Friday, February 15, 2013

Food from Garbage

For a very, very long time, I resisted making vegetable stock.

It makes no sense. A box of organic vegetable stock is $3 at the store, and making stock at home costs the price of a bay leaf and 2 peppercorns.

It's ridiculous, really.

Was I just being lazy? Was it a case of misplaced trust? Surely those folks at Pacific or whatever know what they are doing and never, oh never, does a stray bug slip in the vat, right?

And so, I began a bag. It doesn't take long, really, to save up garbage ... ahem, scraps, for stock. You just keep throwing them in that same freezer bag until it is full.

My bag usually consists of celery, carrot peels and ends, onions and parsley. Sometimes, there will be some shallot or leek in there or a little pepper or tomato.

People say don't overdo it on the peppers, so I listen. People say avoid broccoli or cauliflower, or your stock will taste like nothing else. Sometimes I put a few stems in there. I'm a rebel.

Whatever is in the bag, gets thrown in a pot with a ton of water, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns. And then I let is simmer until my husband worries I am going to fall asleep, at which time I groggily pour it into jars. (Pouring hot stock into jars while groggy is not like "life advice" or anything.)

I have heard a rumor that you can let stock go overnight in a slow-cooker.


I've gone from stock-in-a-box girl, to stock on the stove girl this winter. It took me realizing that vegetable stock is pretty hard to screw up. After all, you were just going to compost that stuff any way, right?

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