Obviously, the girls in the basement (my muses) have been taking some pleasure in shooting photographs of everything around us, mostly the reds and yellows of the season. This was an image that let me play for a solid half hour. For a writer, photos provide a garden full of color for the off-season, no words required.
I am also on a cooking streak. Last winter, I spent endless hours perfecting a chicken stock I can make and save easily. This year, I seem to be wanting the Ultimate Vegetable Stock. Today, I have a lot of necessary but tedious work to do, and it is a cloudy day, promising snow. To feel better about the boring tasks awaiting me, I gave myself permission to cook while I work. This morning I'm adapting a recipe from the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Cookbook.
Roasted Vegetable Stock
In the oven at the moment are these vegetables, filling house with a desperately heavenly aroma:
1 large russet potato, washed and cut into cubes
1 large yam, also washed and cubed (don't bother to peel anything–there are lots of nutrients in the skins)
1 head of garlic, with the top lopped off
Two handfuls of baby carrots (mainly because that is what I found in the crisper)
1 large sweet onion, cut into eighths (I do peel onions, don't ask me why)
7 or 8 baby orange, red and yellow sweet peppers
1 small zucchini, cut into eighths
If you like you can mushrooms, parsely, winter squashes (I meant to add butternut squash, but forgot).
They're now roasting for about an hour, then they all go into the crockpot with:
A handful of celery tops saved for stocks
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
A couple of sprigs fresh thyme and sage leaves
Water to cover.
Cook for most of the afternoon. Freeze into ice cubes for easy use later.
Anyone else have a great vegetable stock recipe to share? I have a vegetarian coming home at Christmas.