After all, it was for all purposes garbage ... but one person's garbage is another person's dinner.
Or something like that.
My friend has been making his own vegetable stock lately. He's always talking about saving the bulb of the celery and having leftover carrots and tossing it all in a pot and making stock. While he's a proficient, if not accomplished, cook, I doubted the ability of a person to toss in old vegetables into a pot of water and come out with something edible. It didn't seem worth the risk when there's cute little boxes at the grocery store that make all of that so easy.
Until I was left in a dinner quandary.
I had intended to make chicken and noodle soup for dinner (so smart given the week's heat wave) but found myself with no stock and just leftover chicken meat - no bones to make my own broth. I did, however, have a bunch of carrots, some celery and some onions on their last leg. I had nothing to lose by trying to make some vegetable stock ... except some vegetables destined for composting.
I searched a variety of recipes and settled on a slow cooker one because it made the most sense for the day. With a bit of trepidation, I tossed in:
- About celery stocks, with leaves
- 6 carrots
- 1 white onion
- 1 red onion
- 4 mini sweet bell peppers
- 1 potato
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon each: dried oregano, parsley and sage
- 14 cups water
- *Note: Vegetables are unpeeled but cut into chunks
I strained the broth in a colander (not the fine mesh strainer recommended) and made chicken and noodles. The meal was tasty but unremarkable though not the fault of the broth - and more the fault of the German noodles I bought.
I have about 10 cups of stock leftover to redeem myself, though, and it cost me nothing but some garbage and the 42 cents in electric the slow cooker required.
I guess it does beat those boxes in the grocery.