On the RangeJanuary 8-14, 2013: Week 2
- Charlie says “Oh dank you” just exactly like my brother used to 17 years ago. It makes me laugh and gets me all verklempt every time she does it. So cute!
- Charlie fell down a few concrete steps outside the preschool during a gust of wind. So far she seems okay except for some minor tooth pain. Holding my breath that she doesn’t get a brown tooth.
- Vivi is majorly obsessed about playdates with her friends now and runs up to me every day after school asking if someone can come over. Does this last until she can drive her own car?
- Vivi is still sucking her thumb, but the necessity for gloves in winter has reversed the trend during car rides. The interest seems to be waning a tiny bit. Is it ethical if I tape mittens on her hands while she sleeps and watches TV?
- I finished up my childbirth educator course, so my next short-term goal is to become certified. Then I am looking to apply for positions at local hospitals and maternity stores.
- I am committed to eating down the fridge and freezer for the rest of the month, so I’ve given myself a cap of $10/week to buy perishables until February 1st.
- My tummy is doing much better after only +/- 2 weeks of sugar/simple carb/dairy restriction and a probiotic supplement. I have more energy and crave sweets less.
- I am still frustrated over the amount of new stuff in the house and am having an existential conversation in my own mind about what we should keep or give away. Is it worth my kids’ happiness if I am this stressed out over the level of junk? Might they be happy with less, or even better, happier? How many Barbie shoes do we actually need, anyway? I vote none. What do you think?
- Jeff Bridges was on NPR’s On Point talking about his new book, The Dude and the Zen Master. It’s worth a listen, if only for the Buddha’s five remembrances. I particularly love #5, “I am the owner of my actions…” Amen to that.
- Fennel Brined Pork Chops w/ Roasted Root Veg and Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage
- Bean, Barley, & Bacon Soup with Homemade Pork Stock (stock recipe below)
- Split Pea Soup (recipe on the bag) with leftover holiday ham
homemade pork stock
I consulted the interwebs first and found that many people wonder, as I do, why there is no pork stock on shelves in American grocery stores. Pork is our favorite meat, so we sought to fill in the gap with bones from our meat CSA’s “ends and pieces” cooler. BTW, the bones cost me one whole dollar.
Pork bones (approx. 4, or an amount that will fill your stock pot or Dutch oven)
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-3 stalks celery, cut in half, with tops on if possible
handful of parsley
1 dried hatch, guajillo, or ancho chile
pinch of dried thyme
handful of peppercorns
Roast bones in 425 degF oven on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until browned.
Transfer bones to a stock pot or Dutch oven and add remaining ingredients. Cover with cold water (mine took about 8 cups). Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Strain out bones and bits and put in mason jars. Refrigerate and, once cool, remove solidified fat from top prior to using in a recipe.
Update (1-21-13): I just read a post about remouillage, which is the process of using soup bones twice. I’m not sure I’d do it for chicken bones since I typically remove the meat for soup, but I think pork bones are perfect for using twice. I didn’t remove any of the meat from the bones for soup, so I’m sure they could have been used twice had I known about the practice.