Taking Stock

Perhaps launching a blog during the early days of January is hardly inventive, but it seems a good time to put perspective into the way we live our life. Our life. Together. And to make stock from the collection of bones that has been building in our freezers.

For months, we’ve pitched around the dinner table the idea of doing a blog. But what kind of blog would we write? A canning blog? There are plenty of well written ones out there. A gardening blog? Same thing and besides, we can’t grow a tomato to save our lives. Sustainable living? Again, there are plenty of well written sustainers out there preaching the virtues. Design? Renovation? Language? Music? Cooking? It’s all being done. And frankly, I don’t think we can add anything important. But all these things make up the way we live our life.

Twenty years ago, we got married…despite everything. Which became the theme for our wedding. We wanted to be married, but the process of getting married was, well, nightmarish. Those who were around back then will agree. Getting us married was nothing short of a miracle. But on that beautiful fall day we promised to love, honor, and cherish. If I had known then what I know now, I would have added recycle and compost to our vows.

Despite Everything is how we continue to love and live. Some days, it’s simply how we get through the day. Despite Everything, we want a life that is simple and flavorful. As we committed to developing a blog, we decided that Despite Everything was the perfect name. Despite Everything, we might learn a thing or two. And so might you. We’re not experts, we’re not looking to become consultants, we’re simply willing to share how we live…Despite Everything.

To celebrate our inaugural post, we’re sharing our homemade stock recipes. Today, I’m making two types of stock: turkey and beef. Both the turkey and the cow were organically raised. One thing you’ll notice is that there’s no butter in these. Vince always adds butter to everything, so I don’t have to put it in at this point. Besides, I’d just skim it off tomorrow with the meat fat.

Turkey Stock cooking

Turkey Stock cooking

Turkey Stock
Using the leftover carcass, bones, and any meat bits from Thanksgiving, cover with water in a stock pot and simmer on the stove for 6 hours. Some people add veggies and herbs, but as I like a clear poultry broth, I don’t add anything. Once the stock has simmered for 6 hours, cool and refrigerate. Tomorrow, I’ll skim off any fat and freeze the broth. Frozen broth can keep for up to six months. Make sure you write the expiration date on the container.

Beef Stock cooking

Beef Stock cooking

Beef Stock
5 lbs beef bones
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 yellow onion
1 whole head of garlic
16 ounces of water

Roast frozen beef bones at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Add roughly chopped veggies (if the veggies are organic, you should included their greens) and continue to roast for another 30 minutes.

Once the bones and veggies have finished roasting, put them in a stock pot, making sure to drain the roasting pan of its “drippings.” Add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan so that all the caramelized areas are dissolved and added to the stock pot. Add a head of garlic and the yellow skins of the onion to the pot. Cover with water and heat. Once the stock has simmered for 6 hours, cool and refrigerate. Again, tomorrow, I’ll skim off any fat and freeze the broth. And the next time we need broth for a dish, we’ll know exactly what went into it and that it’s as healthy as we can make for our family.

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