July 14, 2007

Habits

Today, I made chicken stock as if it were something as simple as brushing my teeth. I've been doing my own stock for a few months now... just waiting to see what would come of the process. It's wasn't something I was sure I could keep up, but today, I'm sure. I hate to think of any food preparation as rote, but I think the habitual element is necessary to sustain the process. If I had to really pay attention and think about this every week, I might go back to pouring the stuff from those cardboard jugs. Nah, there's simply no comparison.

Last week I ladled freshly made stock over sauteed greens and let them simmer. It was simplest and cheapest of side-dishes, but it was profoundly satisfying. Theres a softness to food you make for yourself. I don't know how else to describe it; maybe a gentle mouthfeel that let's you keep tasting the real flavors. That's this stock. Well worth the now routine effort it takes to make.

2 comments:

Kelly Mahoney said...

I'm reading "The Making of a Chef" and I find their descriptions of stocks and ruex so intriguing. I've never made my own, but it sounds like quite the process.

Ruth said...

It can be so easy! It can also be quite the process if you roast the bones and tie the boquet garnis and dice the leeks and carrots and celery to perfection. But - you could take chicken bones or chicken pieces or even chicken backs (from your butcher) and toss them in a pot of water with bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, simmer a few hours and strain. I usually saute onions in olive oil first, but even that is not completely necessary.

Do it and report back!