12 April 2009

making stock

It's chilly out (41 degrees as of 11:53 am) and my sweetheart's not feeling well, so I'm brewing up a pot of pure healing love. It's really a simple recipe, I learned it from Leda of Leda's Urban Homestead.

It takes a little bit of foresight, or really just having a habit of hoarding. I save up all of my veggie scraps, veggies on the verge (of going bad), and chicken bones and throw them in the freezer. Once there's enough goodness to fill my 12-quart stock pot, in they all go. Bones on the bottom, veggies on top, fill it up with water. The flavor of the stock might vary depending on what I've been stockpiling. This one will be a rich stock filled with whole pieces of spinach, kale, cabbage, scallions, half onions, onion and carrot butts, broccoli stalks, fennel fronds, and the requisite bay leaves and peppercorns. Leda suggests a splash of vinegar to release calcium from the bones. I want it to be as nutrient rich as possible, so I heed this good advice.

After a full day of simmering -- boiling would make it cloudy -- I'll strain out the bulk and then run it through a food mill. This results in two kinds of stock, one clear and one full of pulverized vegetable matter. The former is great for any recipe that calls for broth or stock. The latter makes a great soup all on its own, even better with some chopped carrots and onions and maybe some rice thrown in for good measure.

The aroma is filling our apartment. It's quite comforting. It smells like home.

times coverage of yesterday's seed bombing

Britt Bolnick, her daughter Bella Pagtov Karbownika, 3, and Liz Neves
were among those planting wildflower seeds on Saturday.
Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The event made it into the Times, and so did I, though it could be anyone under that black hood above. And I'm the "sustainable living consultant from Prospect Heights" that goes unnamed in the article.

Among the volunteers were a sustainable-living consultant from nearby Prospect Heights, two Italian architects, an industrial designer who rode his bike from Bushwick, and the president of a block association on Greene Avenue.

They carried black canvas bags containing the seeds of 18 types of wildflowers, including sunflowers and cornflowers, black-eyed Susans, lanceleaf coreopsis, sweet williams and none-so-prettys. They also had a handful of what looked like malted milk balls — the volunteers called them “seed bombs” and said they dissolve in the rain, releasing seeds.

Read the rest
Find out what other volunteers had to say at 21st Century Plowshare.