Thursday, September 13, 2012

So I relapsed, what's the big deal ??

I put it all away, jars in rubbermaid tubs marked according to size. Canners back in their boxes. Accessories stowed safely away. Jars of food lining the cabinet shelf just perfectly.

And then I remembered. I still have a pot of mushroom cooking liquid and a big bowl of stem trimmings. Oh we go again. Drag out the pressure canner. Drag out the pint jars. Here we go again.

Last night I spent a couple hours working on mushroom stock. I sauteed the stem ends with a couple cloves of smashed garlic and ohhhh maybe a quarter of an onion, sliced. Got them to cook down and brown nicely. Then I added a little additional water, some salt and pepper and let that simmer away til it was mushroomy and rich. I thought about adding other seasonings at this point but decided against it, since I don't know yet how we will use the stock or in what dish and I didn't want flavors that don't go well with the other ingredients. So I kept it very basic. I added the mushroom liquid from the canning marathon and brought it all to a boil while I heated jars and assembled my jar assembly line and readied the canner. 

Straining a huge pot of boiling liquid proved to be a logistical nightmare so I used a tiny strainer that fit right in the jar opening and a small Pyrex measuring glass to scoop the broth into the jars and strain at the same time. Worked like a charm ! I ended up with 8 pints of mushroom stock and virtually no waste except the discarded mushroom ends (most were too woody to use for eating).

Now the best part- all winter long we'll have this mushroomy secret hidden away in the cupboard. Stews,  soups, gravies - all can have an unexpected flavor boost !!! 

Unfortunately though, this will not be my only relapse. It makes me want to go buy bones. Chicken bones. Beef bones. Ugly vegetables. I want to make STOCK and literally stock the pantry with stock !!! I have fallen off the wagon folks, and I'm totally ok with that !!

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