Posts Tagged With: self sufficient

Making and Canning Stock (Bone Broth)

IMG_0333

Back when I was in Culinary school (Oui, the farm girl is classically trained!), we learned that a good stock is the basis for almost all cooking. In fact, we spent the first three months learning almost exclusively knife skills and stock-making. Now, real stock (or bone broth) is an entirely different animal than your canned broth. This stuff is flavorful, healthy, and gorgeous. You can use it in all your sauces, you can cook rice in it, basically you can use it anywhere you might use water in a savory dish to increase the flavor potential like mad.

And you can make and can it at home! From scratch!

The health benefits are astounding. It is incredibly vitamin and mineral dense, and is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It contains collagen for health skin and hair. It’s rich in glycine and proline, which are amino acids important for a healthy gut and digestion. (Some people use it for leaky gut syndrome). And, it contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.

Well then Charley, how do you make the stuff?!?!

You start with bones. As many as you can muster up. Chicken or turkey bones for poultry stock can be raw, or if you’ve roasted some chickens and picked all the meat off, that’s fine too. I usually freeze the bones from our chicken dinners and then make stock after I have enough to fill our big stock pot. Beef or lamb bones should be roasted for a bit in the oven until they are a nice dark caramel color to give your beef or lamb stock extra flavor.

Take your bones and put them in a big pot. Fill the pot with water so it comes up about 2 inches over the bones. You don’t want to have too much water or your stock will be, er, watery.

Now for your veggies. The amount you add is going to depend on how many bones you have. I’ll give an example for a 5 quart pot (which is the standard large pot in most sets). We use a larger stock pot (15 quarts) so I just triple these amounts. Keep in mind these ingredients are for flavor, so you don’t need to be exact. Don’t let the fact that you only have 1 bunch of celery in the house keep you from making stock.

  • 2 small or 1 large onion. Take off the root end and any moldy skin, cut the onions in half, and plunk ’em in.
  • 1/2 bunch of celery. You can cut the pieces about 3 inches long.
  • 3 or so medium carrots, but the pieces about 3 inches long also.

Next, your herbs. In fancy culinary speak this is called the “bouquet garni”. If you would like to feel fancy and impress you friends, you can bind these herbs up in a cheesecloth bag (kind of like a tea bag), Honestly, I just throw them in the pot. I rarely make stock when friends are over, and my friends are impressed when I have just gone to the trouble of brushing my hair and picking up the children’s discarded cheerios off of the floor. We call them floorios, but that’s for another post.

  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • A few bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons of peppercorns
  • Some rosemary if you’ve got it, and maybe some oregano and/or thyme, about a tablespoon each.

Hint: Fresh herbs are always better. Not just because they are fresh, but because they are way easier to strain out later.

Ready to simmer!

Ready to simmer!

Now, put your pot over medium high heat until it begins to just simmer. When the simmering starts, you want to adjust your heat so that it simmers but does not boil. Boiling will make the stock cloudy. Now let it simmer for the rest of the day. Before bed, check to make sure your water level is about three inches above the bones. Some of the bones will float, that’s ok, just make approximate measurements. Don’t turn the heat up, it will come back on its own. Let it simmer all night.

In the morning, you are ready to strain. Do not be tempted to let it cool down because it will take forever and you are allowing bacteria to grow. yuk. Just use some good tongs to pick out the big pieces, then place a strainer or cheesecloth lined colander over a bucket or another big pot and pour.

Straining the stock

Straining the stock

You have stock! Ta-da! At this point you can freeze the stock, or if you would like to can it, read on.

…………………

You must use a pressure canner to can stock. A water bath canner will not reach the temperatures needed to keep stock germ-free.

Make sure all your jars are clean and free of chips or cracks. Fill them with the stock, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Place your lids on and screw the rings on finger tight. Add water to your pressure canner according to the manufacturer instructions.

My Presto Pressure Canner

My Presto Pressure Canner

Hint: I always add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water to keep the outside of the jars from getting cloudy.

Put the lid on you canner and follow your canner’s directions for heating the water up.

