It also must mean that, although our weather is teetering on warm/unseasonable, I'm ready to jump headlong into autumn (and start thinking about Christmas...which, admittedly, I should've probably done several months ago). We even went on our first-ever apple picking family adventure today -- none of us had gone before! If only Hadley had more than two-and-a-half teeth, he would've eaten his weight in apples rather than sucking and piercing them with his little chompers.
So, here's a little non-recipe that only takes a little time and thought in advance, a tiny bit of prep, and some freezer space. SO EASY!!!
Homemade Vegetable Stock
- Plastic freezer bag full o' veggie cuttings (ANYTHING; we had everything from celery to carrot ends to onion peelings to part of a garlic bulb that I roasted, asparagus ends, and I can't count how many broccoli stems -- but, literally, you can use anything as long as you have a good array)
- Water to cover the veggies+
- Salt (optional; I didn't use any)
- Bay leaf (optional; I forgot to throw it in, so I'll just use one if I make soup with this)
Every time you find yourself chopping some vegetables for salad (or anything else), put the (clean) trimmings into a freezer bag; I keep one just for this purpose. Once it's full enough, fill your pot about 2/3 full with your veggies (throw the rest back in the freezer; I had to do this), then pour in enough water to cover it and then some. Bring this to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and allow to cook as long as you can, at least an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the vegetables are able to infuse the water with their yumminess. Seriously, Dave wouldn't shut up about how awesome the house smelled. With just veg water? Yep. 'Twas awesome.
Allow to cool a bit and strain the contents. Again, allow to cool further (to room temperature) before putting in containers to store. In this case, I froze the larger amounts and threw the smaller jars in the fridge to use when I make rice and sauces.
All in all, I made about 10 cups of stock. Oh, and when we buy stock/broth, we get low sodium to control what our intake is, which is why we didn't use salt. Also, stock is technically unseasoned and ready for use in whatever you want (while broth is seasoned and yummy on its own), so it's all in what you do with it that makes it SO GOOD!
All it took was some time (although it cooked while I was going about my normal what-not) and zero dollars. Win-win!
What would you use this stock for? A good, ol' traditional soup? Or something more exotic? Share, share!