It’s Beef Broth time!

February 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

So besides making a New years resolution not to eat non local meat(which I have kept so far) I mad another quasi  resolution to myself to cook more. In order to do that I also quasi committed to cooking through Nourishing traditions (which I received for Christmas)  a la Julie and Julia, only  I have no deadline. I would like to finish by the end of this year, but knowing me the chance are slim that it will happen. I chose nourishing traditions, not only because I got it for Christmas, but because it highlights traditional ways of cooking that keep nutrition in our food. Nutrition that is conveniently taken out in our current food systems. For example  any natural beverage out there like milk or orange juiced is pasteurized which takes all the vitamins out, that’s why they are all fortified  so that the vitamins can be put back in. I think people would have a harder time drinking sugar water if it had no vitamins in it.

Anyway I started this quest with beef broth, which while quite simple I still seemed to mess up a little. I had no real marrow bones and only cooked my broth for the bare minimum(12 hours.) I wasn’t going to go searching about for local marrow bones, when I had just bought a big back of bones from my local farmer. So far the only thing I can recognize as different is that my broth isn’t very gelatinous and has a lot of fat(which is filtered at the end anyway.) The cooking time was dictated by the fact that I don’t have a crock pot and I work during the week so I can’t have the thing going non stop, I also don’t want my apartment to burn down with my dogs in it.

I won’t recount the entire recipe from nourishing traditions now or in the future, because I think you should buy the book and I’m pretty sure it’s copyright infringement. The only exception might be on ridiculously simple and standard recipes, like pima culture which is on my to do list sooner rather than later list.

Anyway a basic beef broth is:

-Composed of a variety of  bone types, marrow (like knuckles) and  meatier bones , like rib scraps.

-The vegetable flavoring is a basic mirepoixe: celery, carrots, and onions

-A few herbs I used  were thyme and parsley. Parsley goes in at the end

– A giant pot, I used a 20 qt.

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All you need to do is soak the marrow bones in really diluted vinegar water and brown the rib bones, put the in the pot, boil, bring down to simmer, and continue to simmer.

All and all the total cost was between$11 and $14. This seems high but I’ll discuss the benefits in a cost comparison soon(maybe even tomorrow if I can collect myself). Keep in mind that my broth is organic and nutritious. There are plenty of variations on beef stock and plenty of purist out there, so I would just google making beef broth  and read a couple recipes and find one that fits your needs. You may not be interested in straining one million times, or adding in the perfect blend of spices, but what you should be interested in is a delicious stock with no salt or preservatives


Patience is not my virtue

February 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

So it’s probably no secret to those that know me but I have a bit of a pension for depression.  That is part of the reason that I like gardening, because often it’s a  good way for me to redirect my attention, and feel productive, rather than wallow. However the downfall of all gardens and especially a roof top garden is that in the winter there is nothing, just empty pots.

Which just depresses me further.But the good and bad thing is that rooftop gardens are really easy to start over every spring, it’s just spring has to get here first. I have decided to focus more on flowers and herbs this  year. So since I can’t garden I took a little time to plan yesterday and created a garden wish list.


Purple Coneflower

Hybrid red conelflower





Bee balm

French Marigolds






Chocolate Mint

Lemon Balm

Lavender ( 2  varieties)



Dwarf Nectarine (Southern Belle)


Sedum-Autumn Joy



Heirloom Tomato

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