I have something to be victorious about: I think I finally made some really good broth.

Good broth essentially = gel. If you’ve ever made homemade stock and had it gel, good job! The gelling means that you’ve extracted the good stuff (i.e. minerals and such) from the bones you’re cooking. I think I previously would’ve assumed that gel was fat, but, it isn’t. The actual fat separates from the broth and rises to the top of it once it’s cooled. You can skim it off at that point and have good ol’ not-as-fatty stock.
This was my second time attempting homemade stock, and I can pretty much tell you why this one went well and the first one didn’t: 1. The first time, I wanted a completely strained, unclouded broth, plus I didn’t have a mesh strainer, so after cooking the broth, I strained it through a colander with a paper towel. It worked, but it got rid of most of the fat and any little bits (which in reality probably make the broth healthier/tastier). 2. I cooked it longer. The first time I cooked it was just around four or five hours; this time it was at least six, maybe seven. In Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions, she says you can cook it way longer than that, maybe even 24 hours or something… but apparently that’s not totally necessary, unless you’d really like to do so. 3. There were more bones and meat cooking in the liquid, which probably made it a more enriched or intensive broth.
I wish I had pictures… alas, I didn’t take any, and I don’t have Internet at home. Maybe someday. (Or, maybe in about two months, when we move out of our current [lame] apartment.)
Have you ever made broth? It’s very healthy, much tastier in soups and such than canned broth from the store, and much more economical. Try it out! Oh, it’s also really easy, it just requires a little planning, patience and know-how.

milk stuff pt. 2

So, in case you missed it, I made a big long post about why you should choose to drink good quality milk over the conventional store-bought stuff that is basically sterile and not actually that nutritious. It was a long post, so I figured I would do a fun little follow-up to sum up some info I shared and be a more personal take on the subject.

Top Ten Reasons why I like buying good milk:

1. It is much healthier for our bodies than regular conventional milk – vitamins, fat and enzymes remain that are destroyed or manipulated otherwise.
2. It is much better for the environment due to small-scale farming vs. large scale industrial farming.
3. It supports a local business, making it more sustainable for our local economy.
4. It tastes way better than store-bought milk. Creamy, sweet, and rich… yummy!
5. It is way more versatile than store-bought milk. You can use it to make butter, heavy cream, cheese, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, etc. I also use it in place of buttermilk if it starts to sour.
6. Though we pay around $5/gallon, we don’t drink it quickly – like many other real food products, you tend to eat or drink less when the food is of high quality.
7. I like knowing that the cows our milk comes from are very happy. They do not live a sickly life stuck in a feedlot, continually wallowing in their own waste.
8. There is something about drink milk nearly straight from the cow that makes me feel more connected with natural processes and helps me see how God naturally provides for us.
9. I think of it as a long-term investment in our health. I’m hoping that our family will have long, disease-free, cancer-free lives as a result of wise food choices.
10. It tastes good with lots of things: cereal, grilled cheese, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, breakfast, pie… I’ve pretty much already decided I’m going to have to make something fun tonight to eat with our fresh gallon of milk. Yum!