January 10, 2014

taking stock

I used to be a vegetarian,
or rather,
a pescatarian
(meaning I didn't eat meat but I did eat fish)
It was never an ethical concern for me,
I just found it to be

Those days are long gone and I now eat lots of meats
(just still not beef.)
Turkey was actually the first thing I reintegrated back into my diet.
My thinking was that I liked the taste of turkey 
whereas with other things,
 it was the sauces that accompanied them that I enjoyed.

In the past year I've found myself making more and more foods from scratch.
The boxed or bottled versions are rarely any better 
and they are full of chemicals and crap that no one needs.
I don't make anything that's terribly difficult, either, 
so other than a bit of planning, it doesn't take a lot more time.

I go through a ton of stock - chicken stock, vegetable stock.
I make a lot of soups and stews
and they require a lot of stock.
So I decided to get over my fear / aversion to the turkey carcass
and buy a stock pot
to wring every last nutrient and usable bit out of our Christmas turkey.

It was ridiculously simple

I bought this fancy schmancy pot at Canadian Tire.
It was $65, which is not cheap
but the cheap ones were really cheaply made
and I was concerned about them melting on my stove.
Plus, it was 48% off which makes it a good deal.
($65 was the sale price...)

it's so cheerful looking!
And it's huge! 
(16 quarts. I think that qualifies as huge. I know they come way bigger.)

I used a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Nothing to it.
Onion, celery, carrot, peppercorns...
a little of this
a little of that

oh and the carcass, of course...

Boil that sucker for about 4 hours in total and let it cool.
Skim off the fat, chill it out overnight in the fridge.
Skim off the fat again the next day 
and divide it up into containers or freezer bags and freeze it up.

I made turkey soup with the stock and it had great flavour.
I froze the rest to use in the winter months to come 
(it keeps for 6 months!)

This whole exercise made me happy for the following reasons:

1. I got over my turkey carcass fear which means that future turkeys won't go to waste.

2. I finally bought a stock pot which I have meant to do for years.

3. I know everything that went into that stock, which means no salt, nothing weird or chemically. 
Lots of nutrients. 
Good stuff only for us.

4. My mother would be proud of me.

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