Stock makes use of the parts of plants and animals you might otherwise throw away and is a staple of the well-stocked pantry.

To create the perfect stock, place bones in a pot with whatever veggie bits you have. Carrot and celery tops, hard stems from fresh herbs, snapped ends of beans, shells from shelled peas are all great. (Members of the cabbage family tend to release strong flavors and unpleasant smells that don't work out in a stock.) To this add any giblets you may have, a few cloves of garlic, some chopped onion, a couple of bay leaves, some leaves of sage and some peppercorns and enough water to cover it all. Cover your pot and cook it at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours. (Crock pot works well) Then take it out and let it cool, then chill it. When it is chilled, scoop off the fat and put it aside (you can use this in your frying pan). Now add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon or lime (this helps break down the bones but won't affect the flavor). You may also need to add some more water. Cook it for another day (keeping an eye on the water level) and then check it. Can you mash everything (including the bones) with a potato masher? If no, cook for another day. If yes, then by all means mash away, then cook for a few more hours. Finally, allow your stock to cool, strain it and store it.

For a vegetable stock, omit the bones and only simmer for 12 hours. You can replace spent vegetables with fresh ones and repeat to make a stronger stock.

To improve on the flavor, especially for vegetable stock, roast your vegetables first, in the same pan if possible.

Note the your meat stock will become a gelatinous goo when cooled. That is a good thing.

Stock adds an extra element of flavor and nutrition to a recipe that just plain water just can't. It is great to use for cooking liquid for grains, as a base for soups or just by itself, steaming in a mug on a hot day or when you're not feeling well.

Chicken stock is especially good for healing (especially if you use melatonic/black chicken). Ham stock is a must for beans and split pea soup. Fish stock is great for chowders and vegetable stock can be used in place of or in addition to any of these.

The nutritional and energetic qualities of stock depend upon the ingredients used.

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Gender: Feminine

Healing, nutrition

Recipes that contain Stock

Notes from the Test Kitchen

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