Taking Stock

I had the camera out yesterday in order to take progress pics of the Jaywalkers … so when I found myself waiting around for an ounce of porcini mushrooms to reconstitute, I snapped a picture of my vegetable-stock-in-the-making:

stock3.jpg

It’s not knitting … but it is (to my eyes) pretty as a picture.  The soaking mushrooms smelled nice too!  Actually, there’s something very similar in my cooking and knitting styles; I’m sure that’s true of many knitters.  I love reading a good cookbook but I don’t often follow the recipes as written.  Let me qualify that: when venturing into a new area I’m happy to let the expert be my guide but when rambling around in familiar places, I find recipes to be more inspiration than instruction.

And so it is with knitting.  I love the books that give the hows and whys and the encouragement to “make it your own”.  In knitting, it’s EZ and Barbara Walker and (newly) Cat Bordhi.  (With more to follow, I’m sure!)  In cooking, I learned most from “Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook” and Nikki and David Goldbeck’s “American Wholefoods Cuisine” … with Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking” for the science and history (oh yeah!).  I didn’t link to the Rodale book because mine is even older than the vintage 1989 copies you can still find on the web, not sure if they’re really the same book.

One lesson I should know by now: for key reference books, save up and buy the hardcover version, if available, cuz the softcover one *will* fall apart from heavy use!  Hubby went out and bought me a hardcover version of the Goldbeck book as a birthday present one year because my original was in two pieces.   He refers to it as “the bible” because I do, ha ha!  (He only does obligatory cooking, not cooking for fun.)  And now it’s become apparent that my “A Treasury of  Knitting Stitches” (first one) is hurting after less than a year.  I don’t think there’s a hardcover, is there?

Here’s what went into the crockpot yesterday:

  •  a drizzle of olive oil on the bottom
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into 3-4 pieces each
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms
  • 1 leek
  • the tops from a bunch of celery (I cut off the top 2″, leaves and all)
  • a handful of parsely leaves
  • bay leaf (1 lg. or two small)
  • the liquid strained after soaking 1 oz. porcini in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes (the mushrooms went into dinner)
  • 3 tbsp. dry sherry (can use dry white wine or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using soy sauce)
  • whole peppercorns (around 10)

All veggies cleaned as appropriate and coarsely chopped.  I put ’em in in the order listed, added 8 cups of water and set the crockpot to 8 hours on low.  At any time between 6-8 hours (whenever it’s convenient), strain the broth from the veggies.  Press with a wooden spoon to get as much as possible.  I store in 2-cup quantities in Mason jars (actually, saved jars from spaghetti sauce), which I cool in the fridge and then put in the freezer.  This was inspired by a stock recipe in the book “Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker” by Robin Robertson.

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1 Response to “Taking Stock”


  1. 1 brandicesenecal April 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    This looks good. Thanks for sharing!


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