Monday, December 15, 2008


I had high hopes for today. I wanted to get the dining table cleared off for Christmas gift work space. I need to clean the cat boxes. I have to get to the gym. It's been a month and it shows (on the positive side though I've saved $20-$30 per week in not going). But priorities dictate that I get off my ass (actually sit on my ass) and work on finishing my parent's Christmas gift. It should have been done over a year ago and was supposed to be two Mother's Days gifts or a birthday gift at some point. Now there are only ten days left until Christmas and I need to get cracking!

But not to be a complete waste, I did get five or so loads of laundry in and my first attempt at making a soup stock. Inspired by this blog post, I saved the remains of the bird from Thanksgiving, bagged it and put it in the freezer. I emphasize inspired because this level of stock making is a little beyond me; I haven't got that far in class yet.

Not knowing really how to begin, I cracked open my three best tomes: the aforementioned On Food and Cooking Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking, which I had to buy after reading Julie and Julia (one of the best books I've ever read and for the life of me I don't know why this isn't a 5-star rated book on Amazon. Too many Little Brains. Quick name that movie), and my Joy of Cooking. I've met people who cook that don't own a copy of the Joy of Cooking. Inconceivable!

I did not make a mirepoix as inspired because none of my three books called for it. Harold McGee says that I should use 1-2 liters of water per kilogram of meat and bones. That didn't cover everything up though. So I took the body out, still frozen and hacked at it with my meat cleaver. Worked great except little bits of frozen turkey went flying everywhere. The dog (deaf and blind) and cat were thrilled though. I ended up using 3.5 liters of water just to cover up all the bones.

I started out cold and slow just like the books said. I never did get much gray scum on top that is supposed to be scooped out. Much? I'm not sure there was every any. After an hour and a half of barely simmering I said screw it and added my vegetables. Just to be different I used two bunches of green onions instead of a chopped whole onion. I also used two leeks. Chopped up some celery, yay much and four chopped carrots. A made a non-classical bouquet garni of one bay leaf, some dried thyme, some peppercorns, some cloves, some whole cloves of garlic and some fresh parsley that I grow.

I think it came out pretty good. Smells awesome. Might be a tad too much onion flavor but I like it. Right now it is chilling over night in the fridge. Tomorrow I'll scoop out the fat that rises to the top and then bag up the stock in two cup units and freeze. I thought about trying to clarify it, but I've taken on enough for a first time turkey stock project and I've got to finish this Christmas gift!


Brook said...

I have been looking for a copy of MTAOFC at thrift shops ever since I read Julie and Julia(copies of which gave to various family and friends cause I just knew they would love it as much as I)(some did, some didn't). I am not sure about the small brains but as for inconceivable, I do not think that word means what you think it means! Stock sounds good, I ended up just picking the carcass and dumping it I was so fed up with that bird! And I keep forgetting to get another one to experiment on and soon they won't be cheap anymore. :(

Brook said...

I picked up JaJ cause it was on the $5 rack and I liked the color of the dust jacket, and I've always liked Julia. Little did I expect it to become a favorite or inspire me the way it has! Congrats on the laundry btw, mine is still giving me the evil eye.

Huff Daddy said...

I think I took Julie home within the first month it was out. Like you said, I liked the cover. It just jumped off the shelf into my hand.

Huff Daddy said...

Wow! you were commenting while I was still editing, trying to get my formatting right.

Little Brains is from a movie called Defending Your Life. Wasn't a great movie. I saw it another life ago, but one of those movies that gets funnier the longer ago you saw it.