Sunday, March 20, 2011

I really am a smart person, most of the time.

Slightly funny story that has nothing to do with our kids, but does contain instructions on making chicken broth:

We use tons of chicken broth to cook with. Canned chicken broth isn't terribly expensive, but it does add up, and we decided if we made our own it would be cheaper and much better. It's super easy to do, although (as you will see), not foolproof! (You really have to be a fool to screw it up, but here I am.)

For weeks, we've been saving all our chicken bones in a container in the freezer, waiting until we had collected enough to try this out. Making the broth, like I said, is very easy. You throw all the bones in a big pot, cover with plenty of water, and start heating it up. When it gets hot, throw in half an onion, a carrot, and a stick of celery. Bring it to an almost-simmer, and then turn it down as far as it will go, cover, and let it stand. Overnight, or up to 24 hours. You don't even want to simmer it or it will get cloudy. It's just steeping.

So I do that. I've got my bones and vegetables in the pot, non-simmering. By the next morning, it smells amazing. The greatest, most beautiful chicken broth ever. I am as proud as I can be. This is so easy, I'm so awesome, etc., etc. All I have to do is strain it. Then I am going to boil it down so that it is concentrated, and I can freeze it in ice cubes. Then whenever we need broth, we just have to take out a cube, add a cup of hot water, and voila! Homemade chicken broth to add to whatever.

I grab a colander, take my steaming, delicious-smelling pan over to the sink, not really thinking, and dump the contents into the colander over the sink without a pan underneath to catch the broth. Half of my beautiful homemade broth was washing down the sink before I realized what I was doing! Are you kidding me? What was I thinking?! Agh! I stopped immediately, but there was my broth, swirling down the drain. I was bummed out the rest of the day, every time I thought about it.

(I did manage to end up with a little bit of broth. I strained it into a pan, boiled it down, and froze it like I said. It only made six sad little ice cubes. Still, that's 6 cans of chicken broth ($7) that we got for about ten cents, even with me screwing up. We will definitely do this again!)

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