Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some work around the house today

Sometimes you just want a nice hot stew or even a simple broth to have on a cold winter day. Today is such a day for me, so I am making bone broth.

 I have chicken backs I got from New Life Farm. These are excellent for making broth and they are a very nice family. :)

I start my broth by adding a little olive oil to the pot and sauteing some onions, a few cloves of garlic, throw in whole black peppercorns, bay, thyme, or whatever I have on hand at the time. This was today.

I have also thrown in nettles, echinacea, or other herbs depending on what I want to accomplish with my broth. There are so many herbs to pick from.

After making sure to gently cook the herbs and spices, I add the chicken. Sometimes I only have bones if we have roasted one, so I throw those in there, but today it was a chicken back with plenty of meat still on it. I gently sear the outside, add a little salt,then add water to cover it. In this case it's to the top. I bring it to a boil then turn it as low as possible and still simmer with the lid on. I will wait a few hours then strain the broth and add it back to a pot or even slow cooker. I really want to get the meat off the bones so I'll do that. Then I put the bones into the slow cooker and add some apple cider vinegar and put it on low to cook the rest of the week, getting out what I need and replacing with water as needed. Sometimes I will put in some other veggies if we have eaten them or even the scrubbed skins of the veggies (only if they are organic and washed well). It lasts us all week. Today I hope to make some egg drop soup as well from it. 

Speaking of Apple Cider Vinegar, I am making some more today. These are apple peels and cores I saved in the freezer from our apples. I knew I would want to make something from them, but I wasn't sure. I'm leaving them out to oxidize then I will cover them with water and a little honey maybe. Before i just used water. We'll see when they are a little more brown. 

Here is the results of making ACV last time. This is all that is left. It's quite mild. I suspect I should have let the peels spend more time in the open air! 

Here is a picture of one of my favorite things in the kitchen. My Honey built me this to store my cast iron. It used to fit it all but my Mom gave me hers as they don't use it anymore. Some of it was my great-great-aunt's that was found in my parents house when they moved there. I will use it as long as I can!

This is desem. Well it's the flour the desem is in. You know the parable Yeshua tells of how heaven is like where a woman took a little leaven and hid it in flour? This type of bread reminds me of that. The ingredients are: water and flour. That's it. Actually it's just a little bit of each, until it's kneadable then it's kneaded about 10 minutes and hidden in the bowl of flour and covered (just to keep critters out) and put in a cool place. It's like sourdough in the end except it relies on cooler temperatures. I have a jar of sourdough going in a warm place but since my house has a wide range of temperatures, I make both! Anyway, after about a week to ten days it's ready to be kneaded up with a little salt int he flour and shaped into a loaf, let rise and cooked. The key to keeping this going is to leave a little "lump" hidden in the flour and to feed it regularly. It's really very delicious! Last time I regularly made it it took about a month to have a strong sourdough flavor. And like with every naturally raised dough, it takes time. 

Well, after all this cooking, there is a mess to clean up. We made some un-paper towels last week. I just got really tired of looking at ugly cleaning rags made from old towels so I made them pretty. It was super easy. :) LIke making a pillowcase, but sewing up the 4th side after turning. I made an "X" in each square (they are made of rectangles) just for some stability for the pretty fabric so it doesn't fall apart. We have used them plenty since making them!

Well, that's about all there is to tell about today's work. Oh, there's laundry and the regular cleaning and getting in wood, etc... too but I didn't think you'd want to read about that.  Hope you have a blessed day!