Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Gone to pot
Yesterday I finally achieved the ultimate
in "retirement" fulfillment - I made beef
stock. It's been many years since I had
the time and energy to do so. Yet for me,
nothing could be a more symbolic of my
freedom than this most basic of broths.
You see, somehow the simplest things
in life are actually what are important.
And for many reasons, cooking then
serving soup made from my own stock
is one of life's greatest luxuries. It not
only tastes delicious, the entire process
seems to satisfy my hungry heart.
What a waste
Somehow in our collective rush to race
through life we lost touch with reality.
Along the way we've become more and
more wasteful. Daily discarding enough
food to feed an army and justifying our
decadence with claims of being starved
for time. Early on I embraced the art of
French cooking. Learning to waste not,
want not. Nothing is as responsible as
a carefully crafted meat or chicken stock.
I avoid following fancy cookbook recipes.
Instead I carefully gather my treasures to
create what many consider is liquid gold.
Another man's trash
Since "retirement" I've stuffed my freezer
full of culinary cast offs. While you may
not realize it, most of what you discard is
actually viably edible. All of the bits and
pieces you trim off your roasts, steaks,
and chops. Those forlorn bones people
leave on their plates with tender morsels
still clinging to their nooks and crannies.
And finally - the debris you discard as you
prep a meal. Onion, carrot, parsley, celery,
and mushroom tops, bottoms, peels, cores,
stems, and sprouts. All ready and waiting
to be used for a better purpose.Why waste?
All together now...
Once I've gathered enough cast offs -
I empty the freezer and fill my pot
with all of that "garbage." It's easy!
Cover with water. Bring to a boil.
Simmer for six hours. Strain and
and cool in the fridge overnight.
Never cover as the stock may sour.
The next morning, skim any fat off.
Strain again through cheesecloth.
The end result is a magical elixir.
Divide into suitably sized portions.
Freeze until needed. Anybody can
create something from nothing!
Times a wasting!
Now I know that many of you skeptics
are questioning whether one can truly
transform trash into treasure. Some may
reject the idea of devoting hours only to
create a mish mash that Swansons sells
at your grocer. And a few are asking...
"is it sanitary?" Whatever questionable
germs have been boiled off. All residue
has been strained away. What's left is
not only good for you - it tastes great!
If you still aren't believers, stop by for
for a bowl of my homemade soup. I'm
certain you'll want to STOCK UP!