It was a jolly pottering catching up weekend. More painting and sorting, a walk to gather leaves for a Christmas wreath to add to those gleaned from the garden. Making chicken stock ready for the Christmas dinner. It's now in a little plastic tub buried away in the freezer. I can't believe how organised I am! We made a flying visit to a Victorian Christmas Market and accepting an invitation for mulled wine and mince pies from our friendly neighbours.
We celebrated good news, just quietly. Mostly in our heads with the beaming smiles that we couldn't keep off our faces. I don't usually get too personal here, but it WAS good news. Notification of a clear mammogram result came through the letterbox Saturday lunchtime. Still clear since the one I had three years ago. Following the previous five years since the first shock discovery. I just wanted to share positive news. Almost eight years, and clear. To give hope to others out there, it's amazing what clever Doctors and modern medicine can do, as well as alternative therapies, and positivity, lots of good friends and family, and trying to eat healthily (well sometimes). Keep your chin up any one out there whose going through those tricky things.
Now I breathe deeply and can't help saying to myself...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU...and trying not to get annoyed about silly little unimportant things...Sometimes I need to remember LIFE IS GOOD...and not to take it for granted...to go and smell that honeysuckle blossom that amazingly is still blooming half way through December...
Homemade chicken stock
Ingredients to make half a pint/half a litre:
- Chicken. I prefer to make stock with uncooked chicken. I think it's more flavourful. I was making a chicken casserole and jointed it into four pieces but reserved the backbone still with a little meat attached to make the stock for a Christmas dinner caramelised onion gravy. There will only be four of us for dinner this year so a pint is plenty as I'll add some wine and other ingredients.
- One carrot chopped into chunky slices
- A small peeled potato also chopped. Don't add too much or it will cloud your stock.
- A small red onion with the outter leaves removed, roughly chopped
- A stick of celery, deveined and chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper
- One sliced clove of garlic
- Herbs, I used rosemary thyme and sage. I can't have Christmas dinner without sage and onion gravy like my granddad used to make.
- Simply place all the ingredients into a saucepan and cover with about a litre of water.
- Season and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover tightly with a lid to conserve as much as the cooking liquor as possible.
- Cook for about half an our or so until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced by about half. Check every so often to make sure it's not reduced too much. If so just top up with a little hot water.
- Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Cool a little and then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon. These can be used for bubble and squeak or add to soups, casseroles etc.
- If not using straight away pour the stock into a clean container and allow to cool.I left it in the fridge overnight before freezing until it's required.
I'm joining Karen for weekend...
that was a bit of mine, but how was yours?