Seeking Health in a Stock Pot

The heady aroma of stock cooking has permeated my home. For the last two days the heart warming aroma wrapped around me promising me comfort and nourishment. It’s been too long since I’ve made a batch of stock. I used to make a batch every time I had enough bones. But that was when the household budget was tight and I squeezed every bit of nutrition I could out of what I had.

This batch has taken me over four months to collect the bones. I rarely buy whole chickens anymore, passing them over for the cheaper boneless breast. Two days ago I pulled out the bone collection from the freezer, added the recent roast chicken carcass and popped it all into the crock pot. Just add water, set on low and let the magic work. Today I have bone broth cooling down in the kitchen sink.

It’s a deep amber color this time; I think due to the onions tops and carrots I added. I’m already missing the aroma of it cooking. It’s like a long lost friend just left. The nostalgia of past dishes I’ve made with home-made stock has my stomach growling.

I did a web search yesterday looking for the nutritional information on bone stock and found that stock has risen in popularity compared to the last time I did a search almost a decade ago. It’s like a new food fad has risen up and claimed the most basic of cooking recipes and claimed it for it’s own. Just glancing at the search results I see a variety of key words; traditional foods, paleo-cooking, super-food and all that has me puzzled. When did a foundational recipe become a health food superstar?

I’ve known that home-cooking or should I say scratch-cooking is a bit of a lost art; reserved for five-star restaurants, hobbyist and the super stubborn (like me) determined to eat well both in taste and cost. It takes time and effort to do efficient meal planning and skill to make a dish that’s more that a few hours to make.  A good stock is a prerequisite for a variety of soups, stews, sauces and even main meals. For some reason I figured that any scratch-cook worth their salt would have mastered stock.

Perhaps it’s not the scratch cooks who are discovering the value of stock. What’s old has become new again. Folks looking to improve their life and health are discovering the roots deep inside the kitchen; that our food choices and our attitude toward food speaks a lot about our potential health. And they are making choices; going back to the basics, even enjoying one of the most basic foundational recipes, stock.

Bon appetit