Monday, November 11, 2013

Thinking Ahead

I love it when I find that my past self thought ahead.  Even if I forgot I did something clever.  Even if it takes months to finish whatever I was thinking of.  It's always such a pleasant surprise, a little gift I sent myself from the past.

Today it took the form of frozen chicken.  Don't laugh.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.

I decided it was a good day to make chicken soup so I pulled out 2 bags of frozen chicken bones and a bag of frozen vegetable scraps.  Then I found a bag of what looked like cubed chicken meat.  I looked all over the bag for bones and didn't see any.  Could it be, I thought, that I actually managed to be prepared?  That I knew that sometime in the future I was going to make chicken soup and would want to have a whole lot of meat all ready to go in?  Apparently, I did.  And it made my afternoon so much easier!

For the stock, I tied all the vegetable scraps into a cheesecloth so I could just fish it out and throw it away.  I put a bay leaf and a few peppercorns in that as well.  I tossed all the chicken bones in and then added enough water to cover it all, probably several gallons, as this was the lobster pot.  This simmered for a few hours.  Then I took out the veggies, strained the stock, and made soup.

The soup started with onion, parsnips, celery and carrots, sautéed, and then I added the chicken cubes and about 4 quarts of stock.  Plus salt, pepper, thyme and parsley.  Mmm.  I just now added egg noodles and that's going to be dinner.

While that is cooking, I'm canning the rest of the stock:  5+1/2 quarts.  4 quart jars and 3 pint jars.  Which are blue.  Has anyone else seen these?  They're a really pretty light blue glass that I think aren't really meant for anything to go into them.  After all, once you put anything yellow, or green, or red into them, it's no longer such a pretty blue color, is it?

Oh, and self, here's another little gift for next time.  Don't try to muscle the pressure canner closed.  You know why.

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