All I have managed before the grace period (Aug 5th) expires is to post this robust vegetable stock which has the distinction of being made by him. It is a part of his weekend ritual to chop and dice carrots, celery, onions and any other veggies that may have been left over from the week. He will then proceed to make a simple stock that will last us a week.
Unlike store bought stocks, you can adjust the amount of salt you put in and this is a fat-free version of the more buttery stocks, where the veggies are first sautéed in butter before being boiled in water.
I have never frozen the stock because it gets added to soups, dals, risottos, curries, khichdis and pulaos I make for the family over the week. The picky eater is unaware that the khichdi he is eating has concentrates from carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions.
Here’s his (not the kid but the spouse) simple but delicious vegetable stock that adds a layer of flavor to everything it gets added to.
Vegetable Stock (adapted from the book, Zuppe, Risotti, Polenta!)
1 medium onion, chopped in big pieces
1 carrot or 8-10 baby carrots (chop the big carrots in 3-4 pieces)
2 celery stalks, chopped in fours
A few stalks of cilantro (optional)
Leftover veggies like spinach, greens of every kind, broccoli, mushrooms, peas and cabbage.*
Whole spices: (add more of the following for a spicier version)
4-6 black peppercorns
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 bay leaf (optional)
Put all the ingredients together in 4 ½ pints of lightly salted water. Bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat and simmer for an hour. The stock will reduce and get a dark tinge brown to tan, depending on the veggies used.
Let cool, before straining and transferring to air tight containers. Keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days. I always use up the stock by the then so I can’t vouch for the stocks fridge shelf life. If you do not have immediate plans to use it all up, freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove and transfer to a freezer container or Ziploc bag.
*Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and do not overdo the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, for obvious reasons.
Other vegetable stock recipes:
Aqua’s Mushroom Stock
Sunshinemom’s Vegetable Stock
Of Chalks and Chopsticks
If you are wondering why I am announcing two events in the same month, in back to back posts, I chalk it to my obsession with multi-tasking and my inability to be organized. I had committed to hosting Global Kadai at the beginning of the year and promptly forgot about it. And how could I not get obsessed with Chalks and Chopsticks? I was itching to host it since it started and so I begged the trio who started it all. The three gracious ladies, Aqua, Sra and Bong Mom , agreed to pass the baton on to me and there was no way I was going to pass it up. Since the announcement is three days into the month, I will take some self-imposed liberty and make the deadline three days late, or better still five days, just so it is easy to remember.
If you haven’t heard of (and I can’t imagine you not having heard of it by now) Of Chalks and Chopsticks, let me clue you in. This is a monthly event, conceived by Aqua and calls for food inspired fiction or fiction inspired by food, whichever way you want to looks at it, from bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Here are the rules:
Send in your entries at this address by September 5th.
The subject line should say: Of Chalks and Chopsticks – 4
The email should provide:
The Blogger’s name
Title and URL of the post
Some information, borrowed from earlier editions
The writing should be original, i.e. yours.
There is no word limit or theme – you can write on anything as long as the story has food as a centerpiece. That is, a food related/ themed story.
The story could be based on real life, just make it sound like a story and not a regular post.
Old posts are accepted but a new one is always more exciting.
These posts can be shared with other events.
Link you post to this and Aqua’s post.
PS: This is not a part of the original rules but I will make one anyway. Try to pen an intelligent, cogent piece of writing, even if it is just a paragraph. If you have a great story idea but are not sure of your writing skills or coherence of the story, send it to me or one of the writers for a look over. We can give you suggestions and help you out the best we can. And please, keep the use of excessive exclamations out!
For inspiration and some excellent stories, stay tuned for Sra's roundup.