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We Need the Rain to Make Homemade Vegetable Stock

The steady, heavy and much needed rain over the past two days is most welcome even though it does keep me from getting outside and playing in the dirt.  We haven’t had any rain for weeks and the garden suffered greatly as a result.

The rain is so heavy that it is pooling on the low areas of the homestead, such as the area immediately outside the back door.  Note the beautiful lavender plant that I potted out of the garden yesterday along with a small rosemary plant that managed to survive the summer  despite being planted in a desolate part of the homestead and largely left to its own devices.

rain on the steps

With the rain forcing me to remain indoors I took it is as a sign that I should go ahead and make a big pot of vegetable stock. This isn’t quite as random as it might sound though, as I am constantly preparing to make stock.

Most people don’t even think about making vegetable stock, much less making it ahead of the need for it. After making homemade vegetable stock and freezing it though, we have the perfect base for a rich vegetable beef soup, vegetarian chili or just a tasty way to liven up plain white rice.

homemade vegetable stock

Vegetable Stock, the My Earth Garden Way

The way we make stock costs us pennies for  an entire batch. Everyone knows that we are avid composters, but sometimes you don’t need to send everything to the compost tumbler when you can still use it inside.

We keep a container in the freezer to hold all of the leftover random bits of vegetables that we all have from time to time. From the small bits of onion and peelings from carrots (if you peel them other than just a good wash and scrub) to the liquid remnants from that can of veggies that went into last night’s dinner, save all of those morsels in the freezer until you have enough to use as a base for flavoring a stock.

At My Earth Garden we use a juicer quite a lot. In addition to reusing the apple pulp like I did when I made apple bread recently, we also save all the vegetable pulp for making stock.  That means that it doesn’t take long to fill up the freezer stock container around here!

The ratio I usually start with is 2.5 : 1 water to vegetable matter.  As the liquid cooks down I add more as needed and will generally be left with about a gallon of stock after it has been strained.

What I add to the veggie stock depends entirely on what went into the freezer container to begin with. Most often there will be a couple of onions, garlic, some celery and a few herbs to round out the flavor. I rarely add salt when I am cooking the stock. It can always be added later, but can’t be removed.

After the stock has cooled completely, we pour it into ice trays and freeze. The frozen cubes can then be stored in large freezer bags and used as needed.

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