removed but cloves put in whole. now it's on to spices - crushed coriander, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, cumin, dried fennel, dried nasturtium - every kind of spice that we have. i just dump the spices in. then i add about a half-cup of apple cider vinegar with the mother, a gorgeous dollop of local, unpasteurized honey and the juice of a whole lemon. then i add chia seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, sunflower seeds - every kind of seed that i have.
at this point, the bones and veg will have released their liquid and then i fill the pot with berkey-filtered water. i bring the whole pot up to a boil and keep it at a simmer for several hours. then i let it cool in the evening and put it out on the porch overnight. i repeat bringing the broth to a boil, then simmering for several hours for 3-4 days.
the reason i do this is because i want every bit of marrow out of the bones. i want to able to look into a big roast bone and be able to see right through it from one end to another. i want the chicken carcass to have broken down completely. i want as much marrow as possible from all of the bones and will even scrape the marrow out of the bones.
i do this because if the carrots went in orange and bright - i want them to be sucked dry and be squishy and sort of a greenish colour when i strain them out. the beautiful bright parsley sticks should come out of the pot a very sad looking greenish-brown. that means that all of the nutrients have been cooked out of the bones and veg and gone into the broth. the broth should be an amber-brown.
during this 4 day cooking process, i don't add additional water because i want a concentrated broth. once i have decided that the broth is ready for freezing or canning, we strain all of the solid material from the broth, first through regular strainers and then through cheesecloth. the broth comes out a beautiful colour as pictured above. as you can tell, we decided to can this batch of broth - 13 pints. i use the broth to make all of our soups, stews, roasts and gravies. i also like to have a cup of it plain every few days, just as it is, and sip it as tea.
this homemade broth is incredibly concentrated, full of nutrients and really good for you. and the majority of it is made from scraps that would otherwise gone in the garbage or the compost bin. i put no food in the garbage - if we can't use it for broth - it goes in the compost bin and that composted material will be used to fortify our garden.
if there is only one thing that you make from scratch - please make a concentrated bone broth every month, or every few months, depending on how much of it you use. if you can't grow your own food, or can't grow a majority of your own food - please make concentrated bone broth. our ancestors from hundreds of thousands of years ago and right up until today sometimes survived on this and little else. it's because it's so vitamin and nutrient-dense. and filling. and delicious. and sooooo very good for you.
any questions about homemade broth - just ask in the comments. and if anyone wants me to write this down in recipe-style format, just ask.
we are having another beautiful, hottub day. we do chores in between dips. it's nice to each have a job, or a part of a job, do that job and then go for a dip in the hottub. it's cold as heck out there but so nice in the hottub. we love it!
we hope that you are all having a great week and will enjoy the weekend coming. it's our st.patrick's day dance on saturday - woohoo!!! - but because our friends s&d will be in another town playing chase the ace for us and most of our community (the pot is over $20,000!!!!!!!) - s asked us to open the hall before the dance. i am going down to practice shutting off the alarm tomorrow - if you hear an alarm going off for several hours - you'll know i screwed up de-activating it - bahahahahah!