A few mundane things

Bill & I get married in 19 days. That, I think, firmly lands us in the “HOLY CRAP” area of life.

It’s so exciting. It’s also a little nerve-wracking, but it will be fine in the end. I keep trying to remind myself that we have guests, food, an officiant, a venue and, most importantly, each other. It will be fine1. Still, it doesn’t always work that way.

I’ve been cooking some, but not as much as I’d like. Still, some challenge recipes have been made. I’d tell you more about them, but my darling bridesmaid Angelique reads this blog, and at least one is part of her bridesmaid’s gift. So, uh, yeah. Plus I have to remember what I’ve made that’s new.

Which reminds me to pull a couple pork chops out of the freezer for tomorrow. Bill & I are going to have pork chops with apples & “Provencal Bok Choy” tomorrow. This is going to combine a Bittman challenge recipe with a blog challenge from another blog. I’ll take photos & post about it, possibly even before I leave.

However, I leave in less than two weeks, so I encourage you all not to get your hopes up.

I have chicken stock simmering on the stove. It’s making my house smell amazing.

Oddly, chicken stock might possibly be my favorite thing to make. I like making it even more than cookies, and you all know I like to make “a cookie or two.”:http://www.metacookbook.com/plugin/tag/cookies Some of it is how simple it is. I dump chicken bones, trimmings, skin & any meat that didn’t get eaten before I felt it was about to go off into a stockpot with a bunch of veggie trimmings, add some water & go. Skim of some foam, if I’m feeling ambitious, and cook all day long. The house smells amazing, and I get some inexpensive stock or broth to work with.

However, I also like it because I love getting another use out of “waste” food. I’ve been making chicken stock like this for years. I’m not really sure where I picked it up. I don’t think from my mother, but she says she does it too, so probably there. Of course, I was terrible at paying attention to her in the kitchen, so she may have been doing it all my life, and I still may have picked it up from a book or a magazine or something.

You all can imagine, then, how tickled I was to see “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest advocate the same thing for veggie stock”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/155-81-Vegetable-Stock.html when I started this challenge. Not only was there the thrill of, “Do what you always do, but get a challenge recipe out of it!” but there was also the thrill of, “Someone else has pushed this idea to a ton of people!”

Of course, I’m not great at this method, as it’s about the only thing I do, so far, with “waste” food. Stock. However, it’s an idea I love, so I was so pleased to stumble on the blog “2 minutes to dinner.”:http://www.2minutestodinner.com/ They have a few posts on what they call “otherwise, trash”:http://www.2minutestodinner.com/ and I think it’s going to expand. I’m enjoying watching it, even if, so far, most of it is still stuff I haven’t done.

I promise you, though, I will never call it any variant on “snout to tail for veggies” or “veggie offal”. I’ve heard or read these terms in a few places2, and I think they are awful terms. I do understand the need for a term for “the bits of plant material you normally throw out”, and I don’t have one yet, but those two are not for me.

Finally, if you’re also interested in this sort of topic, you might want to check out this New York Times piece titled, “That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner.”:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/dining/thats-not-trash-thats-dinner.html I found it interesting, at least.

fn1. If you’re wondering why “we have a license” isn’t on that list, it’s because we don’t yet have one. We’ll not be able to get one until the 6th of October. BOO!

fn2. No, I am not naming names or linking links. That’s not nice, and it’s not nice for no good reason.