Bone Broth Attempt #2

IMG_0241Looking to improve on my interrupted Bone Broth Attempt #1, I cooked another batch recently. This time I did two things differently. First, I made sure that nobody would be around to steal ladles full of it to make their own soup! and Second, I pulled the meat away from the bones to let the boiling water hit the bones directly. By exposing the bones more directly to the hot water, I was able to get more of the bone gelatin into the broth. This increased gelatin makes the product, once refrigerated, blumpy and odd to pour out. It takes a little getting used to and is not for the faint-of-heart. However, that is where the goods are, and if your broth becomes gelatinous in the fridge then you did something right. I am not talking about the fat on the top, that is different. You can scrape that off or mix it in. I like a little fat in there but not too much.IMG_0238

I drink a cup of broth in the morning as the first part of my breakfast, and it really warms my belly and feels great to my body. I am always on the lookout for store-bought broths/stocks that are a quick substitute for the home-made kind. Recently I found this one, Kitchen Basics brand Original Chicken stock. It tastes pretty good and has much more protein than the other products available in my local grocery stores. The price was similar in price to the other stocks on the shelf. IMG_0261

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Bone Broth Attempt #1

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There’s been a lot of talk about bone broth lately, so I decided to make some. I’ve been making chicken broth forever, so this is just basically chicken broth cooked for a really long time, so that the bones give up their goods.

For this experiment I bought the cheapest chicken cuts with bones that I could find, which were chicken thighs. They cost $0.99/lb at my very convenient nearby grocery store, so my total investment was about $3.50 for 2 packs of thighs. I added veggies that I had around the house – celery, parsley, carrots, some garlic, plus some seasoning – sage, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary. I also added juice from half a lemon, salt, and pepper. Then I covered it all with filtered water and cooked it for many many hours. IMG_0226

Here is the delicious result. The house smelled so good! After about 6 hours my son came in and immediately wanted to make chicken soup, so we did. I strained out some broth, we just simply shredded up some of the chicken from the thighs in the broth and put the bones back in, then added some carrots and noodles.

Now, I know that kids like the food that they cook better than if the mom had cooked it, but this is what my 11yo said, “This soup is so good that I want to cry.” I’d say it was worth breaking from the experiment for that quote.

After the soup break, to imbue that new water with the essence of the bones, I added more water and kept cooking for 2 hours on high and overnight on low. In the morning I strained out the solids and put the “liquid gold” into glass containers. It is good, but a little watery. I don’t think the bones had the strength to power two batches, so I’ll just make it for 8-10 hours next time without the soup-making hiatus in the middle.

Still, absolutely delicious and pretty much my favorite breakfast drink! I will put it in the fridge and then heat up a glass at a time to drink.

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Fall Fermenting

The kombucha scobies are beautiful! They thrived in their six months of being left alone. 

This time, rather than sugar, I used local honey from the deep pantry archives.  

   

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Coop Cleanup

Today was a crisp Fall day up here in New England, just perfect for closing up the coop and yard. The coop is all cleaned and ready for next year, the yard is raked and the whole place is tidied up. 

  
The chickens all went to grateful families, and next year we will get a new flock. We are thinking of some Indian Runner Ducks for a change. I had ducks for many years and just love them. They make a mess with water, so that will be our challenge to solve. 

We use the firepit a lot, so the ash buildup went into the freshly turned composter.  

  All of the chicken coop hay went in there too. The sweet dark compost went towards fertilizing the shrubs.   

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Yolk-less

Every once in a while our Golden Comets give us a yolk-less egg; the equivalent of the navel orange. I found an adorable one this morning.  

  

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Winter slow cooking

This morning my daughter and I put together a few slow cooking recipes- a chuck roast and a beef chili.
Cooking lunches for the week, plus some more for the freezer!

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Puzzle: February 19, 2015

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Here’s another mini-puzzle (2-19-15).The answer to the last¬†puzzle is there on the bottom.

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