Here are the recommended processing times from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Table 1. Recommended process time for Meat Stock in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 2,000 ft 2,001 – 4,000 ft 4,001 – 6,000 ft 6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 20 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 25 11 12 13 14
Table 2. Recommended process time for Meat Stock in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints 20 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 25 10 15

IMG_3607

Now you have canned stock! Go do a happy dance in your pantry!

sig3

Charley Davis

A disclosure about affiliate links: Affiliate links allow me to make a small commission from sales related to posts. This is what keeps Funny Little Farm up and running, so if you would like to support the farm and you see something you need, this is a great place to get it!


Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker


Presto 09995 7 Function Canning Kit


Bayou Classic 1124 24-Quart All Purpose Stainless Steel Stockpot with Steam and Boil Basket

Advertisements
Categories: Food, Prepping, Self Sufficiency | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Hatching Coturnix Quail

image

They are so flippin’ cute! They always look very disapproving. Hehe.

We started raising quail because our HOA will not allow chickens. Phhhht. I know, it’s crazy, we live out in the middle of rural nowhere. But, they are super fun, easy, and they lay eggs! (The quail, not the HOA.) They have turned out to be key in our plan for food self sufficiency.

I had a really hard time gathering all the info I needed for the first hatch, and I thought I would help out all you would-be quail farmers with the details of how I did it.

I started by researching incubators. There are a lot of really fancy ones out there, with humidity control and auto-egg turners, but the reality on the farm was that we just couldn’t make that kind of investment. I ended up buying this model, the Janome 10.

incubator

It worked like a charm. Kept a constant temperature, and has a nice window all around for chick viewing. It also re-warms very quickly after you have opened it to turn or candle the eggs. It does not have an auto turner, so you would need to turn the eggs manually. Also, it does not have a humidity sensor. Coturnix quail are not too sensitive to humidity, so I just filled the inner well with water for the first 14 days, then filled both wells at “lockdown” (that’s the last few days of incubation, where you don’t open the incubator). Alternately, you could buy a sensor and put it in there.

I ordered my Jumbo Brown Coturnix and Texas A&M eggs from PurelyPoultry.com. They arrived on time, with none broken, and they had even put in a few extra! We lost a few to overzealous farmer children as we were numbering them with sharpies, and putting an “X” on one side and an “O” on the other. You do this so that you know which ones you turned in the incubator. Also the dog ate one, but I still love him.

I set the temp to 38.2 C. Coturnix take 14-18 days to hatch, so I dutifully checked the water and turned the eggs 3 times a day for 14 days starting on the day after the eggs went in the incubator (By convention, that day is day 0).  I candled after about a week. I found that it rook a little more than a week to really be sure whether or not the eggs had chicks in them. Eggs with chicks will have veins or a dark mass in them, whereas a dud will just light up. Maybe we will have a post on candling later, eh?

On day 15, the eggs go into lockdown. Turn down the temp by 1 degree, increase humidity a tad, and wait. Don’t do ANYTHING.

Mine started hatching on day 16. You will start to see little “pips”. This is when the chicks make a little air hole in the egg. They probably will take a rest after that, maybe even a whole day or more. Then, they will start “zipping”. This is when the chick cracks the egg all around in a circle to create a little door which they then kick out of. This process can take a long while too, so be patient. After the chick kicks out, he will be all wet.

IMG_0277

Leave him in the incubator for 12-24 hours before moving him to the brooder, or he will get too cold. All chicks go for a little while without needing food or water because they have absorbed the yolk sac into their abdomen. Quail chicks need food sooner than chicken chicks though, so 24 hours is the max drying time.

Congrats! You are now on your way to having a flock!

sig3

Charley Davis

A disclosure about affiliate links: Affiliate links allow me to make a small commission from sales related to posts. This is what keeps Funny Little Farm up and running, so if you would like to support the farm and you see something you need, this is a great place to get it!


Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp 8.5-Inch Ceramic with Dimmable Switch


Zoo Med Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter 100 Watts

Categories: Farming, Prepping, Self Sufficiency | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.