It all began on a very rainy morning last Thursday in one of those terrible indoor playcentres last week.
I hate those places because:
a) you have to pay
b) they are noisy
c) the food is crap
d) the coffee is crap.
I love them because when it rains in Melbourne and you have a preschooler:
a) it is freezing and they still want to run around & they DO drive you nuts in the house
b) you can catch up with your own friends & they can knit or crotchet (yes, I am still obeying the osteopaths orders & twiddling my thumbs)
c) you can drink crap coffee & be warm & talk.
So it is this conundrum of Love/Hate that led me to this place in the pouring rain & also the fact that it is essential to my mental health to meet with my friends on Thursday morning as it is what I call my "Thursday Therapy Session". For those of you who are not as fortunate as I to have a weekly therapy session with like minded people, this may well be an eye opener for you. You may feel that you have been missing out on many things in life. We do solve many of lifes little problems, and sometimes, the bigger ones.
Some of the topics that were discussed and worked through were: music lessons, interview techniques, returning to work availabilities, sporting parent responsibilities, annoying babysitters, partners input into domesticities, tall story telling 4.5yr old children, until we got down to the real nitty gritty topic that is probably the most important...what to have for tea tonight. Let's face it. We are all sick and tired of thinking of another single meal to make & if someone else can think of one for us, then all the better. Finally someone said Osso Bucco and it was finalised for me and Ange, but it did somehow got us onto a funny conversation about the Gold in the freezer. It went a little something like this.
M: I don't ever label anything that goes into my freezer, because I always think that I will remember what it was, but then I forget, so then we have to have a "freezer-surprise week" which hopefully doesn't mean apple crumble for dinner.
A: I always make chicken stock and then put it in the freezer and leave it there. It stays there too long and I think that it is too good for the family
M: It's like gold, pure gold. Actually, I think I probably have some in the freezer from last year.
A: Too good for the family
M: Waiting for someone to have a baby so you can make them a soup
On the way home, Ange & I saw each other at the butcher buying the osso bucco, and the bones for the chicken stock...pure gold for the freezer...just waiting for the baby to come. Maybe I'll make a rissotto for the family this week. Or maybe just chuck the whole lot into a casserole! Surely that is not wasting such good stock - or is it? After the boys walked in the door after school & asked what smelt so good, it would be mean not to let them have the stock...
Stephanies Recipe (adapted)
bag of chicken bones
tops of 3 leeks
2 sticks celery
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
Bring to the boil, simmer for 4 hours, strain allow to cool, skim off fat & use within 2/3 days or freeze (but please DO use).
Oh, and it I did find that ice-cream container of stock from last year that doesn't have a date on it. Not sure whether to chuck it... I have made a promise to myself that I will from now on label all food going into the freezer. (note that beautiful tower of fresh frozen stock).
I really must go & sweep up all of those nectarine leaves that came off the tree in that storm on Friday & pop them in the compost. Please, please never put your green waste in your normal bin. It is much better for the environment for it to disposed of by the council with the green waste rather than being put with landfill and becoming part of the problem. I know that my council does a free monthly pick up of green waste, so if you don't have a compost bin, either start one up or check with your council. We only get one chance at this earth!
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