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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pokeberry Hill Stock Tips!

I mean Soup Stock of course!

Meat and Bones:

Using Raw Bones:

Give your Dog a Bone--
When we first got our puppy Mojo we found he loved those smoked bones you get at the store. Well... now that he's a big boy he can demolish them and he has puked up bone pieces a few times--so now I am getting him real FRESH beef bones only from a butcher. No more overpriced pet bones for him, especially because I now see they are potentially dangerous.

Supposedly, according to the 'barf diet' folks who like to give their dogs an all raw food diet-- they can tolerate any raw bones. I'm not so keen on using chicken and pork though--I feel personally safer with beef. I also do not like the bones he finds on his own-- this week he hauled in a shin bone from something--I'm just hoping it was an animal. Don't know where it came from but did it smell!!
I'll bet he would have relished chewing it if I hadn't taken it away. UGH!


COOKED BONES: If you cook meat or seafood and it has bones -get all the meat off the bones, save it for some other creation or munchies or freeze it for later. Use the bones or carcasses or shells for stock. There's plenty of recipes out there--I like the ones at Gumbo pages or in a good cook book. (but usually I just toss stuff together w/o a recipe)When I want a really special stock I pay closer attention to the recipes--like my shrimp stock for Creole.

If you don't have time to make stock today-- stick the bones/carcasses/ shrimp shells... whatever you got--into a plastic bag and toss it in your freezer. Just label it "4 Stock" so your Hubby doesn't think its dinner or garbage.

Grilled or Smoked Bones make a special stock--you can taste that bit of smoke. Great for something like beans and rice or taco soup.

VEGGIES: Whenever I clean or chop veggies I keep peels and such like for stock making. I use ends of onions, carrots, celery in my chicken stock in particular and I use other veggies in Veggie Stocks. I collect this stuff in a bag in my freezer. Since I make some kind of stock most weeks, it gets used before the freezer becomes nothing but a trash depot.

Freeze Your Stock Making Trash
After you make stock with bones, strain your bones and other stuff and rebag.Label it '4 Trash' and re-freeze until trash day. If you only used veggies it can go in the compost pile. Don't put meat or bones in the compost! I freeze used bones/stock 'mess' in the summer cuz by trash day-- P-U! But when I throw it out frozen no smell.

fr course if you forget it on trash day your Hubby will choose that time to go foraging for ice cream in your freezer and you'll get at least a raised eyebrow out of it, generally followed by a shaking head as he walks by and asks something really dumb like: "Why are we freezing garbage?".

If I don't want to use it in a stock it goes in the composter for the garden. I just keep a covered plastic bowl on my counter that is labelled 'COMPOST'. My coffee grounds go in it too. Eventually I may start myself a new worm bin and then the wormies can eat the scraps--but for now they go in compost or in stock. Since we began to haul our trash weekly to the county recycle place I no longer let food get in the kitchn can- besides our 'durt' needs all the help it can get. I'm finding our kitchen trash only has to be emptied a couple times a week--and there are currently 6 people living here! Why? the recycles and compost-ables have all been sorted out, as well as the burn-ables--there's just not that much else in trash I guess.

GET YOU A BIG POT!
I have a 22 qt stainless stock pot with a heavy bottom. Oh gosh I love my new pot!! I didn't spend on it until it was time to replace an enamel canner anyhow--and I began to make big batches of things and freeze them more often. I figure this big pot will double as a canner and it won't ever wear out like my enamel canner did. (now employed in the garden) I also love my big deep sink from the Habitat re-store. Its just a single sink. We put a faucet above it that can be removed from the base and doubles as a sprayer I can fill this big boy right in my sink.

HAVE A BIG CONTAINER TO QUICK COOL YOUR STOCK BEFORE FREEZING OR USING
I used to cool my stock in my big stainless bowl by putting my little pot in there and filling it with ice and water. Now I use a bus tub from Sam's club and I use all the ice in my ice maker and some water. I can make enough stock to fill about 5 plastic coffee cans for freezing and cook and cool it all at once--then there's enough for lots of soups or to freeze sauces etc. Even when my kids move out I will still be doing big batches because I will be canning from my garden. The big bus tubs I have are useful for all kinds of things--especially with my kitchen not all the way done yet. *it is good to dump the ice out of the ice maker once a week or so anyhow--at our place it starts to taste weird if it gets old.

MISE EN PLACE--MIREPOIX
Good French words-- I always have some easy access chopped peppers and onions and some cleaned celery and carrots in my fridge--this makes it faster and easier to make soups or stocks or sauces and when one of the guys cooks they use them too.

Julia Child's Mastering French Cooking was on my Christmas Wish List--lets just hope... Maybe I'll learn more French words!

5 comments:

  1. Did you see the recent Julie Child movie? I wanted to see it, but I see it has just come out on DVD. I want to rent it soon! Hey...maybe today. It is pouring rain all day here. I made soup...cajun sausage, potato and corn soup! It was perfect on this wet day here. Semi-homemade tho.
    I cheated. Oh well.

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  2. Hubby ordered it on netflix for me. I do want to see it. Julia Child's "My Life in Paris" very interesting. I picked it up in an airport last time I had to fly.

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  3. Just saw Julie and Julia last night--it was neat to see after having read "My Life in Paris" recently. I loved the idea of blogging through all those recipes--too bad I didn't think of it. ;-)

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  4. I freeze stock in cupcake pans or ice cube trays, however much I have and put in ziploc bags. I can take out one and put in skillet instead of oil (most of the time). If I have a lot I still put in quart containers. Saves calories.
    Hope you have a safe trip.

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  5. that is a good way to keep smaller bits of stock on hand. I've done it too. I also recently plopped some dollops of tomato paste onto cookie sheets, quick froze them and then wrapped them in saran & foil. A good way to have just a little on hand when you don't need a whole can of something in a recipe.

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