Broth Falls Apart; The Freezer Cannot Hold

From The Sideboard: broth and soup goodness

I had a great system for making broth but then I stopped doing it. It went like this: one big container in the freezer was earmarked for broth-makings. Any extra veggie bits generated while chopping stuff up went into it. Same with any bones or gruesome gizzards, ends of ginger knobs, sad forgotten semi wilted greens that weren't dead but also weren't quite alive. When the container was full, I dumped it into the Instant Pot, covered it with water, wandered off to yell about the government on twitter and came back to delicious broth. Then I strained it and froze it in old yogurt containers and always had great broth on hand when I cooked. Then I stopped.

Have you read the book Art and Fear? Well you should. It addresses something I hadn't seen covered properly before: why people quit making art. It's so damn good. For a while I carried it with me everywhere I went, just in case I forgot everything it said and had some kind of art-making emergency. It taught me a lot about how to have a relationship with my work, which was a question I longed to have answered but didn't really know how to ask. The full name is Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking. You should read it. I'm not sure if people stop making broth for the same reasons. But I'm pretty sure that just re-starting things, without drama, is the secret to success in most ventures. I'm writing this so I'll remember it myself, of course. I'd like to just start making broth again without much garment rending or ridiculous oath-spouting about the obvious inherent permanence of this next broth-making chapter in my life. I'll just put some celery ends in a plastic thing and move on. 

But really: it is great to have homemade broth on hand. It's a gift from your present self for your future self, made from stuff from your past self. You can make something out of nothing when you have broth. It's like alchemy. That's why I was thrilled when I recently found one last container way in the dark recesses of my freezer marked "FOR BROTH." I'm going to be honest here — I have no idea how long it's been in there or what was in it. But I dropped the sold chunk into the Instant Pot and it turned into the most rich delicious broth ever. A bit fatty, robust, salty, with some obvious curried origins. Oh my goodness. Perfectly balanced. This time I strained it and put a few jars in the fridge since I didn't really have any exciting ingredients on hand for meals and knew I'd be using it right up. 

From The Sideboard: broth and soup goodness

I made a super simple soup with it. Just some butter in a pan with the remains of a package of baby portabella mushrooms sliced up, some fresh arugula, and minced garlic. I cooked those for a short bit, while the arugula was still nice and bright, poured the broth in, added some leftover rice and let it simmer. Delightful. It's worth starting again.

From The Sideboard: broth and soup goodness


oak cyborg

From The Sideboard is where I ramble about food, cooking and eating. We really have a sideboard at our house — but we call it The Cyborg. If I called this From The Cyborg you might be confused or perhaps even feel cheated. Nobody wants that. I cook extemporaneously, make a lot of spicy pastes, and rarely cook the same thing twice.