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Stock and the making thereof [Apr. 5th, 2012|03:13 pm]
I keep hearing people saying they do not have time to make stock, so they use unsatisfactory bouillon cubes or stuff from tetrapaks (which some ain't bad, mind you) but is all high sodium and can contain stuff that various people are sensitive to (onions, yeast, etc.).

But making stock is not difficult. Oh yes, you can jump through massive numbers of hoops, roasting the bones, adding herbs, spices, onions/garlic/ginger, and so on. But it ain't necessarily so!

Currently I have, well, more than ten, less than twenty Ziploc freezer bags of stock in my freezer. Have I jumped through the hoops? I think not.

Anybody with about two contiguous hours and some bones can make stock that is tasty and useful.

Take bones. These can be from a pre-cooked beast (chicken, turkey, beef, pork). Oh, I dunno about fish. Not my area of expertise. Or they can be uncooked. If so, buy something with a lot of tendons or cartilage. Pork neck bones, readily available around where I live at the local markets are wondrous. Either way put bones, skin, fat in a largish pot. Add a splosh of some form of vinegar. Cider vinegar is good, especially with pork, but for those with a yeast intolerance, distilled vinegar is preferred. Lemon juice is not acid enough, alas. Cover bones with water, put on stove, bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover, and go away. About every thirty minutes, lift the lid, give it a stir (chopsticks are good for this) and then go away again. At about two hours, turn the heat off. Wait about thirty minutes. While you are waiting, get out a strainer, a fairly fine-grained one, and a heat-safe bowl. _I_ use Pyrex ones that I got from my mother, but whatever. When you can handle the stock pot, pour the contents into the strainer that is poised over the bowl. Discard the solids. Cover the bowl of liquid with some form of plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. Wait.

On the next day, there will be gelatinous goop in the bowl with the fat on top. Skim the fat off (as much as you please, myself I err on the side of taking some of the stock). Save the fat if you are cooking potatoes or something else congenial. Then line up a bunch of one quart _FREEZER_ Ziploc bags. I say FREEZER because the failure mode is to leak when thawing. Not pleasant. Using a Sharpie type felt tip label them. (I have to do this because I use four different bone sources for three different households and three different food type requirements.) Prop open the Ziploc in a cup/bowl/1 Quart carryout container. Ladle the gelatinzed stock into the Ziploc bag. Do not overfill (see also headspace and freezing). Express the remaining air, flatten (should be about an inch thick) and stash in freezer.

I get about four bags of stock per chicken, five or six per turkey. When I buy pork neck bones, I get four or five bags for two pounds of bones/meat/sinew/cartilage.

Nobody I have made stock for has done anything but say that it is delicious. And it takes about two contiguous hours and about fifteen minutes to strain and another fifteen to skim and bag and freeze.


(Oh, BTW, the point of adding a form of vinegar? It extracts calcium from the bones. Nutritional. I guess if you cooked the stuff in a cast iron pan you would get dietarily available iron. Also good.)

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backside of Irene [Aug. 30th, 2011|05:33 am]
Irene did not whack my area of living (north, but just north, of Washington, DC). We got a lot of rain, about 24 hours of steady rain. Not downpour, not sprinkle, just plodding rain. Winds were strong, but not extreme. There were a couple of power flickers, but nothing more than that.

However, we no can has internet, from sometime latish Saturday until latish Monday. Woes.

But now we are back, and I hear that much of the East Coast isn't devastated, so all is good.

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Poseidon be placated, please? [Aug. 23rd, 2011|09:59 pm]
Yup, earthquake felt here too. No sound of explosion before the tremors, so it had to be an earthquake. (Background info: I work next to a fuel oil depot.) However, I didn't so much think as react - bolted for the outside as fast the the feet could take me. The tremors had stopped before I got outside, but I continued on out and stood feet from the building/trees/powerlines.

At home all seems good, the cat isn't even freaked out.

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Stella Gibbons [Aug. 14th, 2011|10:54 am]
eek! the best, no the best book found in a thrift store. [personal profile] oursin might well squee about this. Nightingale Wood is so wicked cool. Oh, and the introduction? By Sophie Dahl - granddaughter of Roald Dahl. What is so not to like?

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Book vs. cover [Jun. 5th, 2011|07:41 pm]
OK. Don't judge a book by the cover.

So here's the cover:

The Blue Hills

Blurb of book here:Collapse )

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Writer's Block: Put it all together, it spells Mother [May. 8th, 2011|07:20 pm]

What's the most important lesson your mom taught you?
Don't trust anyone, especially her.
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Moral dilemma... [Apr. 2nd, 2010|04:00 pm]
What I wrestle with on a continuing basis:

How can I can live in my lifestyle, knowing that is built upon the labor (underpaid and so on) of others.

How moral is this? I don't have an answer.
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meme-thingy [Feb. 2nd, 2010|08:46 pm]
People -

gacked from here and there:

The usual deal -- bold the ones you've done, post in your own LJ if you want. I've added parenthetical comments here and there, so remember to delete those if you use it for yourself.

1. Started your own blog (assuming LJ counts)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (I recommend you avoid this one)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been inside an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (sort of - cleaned houses for people)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (nose and toe, possibly finger)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (and shingles)
89. Saved someone's life (probably, no real way to be absolutely sure)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

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The best of new year-ness to you [Dec. 31st, 2009|08:08 pm]
[mood |reflective]
[music |Radio Paradise]

Fair friends -

This has been a good/difficult/fun/fraught year for me and probably in some way or other the same for all of you.

Still, I'm still moving, the resident feline is reigning the roost, the water had removed itself (mostly) from the basement, and the squirrel that replaced it seems to have removed itself also! Huzzah!

I am setting in motion some changes in my life that will lead to major restructuring (details to follow in another post), there's family stuff going down, I need a steady paying job, and so on.

But... and that's a big one, I am, not exactly developing or expanding, but _spreading_ myself in different directions. I'm learning to do/act/move in ways that I had thought impossible (or at least difficult) for me. And that's good.

Of course, the resident feline thinks this is just out of the range of acceptable. She thinks I should spend my days at home, reading, sitting, being a substrate, petting her, and feeding her at her whim/will. But, into every life a little trouble must fall. This is hers. Send sympathy, but not tuna as she does not like it.

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Posty the third [Dec. 16th, 2009|06:49 am]
Sounding like the Kings of England here - but testing the crossposting features.

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