Sunday, May 9, 2010

I've Got Two Left Feet

I'm gearing up for tomorrow's Cooking Once and For All (Week) again. I've decided to do this on Mondays so that I have the weekend to get what I need at farmer's markets or down in Denver if need be. Last night I put together "ketchup". This is from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and it was really yummy. It needs to ferment for a couple days so I put it in the cupboard with the kombucha for now. It is composed of tomato paste, maple syrup, sea salt, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, whey and mashed garlic. I'm excited to see what it's like after it has rested for a couple days.

I'm also preparing stock for the chicken pot pies I'll be making. I'll share a couple secrets with you for making exceptional stock. Again, I learned these from Nourishing Traditions...

One, add some cider vinegar to the pot and it will help to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium out of the bones and into the broth.

Two, you want to get the beneficial effects of gelatin in your broth, so you need to add parts that will impart this to your stock. Like feet. See, I told you I had two left feet. Or two right feet. Now I'm not so sure... Anyway, gelatin is an aid to digestion but it also allows the body to more fully utilize the proteins you eat. These feet are real beauties, I ended up adding four to my pot since I'm using a little over four pounds of necks and backs.

Three, you want to simmer it for a long time. We're talking simmer here, such as the lowest setting on your stovetop. And 24 hours is not too long. Or you can put it in your crockpot (if you make smaller batches than me) and let it cook away. I've never had such amazing flavor from such humble ingredients.

I hope to have some left over to presssure can in pints for other meals.

The chicken is from Wisdom's Natural Poultry here in Colorado and I purchased it at the Boulder Farmer's Market. Wow, what an experience - over 300 vendors, thousands of people shopping. Kathy was going up yesterday and asked me if I wanted to come along. I'm glad I did. Even though it's early in the season, there was no shortage of beautiful things to inspire and tempt. Bison, grass fed beef, organic eggs, chicken, cheeses, wines, meade, greens like spinach, lovage, watercress, and pea sprouts, seedlings, flowering baskets, jams, sauces, teas, herbs, tomatoes and cukes grown indoors, pestos, onions, dried beans, a food court full of vendors cooking up their local specialties, and I didn't even get to the crafts and fine arts tents. I was too pooped. I'm excited to find a source for organically raised chicken that will sell me livers, backs, and feet as well as whole chickens.

And now I should probably go to bed since tomorrow's line-up is a doozy:

Finish the chicken stock
Prep salad greens
Mill sprouted grain and bake bread
Two chicken potpies
Sweet and sour pork with brown rice
Spicy Meatballs with Egg Noodles
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Fruit and Nut Bars
A breakfast casserole (TBD)

And in my spare time I'll do laundry. The rest of our week will be committed to making parts as Kent Smith Studios for a large order we've received. It will be so nice not to worry about what to eat after a long day in the shop!

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