Another winter lurgy has hit, this time a sickness bug. Gabe was first to go down with it, then Gary, and then me. Of course by the time me and Gary were ill, Gabe was back in health and has found the last day boring with far too much TV having been on!
In many ancient traditions broth was used as a healing food, and it seems now that science backs this up. Most importantly it is warming, gentle on the stomach, and delicious! Whether a simple broth, or turned into chicken soup (which was what I did), it is a great way to use up bones that you may otherwise just throw in the bin.
The difference between broth and stock is argued by many, for me stock is when it is just the bones and broth is when there is some meat left on or in the pot too. The line is fine, and I what I refer to as broth someone else may refer to as a stock.
My broth making is simple though. Throw veg peelings, bones/chicken carcass (with or without little bit of meat left on) into the slow cooker (I have this slow cooker) along with a bouquet garni of whatever herbs I have on hand (for the final hour) along with water just to cover the contents. Cook on low for 24 hours. Beef and lamb bones make a lovely gelatinous broth and chicken a more delicate flavoured broth. I strain and then freeze up in pots once cooled. I hate waste, and this way every last bit of the animal is being used.
I’ll use the broth up in soups and stews, for cooking grains such as rice (much tastier to use home made stock in a risotto), and even sup it freshly made from a mug with a small pinch of salt.
There are lots of reasons to bake your own bread. Quality, control of ingredients, and taste are three of the main ones. Commercial bread is full of additives to keep it fresher for longer. Instead of the simple list of flour, water, yeast & salt (maybe a little sugar too), it is a list of 30+ ingredients many of which can’t even be pronounced easily!
I find myself baking bread once or twice a week and up until now haven’t been very adventurous with my recipes. However, my New Years Resolution this year is to expand on my bread baking knowledge and skills. I’ll be trying more sourdough baking, branching out into more gluten free loaves, and trying to perfect a sandwich loaf for fussy Gary!