The First Cooking of The Stock

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Well, now that Kris has started his blog about food, I decided to jump back on the wagon (I know what you were thinking, but Lord knows I love my red wine) – the exercise wagon. I walked 3 miles last night using this really cool app called Map My Walk.  It took about 50 minutes, but it felt good to get off the couch and since the blog is called “How to Feed a Loon”, I need to get my big ass in gear!
I see Kris has recently posted his chicken stock recipe.  I, at first, thought making chicken stock would be a colossal waste of time – but let me tell you, HOLY COW, it makes a huge difference when he uses it.  I like to call it “liquid gold”.
The first time he made it we lived at the very tip top of Manhattan in an area called Inwood.  Inwood has very large population of Dominicans and so close the Bronx you could spit on it – don’t worry we didn’t do that.  Anyway, we were at our local grocery store and Kris was buying huge amounts of chicken.  Of course, I’m thrilled because I think we are having fried chicken for dinner (wait for that blog post – my mouth is salivating thinking about it).  As we are checking out, the ever-so-lovely cashier asks “So, what’s all the chicken for?” and Kris says “Stock.” 
Okay, there are two things that have happened here that sent me whirling into a state of confusion and shock that I haven’t experienced since coming out of my mother’s womb.  First – the cashier actually noticed there were human beings standing in front of her and she even spoke to us.  If you live in NYC, you know what I’m talking about…it’s like we grovel to these cashiers, hoping they will one day acknowledge our existence.  Second, HE’S NOT FRYING THE CHICKEN?!!!  After Kris recovered from also being in a state of disbelief of the cashier not being a deaf mute, he explained to me what he was going to do.
We finally get home after this very traumatic experience, and Kris pulls out the pot that I thought was only used for boiling large amounts of water to bathe with when the hot water wasn’t running in the apartment building…it was a very fancy place.  When the pot came out is when I decided I needed to stay out of the kitchen.  After chopping tons of vegetables, tying little bouquets of herbs together and simmering for hours, he finally removes the chicken from the pot and throws it away.  Throws it away? Are you kidding me? This was devastating to me and – and also the dog, Doris (more about her later).  Since then, he either freezes it for future soup usage or gives it to one of our “adopted” children. 
Can I just tell you how amazing the house smells when the stock is cooking? It smells like a Rockwell painting, a Hallmark card and the Christmas store all wrapped up together!  This is absolute torture because he doesn’t use the stock until the next day.  He has to wait for it to form some sort of jello on the top so he can scrape it off.  The next day he made the most amazing risotto I’ve ever tasted.  Well, technically it was the first risotto I ever tasted – but it was damn good!
I’ve now come to think of the “Cooking of the Stock” as the beginning of the holiday season.  It’s sad to see the summer go, but it’s so good to eat the holidays coming. I mean “see” the holidays coming.

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