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Making Stock & Taking Stock

20121031-055440.jpg Like many of you, I have been glued to the news and am so saddened by all that has been brought on by this latest storm. We have now heard from all of our family & friends who live there, so it is relieving to know they are all fine, but many of the stories of what folks are going through is heartbreaking. But we humans are a resilient lot. I woke to a lovely e-mail from my new friend Elizabeth (who I met in New York last May at the Blogfest on Design) and the subject line was, Resilient in Rye. She and her family live in the lovely New York town of Rye. She wrote of their many blessings and how grateful they are that all is fine. But I also know from all the news how tough it was for them and all the work that will go into the clean-up and rebuilding of things. Natural disasters make all of us really examine things, and makes us so grateful for the ones we love and the things we still have. I find questioning what is important in life part of this process. Times like these make us all so grateful for what we have and any good fortune–Mother Nature is very complex.

As the clean-up and rebuilding begins, they will all still need our good thoughts and continued prayers. I am a big fan of the American Red Cross. Check out all the amazing work they have been doing, and if so inclined donate to www.redcross.org

At a time like this, soup can be so comforting. We made stock the other week-end out at our place on Vashon Island. Here is our quick & easy stock recipe.

Since we frequent the organic farm stands all through the Summer, we collect every bit of produce that we don’t use in a recipe. We add all the onion tops & skins, spiny greens, carrot tops, herbs–to a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer. We add to the bag all through the season, many times creating several bags. I also roast many chickens for Sunday night suppers, so we create other bags for all the carcasses and add those to the freezer. Come Autumn, the freezer is brimming with produce and chickens, just ready to be made into stock. Add all to a large stock pot. Cover with water. Add a small handful of peppercorns. Boil all. Then turn down the heat to very low but you are still seeing bubbles coming up. Cover and let cook for several hours. Once done, skim the top layer of foam and any fat that has collected on top. Take out all the solids. Strain your beautimous golden stock. Fill containers. We use plastic soup containers we get from our local Thai restaurant. Put in freezer and enjoy all Winter long when you want to make soup or add to recipes when it calls for chicken stock. Your chicken stock. The stock you made yourself. Smile at how cool you are that you have stock sitting in the freezer.

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