DIY Vegetable Stock

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First of all it’s Friday, and I love Fridays because it means that we made it through yet another week of homeschooling and we all survived!

My mom taught me how to make my on vegetable stock using the broth in my stockpot from a boiled chicken. You just throw some veggies in there and boil for awhile then blend up in the blender and freeze in ice cube trays for later. I’ve been doing this for over a year now and I love having vegetable stock ready to throw in any recipe. I recently used up my stash so it was time to make up another batch. I had seen Natalie Creates post about making her’s in her crockpot . Since I love crockpots and trying new things I did this.

Step one: Yesterday morning I started a whole chicken in the crockpot with just a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and a couple of bay leaves.

Step two: After cooking about 8 hours I pulled the chicken out and deboned it to serve over some pasta and Alfredo sauce. Then I filled the crockpot up with water all the way, adding to the broth left behind after removing the chicken. I threw in some celery leaves (from the garden), broccoli (also from the garden) , a handful of green beans and corn, onion, garlic, carrots and a bay leaf. I salted it, put the lid back on and cooked overnight.

I walked into the kitchen this morning and got a little worried that I couldn’t smell my coffee. ” Had I forgotten to set the timer, had my timer gotten messed with?” These were the thoughts racing through my head. Then ” why do I smell food? It smells like Luby’s in here. Oh no! Did I leave food out all night?!” Whew, I was very relieved to discover it was just my stock simmering in my crockpot and overpowering the smell of my freshly brewed coffee.

That brings us to step three: I turned the crockpot off and let it cool for a bit while I had my morning devotional, two cups of coffee, checked Facebook and Instagram, let the chickens out and made biscuits and gravy.

Step four: After all of that it seems my stock had cooled off to a manageable temperature. So I put it in the blender and blended it up smooth. This ended up being about two and a half blenders full.

Step five: I filled the three ice cube trays I own with the blended stock

20140411-090723.jpg and stuck it in the freezer. The rest of it I put in this well used plastic pitcher in the fridge.

20140411-090949.jpg Over the next couple of days I’ll empty the frozen cubes into a freezer bag in the freezer and refill the trays from the pitcher until I have all of it frozen.
Once again I will have plenty of ready-to-use stock at my disposable and this makes me happy!

Do any of you make your own stock? If so how do you make your’s?

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Learning How To Learn

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We are creeping up on the close of our seventh year of homeschooling. There are times I wonder if I’ve taught my children anything, but one thing I know for sure, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned that I can teach them things all day but if they don’t know how to learn things on their own and develop a love for it, then I’ve failed. I’m a goal setter, planner, scheduler and very task oriented. My to-do list will become my idol if I’m not careful. What homeschooling has taught me is to chill out. See on days like today a science experiment inspired Reese to keep exploring what he could do with magnets.

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Free reading time led Raegan to read a book on science facts and Riley Grace a book on people and places around the world.

20140318-102251.jpg. The crazy scheduler/planner inside of me was thinking about the spelling curriculum that needs to be completed before summer break and how we’re behind in math. However, I know I need to let my children pursue their interests, it’s how they learn to learn. So I sit back, relax and enjoy watching them learn and listen when they excitedly show or tell me what they’ve discovered. This is just one of the many joys of homeschooling. The spelling will get completed and the math will get caught up, but not now, because we’re learning.