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Stoked about stock

You probably know ‘layering’ clothes can be a great idea.  Using the same basic items (the perfect white tee) you can create so many great looks.  People who do it well, give us all a bit of ‘clothes envy’.  I mean, how clever are they? Always turning up with an awesome new look.

To me, homemade stock stashed in the freezer, is a bit like having an amazing white tee in your wardrobe.  Ok, maybe that’s a bit weird, but a lovely stock is sort of a basic ingredient that can turn a bland risotto, casserole, spaghetti bolognese or sauce into something amazing.  It’s the ‘layering’ of lots of subtle flavours that does the trick. 

If this is sounding a bit too ‘Stephanie Alexanderish’, I have to tell you, making stock is soooo simple, it really is worth a go.

Making vegetable stock

A simple vegetable stock is my favourite and very straightforward.  Start by chopping the leafy ends off some celery, and putting them in a saucepan with some onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Add some cloves, fresh herbs and any other tired green vegies you have in the fridge.  Cover with water and leave to simmer on the stove for at least an hour.  You don’t have to stay in the kitchen but check on it and keep adding water as it reduces.  The kitchen will soon smell great and if your dog is anything like my old Labrador Penny, they will be parked next to the stove.  My old girl has been around for a while and she knows that all those veggies will soon be strained and put in her bowl for dinner.  Penny is a diehard recycler!

The liquid you strain from the pot (squeeze as much as you can out of the veggies), is your own amazing vegetable stock and can be stored in plastic containers and frozen until you need it.

If you want some cooked chicken for sandwiches, drop a chicken breast into the stock for 15 -20 minutes.  You will have lovely poached chicken, AND chicken stock. You now have two great basic ingredients to weave through your creations!  A white tee and a black tee? 😊


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