Saturday was a very hard day for me. I got sent home from work after 2 hours because I am sick but my boss said he’d pay me for the whole day. At the local market I bought the first gooseberries, nectarines, peaches, cherries and raspberries of the season (literally – I was the first person at the market). I also bought goats cheese, beetroot dip, fresh bagels, yams, jersey benne potatoes and other tasty things and for the first time had enough money left over to buy some awesome pastries. “What are you talking about? Sounds like a great day!” you say? NOT IF YOU ARE SO SICK YOU HAVE LOST ALL SENSE OF TASTE.
That’s right, due to some unusual flaw in my DNA or immune system or somewhere in there, every time I get a cold, no matter how minor, I lose my sense of taste for a few days. I have never met anyone else who shares this evolutionary blip and so feel safe in saying that few people could understand the misery of indefinite taste-loss.
With an unexpected day off but not able to engage in my favourite past-time (eating for pleasure), I decided to cook something that I don’t need to use right now (so therefore won’t feel like I’m missing out that I can’t eat it immediately) but will be very useful in future.
Vege Stock (inspired by my all time favourite blog, Vegetarian Ventures http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2012/10/10/homemade-vegetable-stock/#.UqYcFCf84k4)
I used scraps or whole of the following:
Peppers (Red and Green)
Homegrown thyme, bay, oregano, rosemary, parsley and chives
I also included some chipotle and granny smith apple
Save up vege scraps (or use fresh if you want) until you have about 4 cups worth
Put scraps in a large saucepan and cover with water
Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour
Remove from heat, let cool, then store in the fridge (for up to 5 days) or freezer (freeze in ice cube trays) for a couple of months.
If you are not making your own vege stock (as I wasn’t till last week), get on it. It is so easy and fast. There are no extra costs involved if you keep a bag in the freezer and add scraps that amount naturally while cooking (onions skins, garlic tops and tails, celery leaves etc.) or whole vegetables that you’ve left a bit long and are looking too dodgy to eat. Pretty much anything can go in, just avoid anything floury (like kumara and potato).
Most importantly, it tastes so much better than the over-priced liquid or powdered stock you find at the supermarket. I don’t know about you but I don’t trust something that claims to be made from fresh vegetables but can sit unrefrigerated on a shelf for months or years and still be within its expiry date.
UPDATE: If you live in Christchurch you will be able to buy this in the new year from Harris & Turners, Lyttelton