Today we came to the realization that there were no readily consumable eats in the house. I was out of cheese and bread, we had no meats, and Jason was entirely out of snacks, so we headed to Trader Joe's to get some packaged food. There I found a Nieman Ranch corned beef. So I snatched it up along with some stout and a bag of pre-prepped swiss chard. I know its traditional to make corned beef and cabbage; but if I don't ferment my cabbage before attempting to eat it, disaster ensues. It was mighty tasty, and the broth is ridiculously good. I may have to add it to my chili for tomorrow.
Earlier in the day I portioned out my Turkey Stock. My method for making poultry stock, in large part inspired by my father, is a long process. The first step is to find somewhere that carries organic meaty bones, such as back and neck, and sells them for under $1/lb. Put 3-4 lbs in a huge pot and simmer the bejesus out of them along with a carrot or two, onion, celery, and maybe some fresh herbs. This batch I threw on the stove around 1pm and went to work. (I hope my landlord doesn't find my blog) When I got home I let it simmer until about 10pm. Then I took out all the parts, strained out the veggies, and put the pot in the fridge. The next night I skimmed the fat off, and clarified it. To clarify stock, I put in egg whites and whisked the pot until the liquid boiled, then I let it sit. Once the egg came together, I strained the now clear broth into a smaller pot and put it back in the fridge. I attempted to make mayonnaise with the yolks. Maybe because it was 11pm, or the food processor has a oddly fitted blade, or the faeries wanted it all for themselves, but it was a disaster. That was Thursday, today I filled many many ziploc bags with two cups of stock each.
While I was clarifying on thursday, I made dinner. I was trying to make a roast Cornish game hen, which is just the right amount of food for two wiry kids. Unfortunately the hen I had bought at Whole Foods the day before was actually labeled January 27th. My goodness it smelt awful!! I threw it away, and am going to get my money back from whole foods and go get a bird at the local butcher or Berkeley Bowl. I had to think on my feet and instead made a creamy nettle soup. I turned some onions and garlic in butter, added a handful of rolled oats, and sauted that until the oats were toasted, then I threw in some of the infamous turkey stock(it had not yet been clarified), once it came to a boil I added chopped nettles. If you were wondering, in the process of prepping the nettles I was stung only once. Once finished I added some sour cream, because if there is anywhere I can add fat to a dish, I will. It was good, we were full.
By the way, not only was St. Patrick a Roman, he landed in an Ireland already partially-Christianized by St. Columba. So if anyone wants to celebrate St. Colomba, St. Columbanus, or St. Brigid day, you can find me out back on my high horse.